Tag Archives: internship

7 Tips for Maximizing Your Internship

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Internships are more than a summer job or a resume booster; they’re great opportunities for growth and development in the area you wish to pursue after school. Take full advantage of everything they have to offer, and you’ll learn valuable skills to make you an employee everyone wants to hire.

Here are 7 things you can to do maximize your internship:

  1. Take it Seriously

Future employers will view your internship as a trial run of what they can expect from you. Give it everything you’ve got, just like you would when you really get hired. Whether the internship pays or not, having the experience will give you an edge over other candidates with the same degree.

  1. Keep a Record of Everything You Do

One of the best things I did during my internship was keep a record of my accomplishments and projects. Be sure to keep any published press releases, blog posts, or other samples of work to build a portfolio.

  1. Accept All Opportunities

Regardless of whether or not the task is related to your position, accept the opportunity graciously. Your manager will appreciate it, and you never know when you might find a niche that you hadn’t previously thought of pursuing by taking on something outside your normal duties.

  1. Ask Questions

You should always take the initiative to research first, but don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if necessary. Many employers would rather you ask for assistance than flounder and turn in something they can’t use. Asking questions also shows you’re invested and can be trusted with projects, which may lead to more opportunities.

  1. Get Feedback

Set up periodic meetings with your supervisor, if possible, to review your performance. Though constructive criticism can be tough to swallow, it’s necessary to grow and become an excellent employee.

If periodic meetings aren’t possible, be sure to get at least one at the end of your internship. These questions to ask your internship supervisor are a great start, but be sure to come up with more specific and relevant ones, too.

  1. Stay Connected to Build Your Network

You never know when you connections will help you down the road, so stay in touch as best as you can. You likely won’t be texting your manager every day, but there are plenty of other ways to stay in touch after your internship.

  • Connect on LinkedIn. You can network professionally, and coworkers can endorse you for skills you exhibited or learned during your internship or give you public recommendations!
  • Engage in other Social Networks. Social media sites like Facebook or Twitter are great ways to stay connected in a less formal manner. I frequently interact with old coworkers/managers online and have built a strong relationship with them, some of whom were able to give me glowing recommendations when it came time to finding a job.
  • It’s great to check in every once in a while to maintain your network, and email is a great option if you’re not comfortable interacting on social media. I’ve sent emails to old coworkers on several occasions. Sometimes I find a particularly great article they would like, others I just send a brief email when congratulations are in order. Just be sure to keep your emails short and genuine, as they will likely be read at work.
  1. Ask for a Reference and/or Letter of Recommendation

If you’ve done well there’s no reason you won’t get a letter of recommendation. Most supervisors will offer to be a reference, but it’s still good to stay connected. That way, you’ll have a stronger relationship and they’ll be able to tailor the recommendation to the specific job you’re applying for.

When it comes to advancing your education and pursuing your career, there’s nothing better than an internship. Getting hands on, practical experience in your field will give you a much better chance of finding a job. Better yet, if you work hard and follow these tips, you’ll become the ideal candidate everyone wants to hire. And hey, given that many companies hire their interns, you may not have to go looking at all!

sarahSarah Landrum graduated from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR. Now, she’s a PR Specialist writing in her free time. Sarah is also the founder of Punched Clocks, a site dedicated to helping young professionals navigate the work world and find happiness and success in their careers. You can find Sarah tweeting @SarahLandrum 

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The NY Intern Project

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I’ll never forget the day I found out that I had been hired for my first PR internship in New York City. For me, the opportunity was more than just a way to earn three college credits, but rather a chance to kick start my career in what I considered the PR capital of the world.

Like millions of students across the country, working in NYC is something I always wanted. And growing up only an hour from Manhattan, I knew I would get here sooner or later. But when you live hundreds of miles away, the Big Apple dream can often end up being just…a dream.

That’s why I was extremely excited when our agency, Affect Strategies, decided to team up with Strutta, an interactive promotions company, to launch The New York Intern Project, a contest designed to help us find our next summer intern. Continue reading

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The Real World: Stop Avoiding It and Start Early

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College studentsPeople are talking about the harsh realities of the real world these days, and now that I finished my first year of college and I’m beginning the process of building my future career, I’m starting to listen. Is the real world only for grownups? What is this “real world” exactly? I’m trying to find out, and here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

The real world isn’t something you get into after graduating from college, facing the daunting task of getting a job and supporting yourself. Financial independence is a scary thing, and no one has the answers as to how it can be achieved. I definitely don’t know, but what I do know is that I get “I’m so jealous of you for having three years of college left” and “you get to spend all that time just enjoying life and living it up” a lot. And I’m sick of hearing it. Continue reading

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Like, duh! Ten Tips to Totally Rock Your Internship

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Thinkstock Single Image SetYou got in the door! You landed that dream internship that will be a glowing addition to your resume. So now that you’re hired, don’t forget to try not to get fired.

Here are ten tips to keeping your internship…even excelling at it. This should be common sense, but I’m sad to report some people just don’t get it. Continue reading

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Three things I never learned about PR in college

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4 days later
(CC) flickr // terryballard

I don’t hide where I attended college. Quinnipiac University is listed in my twitter bio. I’m proud of where I went to school and this post is in no way knocking the stellar education I received from a well-known and respected faculty at the QU School of Communications (shout out to Professor Beverly Levy). I think it just goes without saying there is only so much you can learn in four years within the walls of a classroom. Real world experience is where it’s really “at” in the grand scheme of our public relations careers. Continue reading

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The Things Interns Say

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South Asian bookshelves
(CC) flickr // Quinn Dombrowski

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of interns. By no means is it the concept of an internship. I had a great internship in college and got a lot out of my experience. It’s the caliber of interns that are coming through the door. An intern is brought into a company to learn about the business, gain hands-on experience and observe the inner-workings of a company in the industry they aspire to enter upon graduation. If effective in their role, interns can be invaluable to an organization and the staff which they support. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. Even worse, my recent experiences lead me to believe they are the exception. . .NOT the rule.

Was I hallucinating, or did you really say that?

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Flack In Training – Volume I

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By now, it goes without saying: The college graduates of 2009 had the extreme misfortune of graduating into the worst economy in decades.  Not only are they competing with their fellow classmates for jobs, they’re also going up against professionals who should be further along in their careers, but are being forced to apply for entry-level jobs due to lack of anything else.  This recession has taken the image of starry-eyed post-grads with their entire, exciting lives ahead of them and turned it into a picture of desperate young adults taking on part-time positions just to make some money.  It’s incredibly scary and disheartening.
Why do I care so much about this unfortunate state of affairs?  I’m one of those poor graduates—my four years at New York University ended in May.  Up until a week before graduation, I thought I was the luckiest girl with a communications degree in New Jersey (maybe even New York too).  Despite the terrible economy, I had managed to secure a full-time job with the small public relations firm that I had been interning at for the past year.  As an added bonus, the offices were less than 10 minutes from my house and I was going to be making more money than I thought was possible in entry-level PR.  What a surprise—it was all too good to be true.  The company lost some important clients in a short amount of time, and they regrettably had to let me know that they couldn’t take me on full time. Gone were my dreams of Tory Burch flats, my very own iPhone, and an unreasonable amount of Juicy Couture.
I’m not writing this to make you feel bad for me for missing out on all those terrific things.  I recently got hired at a terrific and exciting agency in Manhattan, so things are definitely looking up.  Instead, I want to offer you my perspective—it’s an understanding and sympathizing one. I know there are many more of you out there just like me.  I wanted to start my column on PR Breakfast Club called F.I.T.: Flack in Training, so I could take all the other recent college graduates (and anyone struggling in the industry) along with me on my journey to becoming a full-fledged PR professional.  I spent the entire summer searching for a position in PR, so I have a lot to say about the process.  Additionally, I’m hoping to learn a ton about the industry and my profession from my new job.  I think it’ll be interesting to explore the unique position I’m in as someone who is entering the business at a time when PR is going through some major changes, including the growing importance of social media and the struggles of most print media.  I’m definitely looking forward to writing Flack In Training, and I can’t wait to hear all of your thoughts and opinions.

By now, it goes without saying: The college graduates of 2009 had the extreme misfortune of graduating into the worst economy in decades.  Not only are they competing with their fellow classmates for jobs, they’re also going up against professionals who should be further along in their careers, but are being forced to apply for entry-level jobs due to lack of anything else.  This recession has taken the image of starry-eyed post-grads with their entire, exciting lives ahead of them and turned it into a picture of desperate young adults taking on part-time positions just to make some money.  It’s incredibly scary and disheartening.

Continue reading

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