1. Tackle all your assignments with gusto! Consider each task an opportunity to stand out and prove that you are responsible and organized. Taking initiative and going above and beyond will put you above your colleagues.
2. Stay busy. Don’t accept your supervisors not having enough work for you. There is always something to do in public relations!
3. Sit in on meetings and conference calls. Offer to create the agenda, take the meeting minutes, and write the call report to outline deliverables and discussion notes. Interns learn a lot just by listening and taking good notes. This also is a key opportunity to show managers your contribution to agency productivity by generating a document that helps staff deliver results based on the meeting discussions.
4. Get a mentor. Find a mentor who is respected by senior professionals in the organization. Try to mirror their work ethic, ask questions, and schedule a weekly check with them to receive feedback.
5. Dress like the other employees. Try to emulate what the other employees are wearing and if you are a girl, don’t dress overly sexy. You want to be respected professionally.
6. Remember you are always “on”, even during “off” times with colleagues. Have fun and socialize with the other employees or interns, but stay classy. You don’t want to receive a bad reputation and jeopardize your possible future in the company.
7. Avoid gossip. When the conversation turns toward talking about other employees or interns, stay quiet. You never want something you said to come back to you.
8. Laugh! Having a sense of humor and being able to joke around goes a long way. Roll with the punches, and people will like having you around.
9. Take criticism. Try to stay positive when receiving criticism, even if it is communicated in a less than positive manner. Don’t get defensive. Instead, be realistic in rega
rds to to your weaknesses and learn from the critique.
10. Consider yourself an employee, not just an intern. You never know when your internship can turn into a job. This may mean working late, weekends, or missing out on some beach trips. But it will pay off in the end! If not with a job, with an awesome letter of reference!
Dos & Don’ts of Interns
• Never enter a meeting, even an informal drop by from your manager, without a notebook and pen.
• Avoid personal phone calls or chatting online.
• Don’t decorate your cube with college party pictures.
• Ask questions and for clarification if you are unsure of an assignment. Asking your manager to help you prioritize is wise too.
• Provide short check-in e-mails or updates to your manager regarding the status of projects.
• Don’t be afraid to tell your manager you’d like to be busy. Ask for more work.
• Don’t leave for lunch or at the end of the day without checking with your boss or peers to see if they need help with anything before you go.
• Solicit feedback to help you improve.
Thank you Lorra M. Brown for these tips!