By: Corinne Findlay
You’re about halfway through your summer internship, however, you’re unsure how to truly get the most out of your experience. It’s one thing to land the internship and have the experience on your resume, but it’s another to make your mark at the company and truly stand out from the crowd. Of course, paying attention to detail, being organized and having good research and writing skills are important, but there’s much more that goes into a truly successful internship.
This summer, I am interning at Coyne PR’s headquarters in Parsippany, NJ. Throughout my time thus far I have not only had the opportunity to learn from my account team, but also from previous Coyne PR interns, executives and even the CEO himself, Tom Coyne. Whether you’re working at an agency, in a corporate setting or even completely outside of the public relations field, I have gathered a few key tips from my experiences so far.
Make Your Voice Heard
Whether it’s a simple “hello” in the kitchen or a team brainstorm, make your voice heard. You were hired for a reason. The company saw something in you, and they took a chance on you. Assure them that the risk paid off. Greeting everyone you pass in the office goes a long way. You may not think that they notice, but I promise you they do. When it comes to brainstorms and team meetings remember no idea is a bad one, and it may very well end up being the start of the next big thing.
Network. Network. Network. I know, you probably hear this word far too often no matter what industry you are in. However, networking with employees within the company is key. Specifically, in the public relations field, professionals bounce around from agency to agency very often. You never know where someone you connect with may end up one day. It could very well be your dream company, and getting to know them can only help you no matter what the future brings. No matter how you go about your interactions with employees, be sure to send a thank you note and connect with them on LinkedIn for long-term purposes.
Once you get in a routine and familiarize yourself with your boss, team and clients, try your best to manage up. What does this mean? It’s being on top of your game at all times and even completing an assignment before you’re even asked. Don’t just keep up with the speed of the team; stay ahead. As an intern, this can be challenging, but a proactive mindset goes a long way.
Make Time for Face Time
Whether you’re located directly next to your team or on the opposite side of the office, always be sure to have face time with your boss and coworkers. Remember, an upbeat personality and positive attitude is almost always valued just as much as the work you contribute to the company. Building both professional and personal relationships with others is crucial to making a positive impact during your time as an intern.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
If you always stay in your comfort zone, you will never grow to your fullest potential. This is one of the most important concepts for any young professional. Always say yes to learning new skills, experiencing new opportunities within the company whether it relates directly to your team or not, and uphold passion and determination no matter the challenge at hand. You are there to learn and develop more toward the professional you hope to become. The employees know that you don’t know everything, so asking questions is key. With this in mind, it is ideal to be coachable and learn quickly yet efficiently.
To every summer intern out there, I wish you the best of luck with the remainder of your time wherever you may be. And remember, be confident and be bold!