It’s that time again—Public relations students are graduating and looking for that essential first job experience to set them on the path to success. Internships have become the standard entry point for many careers, and PR is no exception. But how can you be your absolute best in your first internship?
You might not have account experience, so getting solid advice is key to knowing how to handle the intricacies of being a fresh graduate on his or her first PR internship. At Edelman, some interns are hired on as Assistant Account Executives after their internships. Here is some of the advice that got them to where they are now:
Lauren Wisniewski, AAE Digital
“Immerse yourself in news related to the accounts you work on. Knowing current industry news will allow you to make valuable recommendations and become more involved within your teams.”
Liz Fort, AAE Digital Health
“Take initiative and try to anticipate your team’s (or a project’s) needs! Keeping in mind your team and the client’s overall goals will make the transition to AAE much easier.”
Jillian Collins, AAE New Business & Marketing
“Utilize your network during your internship. Find an area of the company you’d be interested in learning more about and reach out to job shadow or take them out to lunch! You never know where your connections may lead you.”
Bill Mrazek, AAE Corporate Affairs
“Learn how the business side of the agency works. Asking leadership of different departments questions about how their department or position ties into the overall operation of the agency will set you up for growth.”
Charlotte Dretler, AAE Health
“Try to find something you’re good at, and take ownership of it. If everyone knows you’re the person who’s checking Google alerts and is on top of media monitoring (for example), it’ll make you indispensable to your team.”
Caroline Seume, AAE Digital
“Office culture is an important aspect of your experience, so make an effort to get to know your team members and develop open professional relationships with them.”
As for my advice? Be ambitious, both on your teams and in your ideas. Don’t be complacent on the amount of responsibility you currently have, and don’t be afraid that your ideas might not win out. Sometimes a project or responsibility comes along that will make you a bit nervous or overwhelmed at first, but you’ll get better and it will show you have confidence and a mind that excels under pressure. Confident, ambitious thinkers tend to find success wherever they go.
What advice would you share with new PR professionals?
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