Landing a PR Internship: Getting the Most from Your Internship [PART 3]
Many students will be graduating in the coming weeks and months, and entering the workforce full-time, for the first-time. Some will be fortunate enough to land a permanent position, while many will go down the internship route. We all know the graduate job market is increasingly competitive (and much improved in recent years), but what can you do to land an internship and get your foot in the door at a PR agency?
This is the third and final part of a guest post series from Chloe Parker at Cherish PR which explores this topic in detail. Cherish PR is an independent west-London based agency “at the heart of the digital economy.”
Getting the most from your internship
Most of us here at Cherish PR have got into PR by being an intern themselves (myself included), so we all know what you’re going through. It’s a rite of passage and a stepping stone to a career in PR, so I asked some of the members of the Cherish team for the top tips they would give to interns who want to impress. Here are their words of wisdom…
Khristina Atwal – Consultant
- Don’t be afraid to share your ideas with the team, fresh ideas are always welcomed and they may turn into something bigger which can be a great addition to your portfolio.
- Keep an eye on news, topical stories or social campaigns and share with the team your findings and link to a client which you think it could be of interest to.
- Always be punctual, lots of sickness or being late can reflect badly, especially as you need to impress in such a short space of time.
Samantha Allen – Consultant
- Get involved in team brainstorms.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unsure about anything
- Take a real interest in the company and research its clients.
- Be confident!
- Be prepared to work hard – it’s worth it as there may be the opportunity for a paid role at the end of your internship.
Claire Adams – Senior Consultant
- Even if there isn’t the promise of a permanent job at the end of the internship act like there is! Your employer may not have had an opening for you at the start but if you become indispensable to the team then that could very well change by the end of your placement.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for more to do, often your manager will be extremely busy and may forget to keep you occupied all day. If you find yourself twiddling your thumbs then put your hand up and ask where you can help – that will always go down well!
- Smile! Being positive and happy is essential in PR so start as you mean to go on… Even if it is a Monday morning 😉
Paula Santos – Senior Consultant
- Remember everything you learned at University and apply it whenever you have the opportunity.
- Creativity is key in PR, so look around you, inspiration and ideas come from everywhere.
- Like in many other jobs, networking is key in PR, so go out and meet people and use these connections to your benefit.
Nicola Handley – Consultant
- Get stuck in from the start. It can seem really daunting walking into a PR agency for the first time but by throwing yourself in at the deep end you’ll demonstrate your abilities from the off and show your seniors that you’re a team player. Also, you’ll quickly become an integral part of the team and more likely to be considered for a role in the future.
- Always have your notepad and pen handy. As an agency with a varied client base it’s safe to assume that you’ll end up helping out on all accounts. You’ll need to understand each client and how the team works on each will vary accordingly. It can often be a lot of information to take in, I would always advise writing everything down!
- As Bear Grylls would say… Positivity, positivity, POSTIVITY! A determined attitude will get you far!
Chloe Parker – Junior Consultant
- Time management is key! Learn a system that works for you, whether it’s to do lists, bullet points – just make sure you’re juggling all the balls in the air and not dropping any.
- Be positive and try your hand at everything. Everyone knows you’re learning, so don’t worry about getting it wrong, just have a go and get as much feedback, support and advice from your team mates as possible. They all want you to succeed!
- If there isn’t the opportunity for a full time job after your internship, make sure you stay in touch. Networking if a PR’s best friend. Touch base via email every once in a while, find everyone on LinkedIn…make sure that if an opening occurs they take you into consideration.