Congratulations! You just landed that coveted internship and are on your way to building a stellar resume to land your dream job. At first you are super excited, thinking of the stylish, professional clothing you now have the excuse to go out and buy, but then reality hits and you worry about fitting in with the company’s culture or that you’ll have no clue how to do your job. Have no fear! Here are three ways to guarantee a successful internship experience.
Go Above and Beyond!
Chances are you are not getting paid for your internship. This does not mean that you can put in less effort than you would for your part-time job at McDonald’s. If anything, you should be giving more effort because some businesses like to hire in-house and will hire an exemplary intern on full-time when he or she graduates. Also, you should never complain or in any way act upset if you are asked to complete a task that you feel is boring or not part of your designated job duties. It may not be your job to fix the broken copy machine but if you know how, you should fix it without being asked. Going out of your way helps you stand out from the sea of people that complain and/or ignore problems to leave a lasting positive impression with your internship supervisor.
Be a problem solver not a problem causer.
If you’re assigned to a project that you are unfamiliar with, do not immediately bombard your supervisor with questions. Say you are asked to write a news release for the company’s annual charity event but have no idea how to format it; you should turn to Google first and search for news release templates. If you still can’t figure it out, write down your questions and ask your supervisor. Remember you were hired to help your supervisor, not take away time by asking questions you could solve on your own. Of course, you should not pressure yourself to be perfect, just always give your best effort to solve problems yourself first.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
An internship should be a great learning experience for you and also benefit the company or organization that you are interning with. So if you want to learn how to use Constant Contact to send an eBlast, that you know needs sent, don’t hesitate and ask your supervisor if he or she doesn’t mind teaching you how.
Have you tried any of these tips? If so, did they help you transition into your role as an intern? Share with us what tips have helped you succeed as an intern in the comments below.
Guest Post by Katie Campbell: Senior Account Manager, Girl Scouts
Strawberries $3.99, hamburger $1. Well no wonder America is obese! It’s sad to know that although we have many things to show for, the number one thing that pops into the heads of people in other countries when they hear the word American, is “obese”. Since I had the opportunity to travel abroad in Spain, I have firsthand knowledge on the average cost of going grocery shopping. I was surprised to find that produce there was relatively cheaper than it is in the U.S. With only €12 I could buy a weeks’ worth of food for myself, this including fresh fruit and vegetables. However, I was not surprised when I went to the only McDonalds in town and found that the cheapest meal there was €8.
Traveling in Europe, I got exposed to many different cultures. Many times I met people that upon learning that I came from the U.S asked if all I ate was hamburgers. Of course these thoughts have had to come from a source of media, television, etc. Though I would quickly dismiss the question, after a period of time I started realizing that maybe these people were asking me this for a reason, after all, the media often does portray our stereotypes for a reason; because they’re true! My friends (whom were also from the U.S) and I were talking about the first thing we wanted to eat when we returned to the U.S. what was our answer? NOT grandma’s delicious homemade cookies, NOT mom’s famous dish, but IN N OUT.
It’s hard to believe that although the U.S has a larger supply of food, we are satisfied with paying less for food that can eventually kill us rather than healthy one that will help us in the long run. One thing that also came to my attention was portion size. In the U.S, we go out to restaurants and receive a mountain of food in our plate, and of course, we try our best to stuff our faces until we no longer can. In Europe however, portion sizes are smaller, and to my surprise, I would find myself being full even before I finished my plate.
I think a major aspect of this problem also has to do with exercise. While in America people are going through drive trough’s and eating their food in front of the television, people in other countries are out walking their dogs, socializing, and living longer. By being exposed to a different lifestyle, I saw that my health quickly took a turn and I lost weight just by eating healthier foods. Coming back to the U.S was a major reality check because I realized how much damage we do to ourselves just by not eating the right foods.
The feeling of fear has been a constant companion of mine for the past couple of months. However, I realized that I have been experiencing fear because I have been letting my regrets took control of me. My regrets have been regarding my career choice, but not in the way you are thinking. I wish I would have found PR sooner. I am completely in love with it, but with one more year of college left, I do have a lot of catching up to do. I’m talking PR classes, internships, business cards, building your brand, making connections, etc. THERE’S A LOT! But it is so much fun that it is all worth it. So, for all you young bucks who are thinking about declaring PR/Communication as your major and career, these 5 PR-Now tips are for you. And for all you veterans with about 3 years of school under your belt, and just switched to PR, I feel for you, my friend, and this is especially for you.
1.) REGISTER FOR CLASSES NOW: Now this is probably the toughest thing to do. You’re not sure if declaring your as Communication or PR is the right bet for you. You don’t want to register for all these classes, find out you don’t like them, and realize you wasted a whole semester. My theory is that you have always known that Communication or PR is the right choice; you just haven’t realized it yet. I knew in high school I was great at public speaking and just simply talking to people. I was good at communicating with others. Did I know then I wanted to become a PR expert? No, I just knew my strength was in this area and I wanted to pick a major similar to that. My college offered a B.A. in Communication and a B.A. in Mass Communications & Journalism with a option in Public Relations. I knew that I was strong at communication so I went with a B.A. in Comm, but I still was not sure if PR was the correct field for me. A B.A. in Comm was broad, a good start, and the fact that a B.A. in PR was so specific, that kind of scared me. So I want to tell you, and what I wish I could tell my college freshman-self, DON’T BE SCARED AND JUST SIGN UP FOR AT LEAST ONE CLASS IN PR. Don’t get me wrong, I love my major! A communication degree is considered a valuable degree, I have gained great friends, my professors are amazing, and those 10-12 page papers have definitely forced me to become a better writer. But if I would have signed up for a PR class like I thought I should, I would have discovered PR was the right field for me in the very beginning.
2.) START INTERNSHIPS NOW: I knew the communication field was right for me, but I still hadn’t found my passion for PR yet. Even if you think this field might be right for you, GO AHEAD AND LOOK FOR INTERNSHIPS NOW! I made the mistake of waiting until I was sure about PR and then started looking. A big no-no! Landing an internship, at least for me, has been extremely difficult. The search is long and tough, and living in a small city does not make it any easier. If you feel like “maybe I should research into PR,” then go for it! Gaining internship experience earlier on is important because you figure out if this field really is for you. If it is, AWESOME! If not, at least you tried, now you know, and gained some type of experience.
3.) MAKE CONNECTIONS NOW: I also knew PR was the right field for me because I’m that girl on the first day of school who will strike a conversation with you because I enjoy meeting new people. Now, some people may not be like that, and some may even think “Ugh, don’t talk to me! I just want to come to class, pass, and leave.” BUT! The students I met in my comm and PR classes were the exact same way as me and I knew I found my place. Go out, shake peoples hands, and introduce yourself. Even introduce yourself to your professors! Professors are impressed by students who take that first step. And remember, it’s not what you know, but who you know! What if you’re wanting to get into entertainment PR and the girl sitting next to you in class has 2 uncles working for Fox News and Warner Bros (which really did happen to me)?! YOU NEVER KNOW! So be friendly and say hello :)
4.) THE TIME FOR SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOW: Social media is no longer just about staying in touch with childhood friends over Facebook. I mean, it still is, but social media has evolved. You probably already have a Facebook, but you should have a Twitter, LinkedIn, and personal website as well. I love Twitter! Start building your network and establishing yourself now. I’m making so many connections and learning so much from all my PR peers. However, I believe LinkedIn is crucial! I regret not setting up my LinkedIn account sooner, so do not make my mistake. LinkedIn is a social media platform that highlights your work experience, education, groups, etc. It is clean, simple, straight-to-the-point, and when applying for internships, the first thing employers search for.
5.) LASTLY-ASK FOR HELP NOW: If these previous tips do not help or you are still stuck on what to do, ask for help! Talk to friends, parents, counselors, etc! My favorites are my parents and professors. Professors, the good ones, at least, are there to help. Schedule an informational interview or go during their office hours. Explain to them your confusions, interests, and what you think you want to do. I am a huge supporter of talking to your professors, especially the ones in your major department. They have real-world knowledge, are experts in their field, and have connections. Go in and pretty much say, “Will you help me? I’m seeking advice on where to go in my field.
I hope these Five PR-Now Tips help you out!
A guest post by our Director of Public Relations, Selina Pichardo
Meet TALK’s new Executive Director Emmalie Castro! Besides her strong passion for Public Relations Emmalie enjoys attending music & art festivals. The picture above is at Outside Lands, a music & art festival in San Francisco, Emmalie’s most recent adventure. In the blog below she tells us all about her traveling wishes!!
Checking your email should be a daily routine. I check my email every morning to check for any class cancellations, postponed club meetings, or even personal emails. I can assure you that frequent email checks will make your day a lot smoother.
Tip #4: Create and maintain a monthly calendar or daily to-do list
I must admit, this a newly found love of mine. Like most college students I was having a lot of trouble with my time management until I started creating and maintaining a calendar. I have found even if plans change it is good to at least have something to plan off of. If you’re not a fan of calendars, I would suggest a goal or to-do list. On my busy months I do both.
Tip #3: Don’t over exert yourself
Full time students shouldn’t work more than 20 hours a week on average. Make sure to dedicate some time for your schoolwork everyday, but don’t overdue it. Once you feel like you are mentally exhausted put the books aside and take a few minutes, then go back later if needed. School, work, and life in general can get hectic, so remember to take some time for you. It is most important to take care of yourself; your health is the most important thing.
Tip #2: Dedicate your time according to your location
What I mean by this is: when you’re at school dedicate your time to schoolwork, when you’re at wok focus on just work, and when you’re out with friends just relax and have a good time, don’t worry about everything else. This will give you time to breath when things are hectic, which is majority of the time as a college student.
Tip #1: Reward Yourself
You work hard, so when you reach your weekly goals you should reward yourself for all that hard work. I have specific days that I have requested off from work and after school I take the rest of my day off. Whether it is going out with friends, hanging out with family, or some time to yourself, it is always good to make time for you. Find rewards that work for you and help motivate you to complete your goals and cross off your to-dos!
This is a guest post by Account Executive Emmalie Castro
Whether you are a crafty person or not, Do It Yourself projects are a great way to be creative and also find different ways of saving money. I personally love getting crafty as just a creative outlet but also because I love making my own creations. I get many different ideas from, you guessed it– arts & crafts heaven– Pinterest. Many times I pin things that I can’t make right away then use them later.
I really love to make things that pertain to seasons and holidays. This allows for me to use different themes for my ideas and make things in a manner that will benefit me the most. I currently am working on knitting beanies and scarfs for the fall and winter. It is very simple to crochet many different things once you have the main basic knit step down. (There are many tutorials available on YouTube.) once you know the basic step you can build to anything. All you need is yarn and a crochet hook to make all of your season’s favorite colored scarfs, beanies, and even blankets.
I’m a big fan of using recycled products and making new things with items that may not be reusable in practical ways. Wine corks are a great example of a reusable product. Once uncorked, wine corks aren’t very useful for what they are made for, but they can be reused in different ways that can be quite decorative. With Christmas right around the corner, I have collected enough wine corks throughout the year to make a Christmas reed it of them. All I need now is fishing wire to weave them all through in the order that I would like them to be. Another touch I add to my festive wine cork reeds is felt or ribbon to make the reeds look more festive.
Wine corks also make great collages or have other very practical uses, not only practical but decorative as well. I have made coasters, picture frames and other fun projects with corks.
Do it yourself crafts are a great way to give your home a nice decorative touch without going completely broke. Being a college student with such a busy schedule can make it difficult to have your place perfectly decorated. Little crafts can give your house a complete makeover with little effort and very little cash.
For those who like to entertain a creative side, crafts are a great way to keep busy and be artistic at the same time.
This is a guest post by Senior Account Manager Mayra Alvarez