A Note from the Editor:
As part of the Publicity Club of New England’s mission to deliver timely and educational content to PR practitioners, we are continuing the recent string of internship-themed posts with the following commentary from Alex Molina, an intern at 451 Marketing. Hearing experience firsthand from those on the front lines can carry both powerful and practical relevance. Thank you, Alex, for the contribution.
– Jon Tashjian, Vice President and Blog Editor, Publicity Club of New England
By Alex Molina, Guest Contributor
You’ve just been offered an internship position at a company you’ve dreamed about being a part of. You feel amazing, yet terrified; this is the first real step towards your professional growth but at the same time you have no idea what to expect in the coming weeks. You are excited to be the best summer intern you know how to be, but question after question popping into your head is leaving you a bit unsure of how things will turn out.
Not to worry, here are 10 must do’s to help you make the most of your experience!
1. Show interest in the culture: Look carefully around you, read and learn. Joining a new company might seem scary at first, but it shouldn’t be. Get to know the company’s culture, how things are done, how people behave in a professional setting and how they establish relationships with clients. You might be one of those people someday, and you want to make sure you’ve learned the most from the people around you.
2. Be on time: It’s better to be 5 minutes early than 5 minutes late! It sounds easy, but make sure you set your alarm every night and prepare your next day’s schedule responsibly. You are expected to arrive on time and show your commitment, and arriving early is a great way to have a quick chat before the rest of the team gets into the office. Remember, the early bird catches the worm!
3. Be proactive: There’s nothing worse than someone who is uninterested or waiting to be told what to do. You don’t want to be that intern. You want to be “on your toes” and making the most of your day. This is a great opportunity to show your skills and learn how things are done at the company. A great rule of thumb is that there is always something to do. Don’t miss the opportunity to show your strengths!
4. Take your work seriously: Sometimes it might seem that you’re doing repetitive work or simple things – but they’re not. What you’re in charge of is as important as all the other things that your coworkers are doing. It is important that you’re serious about your assignments and put your best effort forward for each project. If you take your work seriously, you’ll likely be given more responsibility in the future and have the opportunity to work with less supervision.
5. Don’t be shy! Your supervisor wants you to ask questions no matter what the situation is. You are not expected to know everything, and that’s the great part of being an intern. Even the best interns get confused or have no idea of what they are doing, but they learn by being proactive and asking questions. You’re there for a reason – to learn.
6. Listen: Many mistakes are made when people don’t listen closely enough to directions. Take your time and listen to what your supervisor is asking of you. Listening makes you looked focus, serious and interested in what you’re doing. A great way to ensure the best outcome of any project is to begin by listening and quickly taking notes of what you’ve been asked to do.
7. Establish relationships: This is crucial! During your time at the internship you want to get to know everyone and establish relationships with them. You want to share your interests, goals and why you’re there. Establishing a relationship will also help you in your future job hunt, because guess what? People will know about you already! Go ahead! Network!
8. Meet with your supervisor: You should always ask for feedback on how you are performing, what you can improve, what your strengths are and where you can help even more. Aside from giving you an idea of where you stand, it will help you establish a stronger relationship with your supervisor and show you care about your own professional growth.
9. Dress appropriately: Take the phrase “dress for success” seriously. Even though you’re an intern, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care of how you look like and not look professional. You want to give the best impression possible and show respect for your position.
10. Ask for advice: Before you leave, ask your supervisor to take a look at your resume. This will be a great opportunity for you to build and grow one of the most important tools in your job search. Further, it is a great opportunity to leave your resume with your supervisor once it’s been revised and finished. Who knows, if you’ve made a great mark at the company, they just might call you back with a job offer.
Alex Molina is an intern at 451 Marketing.