You slaved over your resume, you landed a couple of interviews, and you finally got your first public relations internship. You may be wondering, now what? Well, if you are lucky, you will get to do meaningful work at your new internship. Others, on the other hand, might get stuck being coffee slaves to their superiors. Either way, being an intern not only can be a great experience, but it can also help you make professional connections. This is very important, especially in the highly competitive public relations world. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to follow to help make the most out of your PR internship:
DO: Ask for help
Asking questions is extremely important when it comes to your internship. If don’t understand exactly what you are supposed to do, don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor. They may be intimidating, but they will understand and appreciate the fact that you are trying to do the work correctly. As an intern, you aren’t expected to know how to do everything right off the bat, and your supervisor knows that. You are there to learn and gain experience, and you can only do that by asking questions. So ask away!
DO: Act professionally
You may only be an unpaid intern (paid if you are lucky), but your internship is still serious business. Treat it like you would any other job. Show up on time, dress appropriately, respect others, and do your work. It is also important to keep your phone on silent and keep your Internet browsing to a minimum, unless it is part of your task. Make the best impression you can, because you never know how your supervisor could help you in the future.
DON’T: Do the bare minimum
Show up to work early, stay late, keep busy, and always ask what you can do to help out. You put in all the effort to get the internship, so don’t blow it now. It is also important to work hard until your very last day, because there is no ‘”senioritis” in the real world. Your job as an intern is to learn as much as you can and gain real world experience, so don’t waste this opportunity to do so. If your supervisor isn’t sad to see you go by the end your internship, you might have done something wrong.
DON’T: Forget to check your attitude at the door
It is crucial that you go into your internship with an open mind. Don’t go into the internship thinking you are too good for the work. They very well could ask you to run errands or clean, but you have to make sure you are open to everything and try not to give them attitude about it. Don’t let your ego get in the way, because that will only reflect poorly on yourself in the future. It is important to pay your dues, but you must also make sure they aren’t abusing their power. If you are unsure whether or not your supervisor is abusing their power, talk to a professor or advisor in your department.
For more internship tips, check out this article on the Huffington Post.