By Kristina Lintz, Director of Chapter Development
Last night we kicked off our monthly workshops with the help of Cabot Oil & Gas. George Stark, Director of External Affairs, and Brittany Thomas, Coordinator of External Affairs, did a wonderful job explaining the dos and don’ts of internships, resumes and interview etiquette.
Couldn’t make it to the workshop? No worries! We’ve got some of their most important points here:
On Their Jobs:
It’s not boring. Being liaisons between the company and the public, they generally get involved in everything. From writing press releases, to dealing with governmental affairs, they’re always on the go, jumping from one project to the next. Because of this, they don’t specialize in one area of public relations. But as Stark said, it’s important to find what you do and don’t like about the job, and then go from there.
On the Internship Process:
Don’t stop hustling. Get an internship and get involved. Do what you can, but do it well. Don’t half-ass it and don’t wear yourself too thin. Doing two internships at once is great, but not if your quality of work is going to suffer.
Make connections with people at the company you’re looking at by creeping on their social media profiles and maintaining the connection. (It’s easier now thanks to Twitter and LinkedIn.)
On Preparing for the Interview:
- Play to your strengths. Don’t let your weaknesses limit you.
- Look at the company’s website! Know about their recent projects or newsworthy stories. It’s impressive and shows you made the effort, that you really want this position. Familiarize yourself with their social media platforms and the tone of the company.
- Don’t forget to bring your portfolio or relevant pieces that illustrate your experience. Find a way to capture it, whether it’s through press releases you’ve written, news articles or even a social media page you ran.
- Depending on who is interviewing you, they may prefer a digital version of your portfolio or a tangible one brought to the interview.
On the Day of the Interview:
- Prepare answers to stand interview questions. For example, Stark and Thomas ask their candidates, “What makes you the best candidate for the job?” And, “What will your bring to the table that another applicant may not?”
- Don’t shy away from areas you consider weaknesses. Instead, flip those weaknesses into potential strengths. It is perfectly OK to admit, “I don’t have much experience using WordPress,” and then add, “but I’ve started a blog and am becoming familiar with the platform.”
- Don’t badmouth previous places of employment or bosses. It will make those interviewing you wonder what you’ll say about them when you go on to your next job.
- Be yourself. Let your personality come through during interviews.
- It’s fine if you think the company won’t be a perfect fit. The internship search is like dating. Would you compromise your morals to be with someone long-term? No. There’s a better match for you out there.
On the Follow-Up:
Send a thank you note! If you want to be even more on the ball, write it beforehand and send it the day you have the interview, so they will receive it a day or two later. It’s also fine to wait to write it until after the interview so you can make some references to what was discussed; just don’t send it ten days later.
After the Internship:
Walk away from every internship experience knowing more than you did when you started. If you hated it, that’s fine. Now you know what you don’t want to do when you graduate.
So what’s the bottom line? Don’t forget the basics.
- Research the company.
- Know what the job requirements and duties are when you go in for the interview.
- Shake hands, smile, and breathe. Give and take business cards.
- Send a thank you note.
Thanks to Stark and Thomas, we learned a lot about the entire internship process. Learn as much as you can before you start your own search.