Tag Archives: networking

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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SXSW Poker – A Different Kind of Networking Event

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Porter Novelli SXSW charity:water 2014 fundraiser/networking eventWith South by Southwest (SXSW) right around the corner, the digital and technology world’s attention will soon shift to Austin, Texas.

SXSW veterans know that you go to that festival for two reasons: to learn and to network. Networking parties, receptions and events – both official and unofficial – dot the schedules of tens of thousands of SXSW-goers every year, and this year will be no exception.

But while there are admittedly hundreds of party and reception options at SXSW, Porter Novelli is hosting one we think is unique and can help do some good in the world. Continue reading

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Professional Development is a MUST

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Public Relations practitioners are busy. We all know this and we all live this every day. With all the juggling that PR pros do it is easy for professional development to fall off of the radar. But to advance in your career you must have the personal drive to squeeze that luncheon on to the calendar, read industry blogs during breakfast and seek out the counsel of PR peers. Continue reading

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Back to School: The Perfect Networking Refresher

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“I heard you missed us… we’re back!” -Van Halen, “Hot For Teacher”

While you may not have the flair of good ol’ “Diamond” David Lee Roth, this time of year can still be a perfect opportunity to show your networking chops. Ok, so you are shuddering at the thought of going back to school. Don’t. You should really be relishing the chance to grow your relationships: in school and in the community.

See, we are always networking… whether it be at school, out with friends, or online. Think about your last PRSSA meeting, Twitter chat, or Facebook group discussion. Did you talk about how you can help with an event or talk to a respected pro about setting up a lunch discussion? Bingo! You are networking. Continue reading

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Monetizing Your Platform Strategically – Go Beyond the Book

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To be successful with a book today means that you have to leverage certain specific business concepts and leadership content in a transformative fashion. I looked over the strategies that our best and most financially successful authors and thought leaders adopted to build their platforms this past year. The book is just one component to success.  Continue reading

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An Introvert’s Guide to Standing Out at Conferences

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Networking events and conferences can be stressful for introverts, like myself.  I admit there have been times that I’ve skipped a couple or put off meeting some new people because I was afraid of that social awkwardness. You know, the kind where you just want to throw a blanket over your head and hide in the supply closet.

But, the more conferences and networking events I attend, the more I realize that there are several things I can do to alleviate the initial anxiety. I’ve compiled four tips to help you get the most from these events and avoid the initial social awkwardness. Continue reading

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What Every PR Rookie Ought to be Doing

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Both the PR and media world have undergone great changes since I first got started in the field in the mid 1990s. When I first started off as a reporter, I spent several hours learning how to use the flywheel to resize photos. And just when I had that figured out, along came Photoshop, which made all that knowledge useless.

Today, change seems to be happening at lightning-fast speed. The advent of social media and the rapid demise of the print media have caused huge strains on PR practioners, who have to keep up with these developments.  I am a technophile, but even I admit that sometimes it gets exhausting trying to keep up with the latest press release platform, social media fad or cell phone app.

Having said that, here are a few things that all PR rookies (and some old pros) need to be doing: Continue reading

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Word Vomit: Topics That Are Better Left Unsaid

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(CC) Image courtesy theritters

The social aspect of  communications is one of the many reasons I was attracted to working in public relations.  It’s also one of the many reasons why I love Twitter.  I’ve attended many tweets up and happy hours simply to meet some of my favorite people.  Heck, I even drove with Kate and TJ to visit some fabulous friends in Boston who at the time I only knew via Twitter.

It wasn’t until recently that I noticed an excessive amount of “word vomit,” the act of putting one’s foot in thy mouth, at these tweet ups and happy hours that made me second guess the information I divulge when first meeting someone.  We may talk to each other every day but do we really trust each other?  How much word vomit is just too much before others start judging?  When networking or socializing with new friends here are some topics you may want to exclude: Continue reading

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Agenda-free networking

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Crowd raising arms at party in night clubPublic Relations and communications is largely about shaping perception. But how do we control our own? How do we make sure that we are being viewed as a valuable member of our community and not as the annoying flak?

Now, this isn’t a post about personal branding, which despite my dislike for the phrase, is a real aspect of our lives that we need to be aware of as we actively broadcast nearly every aspect of our lives online. How we carry ourselves and how we interact with a wide range of people affects how we are perceived as communications professionals. Continue reading

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