American PR industry news site PR Daily recently published a list of 10 ways to be “a dream PR intern”, in which they urge young job-seekers to stay later than needed, ignore their peers and suck-up to managers. At Champollion we don’t see internships like that; our interns are paid and highly valued for what they can bring to the company from the outset. Many of our staff started as interns and wanted to share their thoughts on how to excel in this challenging role. Here are our top five tips for PR interns.
1. Consume as much media as you can:
Watch Countryfile, listen to daytime documentaries on Radio 4, read that newspaper you despise – a well-rounded media intake will make you a better intern, a more informed person, and will help you figure out if you actually want a job in this industry.
2. Demonstrate what you’re interested in:
In a short internship, your colleagues won’t have much time to get to know you, so help them along by demonstrating what you’re interested in and what you’re good at. This will allow them to make better use of your time and help you stand out.
3. Be clear about what you want to learn:
Having said that, an internship is primarily an opportunity to learn. Start the internship ready to learn and with some idea of what skills you want to develop. As you work, be aware of what tasks you are carrying out, and what you would like to try your hand at. This means that if your colleagues ask you if there is something you would like get experience of, you will be ready to tell them.
4. Take opportunities to get to know people better:
Gelling with the team will help make your internship a happy experience and will improve your chances of landing a job, or at least a good reference afterwards. Volunteering to help with tea rounds, attending brainstorms or even going to karaoke will broaden your interactions with colleagues and build relationships with them.
5. Take pride in your work:
You may be the most junior member of the team, but you can make a valuable contribution and your work should reflect that. Make sure you have noted down instructions properly, get the task clear in your mind and try and produce drafts in good time to get feedback on how to produce a quality finished product. This will build your own confidence and that of your colleagues.