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Making the Most Out of Your Internship

February 20, 2019 Kayla Guglielmo

PR internships

Internships. At one point during your college career, you’ve probably had at least one in order to fulfill a credit requirement and you’ve probably also been told that you need to have more than one internship in order to be a good job candidate after graduation. A 2017 study conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers showed that 61 percent of graduating seniors had participated in an internship at one point during their college career. The study also showed that experience gained through an internship is vital to standing out as an applicant post-graduation.

With such a strong value placed on having multiple internships throughout your college career, how can you make the most out of your intern experience and walk away with a refined skill set, an increased network and maybe even a job lined up for post graduation?


Know what you want

The first step to completing a successful internship is going into the process with intentional goals.

There’s an abundance of internships and if you don’t know what you want, it can be difficult to narrow it down. Before you begin your search, ask yourself what you hope to gain from your experience. Do you want to learn a certain skill? Do you want to see if you would like working within a specific field? Internships are a great tool to help you figure out what you want to do after graduation but they should also be able to offer you more than just reassurance. When searching for an internship, make a list of things that you hope to gain and don’t include gaining experience. Everyone hopes to gain experience and all internships can offer that – whether good or bad. You want to land an internship that is going to offer you many of the things on your list in order to make it beneficial to both you and the organization. The first step to completing a successful internship is going into the process with intentional goals.


Use your voice

As an intern, you offer a different or new perspective. Don’t be afraid to speak up in meetings and offer suggestions. You wouldn’t have been hired as an intern if the organization didn’t think that you had good ideas! Using your voice also means not being afraid to ask questions if you’re confused on an assignment and need clarification. It’s better to ask a bunch of questions and get it right than to not ask any and have to start the assignment over or falling short of expectations because you lacked proper clarity.

It’s important to use your voice to ask about things that you want to learn as well. Throughout your internship, keep in mind the list of things that you hope to gain and share them! If you have a certain skill you want to learn or try, speak up and ask someone if they would be willing to help guide you along the way. Every public relations professional has started as an intern and most of them are happy to use their wisdom to guide you along your new professional journey. Although many college students get an internship because their university requires them to, don’t discount all of the valuable skills, lessons and relationships you will create during your semester at work. By knowing what you want and letting others know what you hope to gain from your experience, you can ensure that you’ll win the title of intern extraordinaire.


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