How to Make the Most of Your Summer Internship

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By: Rachel Tasker, THON Chair

If you are anything like me, you always strive to make the most of summer break. After months of stressful nights and long assignments, three months in the sun seems nothing but necessary.

However, if you’re anything like me, you also know that now is the time to be making strides in your career. Especially in PR, having internships and experience prior to graduation is a must. That one thing on your resume that no one else has could land you a job.

So, long story short, I write this from the desk of my current internship.

While I have indeed missed out on pool days and summer adventures with my friends, I have already learned so much in the few short weeks I have been with this company.

I currently serve as a PR and Marketing intern for Rossbacher Insurance, a local agency in my hometown. My responsibilities are anything from re-writing content and layout for the company website, creating profile videos of staff, implementing a cold-call marketing plan, writing press releases for local news sources and many other odds and ends.

I am becoming a “jack-of-all-trades,” and I couldn’t be happier. After all, what is a PR professional without the ability to juggle 146 projects at once?

But an internship is only what you make of it. Here are a few tips to making the best of your summer internship

Ask for what you want. – Although I don’t think I have any interest in the insurance field, I asked upon my hire that I also gain some entry-level experience with insurance sales and policy. You never know where life will take you, and diverse knowledge on a multitude of industries could be crucial.

Work hard. – Although this should be a given, I have heard horror stories of internships gone awry. Remember that this is not the “just for fun,” minimum-wage job you had when you were 16, but rather setting an example for your future career. If you slack off here, you are showing those around you what kind of employee you will make someday – a lazy one!

Be outgoing. – Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. Even if you aren’t a pro in the industry, don’t be afraid to share your ideas, or ask for help when you need it. Make them remember you. Don’t just be “the intern.”

Show your personality. – I am not advocating that you boss or co-workers should be your best friend, but they can be friendly! Show your personality and try to make the office a better place just by your presence. If people feel better when you’re around, they’ll want to keep you, which may mean a full-time position.

Don’t be afraid to mess up. – I learned this at a seminar this past school year. A professional PR agent at Ketchum said, “I am happy that I didn’t land my dream job right away, because I had a chance to make my worst mistakes elsewhere.” You should always try to do your best work,  but understand that you are still learning, and you will make some mistakes. It’s expected. Own them, learn from them, and prevent them from happening when your paycheck could depend on it.

Whether you have a remote internship that allows you to stay in bed all day working (lucky!) or are spending your summer in an office, these tips will help you make the most of it.

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