How to Be the Best Intern Ever
February 24, 2017
By Dan Ward, APR, CPRC
As someone who was once a nervous, timid intern, I’ll admit—internships can be somewhat terrifying. Your professors constantly stress the importance of getting multiple internships, but the process of seeking and obtaining those internships can sometimes feel overwhelming.
If you’ve ever felt this way, take a deep breath and relax. Internships are a process of trial and error—they’re designed to help you learn what you like and don’t like, all while getting real-world experience. And as employers, we’re here to help you grow, and that’s something we love to do.
Here at Curley & Pynn, interns are a valuable part of our team who get to work on all kinds of projects—drafting newsletters, doing research, building media lists and more. Now, you might be thinking, “That sounds awesome, but what exactly do you look for in an intern?” Luckily for you, I am here to answer that very question. Here are five things that make a great C&P intern:
Write. And then write some more.
But seriously … writing is a vital skill in our industry. As an intern at C&P (and in your future jobs), you will be writing on a consistent basis. Whether it’s a news release, feature story or a media pitch, you must have strong writing skills and know how to tailor your writing to very specific audiences. If writing isn’t exactly your strong suit, practice! It’ll go a long way in helping you stand out during your interview.
Be a sponge.
Once you’ve landed the internship, be eager to learn all you can. Observe what others do, take notes, ask to sit in on meetings and seek out advice. We are here to be a resource for you, so don’t be shy. You can learn a great deal by observing and asking questions.
Be a problem solver.
In the PR industry, you will undoubtedly face challenges that require you to think critically. You may have to do difficult research for a client or write about a topic with which you’re unfamiliar. In those cases, be resourceful and attempt to work through the problem you’re facing. But if you get stuck after trying, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
View mistakes as a learning opportunity.
Everyone makes mistakes. It’s an unavoidable reality. You’ll make mistakes as an intern, and you’ll make mistakes as a seasoned industry pro. But guess what … that’s OK. Mistakes may not be pleasant in the moment, but they can be a valuable learning opportunity. When your internship supervisor offers constructive criticism, view it as a positive. We want to help you grow and succeed.
One of the most valuable things you can do as an intern is take initiative. If there’s a project you want to get involved with, tell us. If there’s something you want to learn more about, speak up. If you don’t have enough work to do, ask for more. We do our best to get our interns involved in a variety of projects, but we always like when our interns take the initiative to ask first.
If you’re interested in interning at an awesome agency with awesome people, you can find more information here.