HOW TO | Make the most out of your PR internship/placement

Over summer 2018 I completed a 3 months digital marketing/pr placement and found it was so much more than a summer job or something else to put on my CV, it was the perfect opportunity for growth in the field and to discover what 9-5 work was really about! Make sure you take full advantage of everything they have to offer, and you'll learn valuable skills to make you an employee everyone wants to hire! Below are 5 ways to make the most out of your PR internship.

1. Take it seriously

At the end of my placement months I was offered further freelance work while going back to university to study my masters. Potential employers could be using an internship as a trial run of what you can do and what they expect from you. Give it everything you've got, just like you would if you'd got hired full-time. Whether the internship is paid or not, having the experience will give you the edge over another candidate with the same degree.

2. Ask questions

A placement is the perfect opportunity to ask questions and learn from professionals in the field. The more questions the better if you ask me, there is something about asking questions that I know people are afraid of. Whether it be because they're afraid of asking a stupid question (no such thing), or just in general. You're not always going to know the answer to every question you have and being surrounded by PR professionals and employees with more experience in the field is the perfect opportunity to use it as a learning experience. People usually love talking about themselves and their achievements and I have always found it really interesting when talking to people in the industry about how they got into the field and why they choose to do it - usually a great ice breaker too!

3. Keep a record of everything you do

An internship is the perfect opportunity to not only get experience in the field you want to work in, but also to build a portfolio. Anything you do whether it be a social media campaign, any published press releases, blog posts or any other samples of work be sure to keep it to start building your portfolio.

4. Get Feedback

Setting up meetings along your internship with your supervisor where possible or just ask when you're unsure on something, it's the perfect opportunity to get some constructive criticism and improve your own work. In a busy working environment where meetings aren't possible, a final meeting at the end of your internship is the perfect way to work out your overall strengths and weaknesses.

5. Stay Connected and get a reference!

They often say it's not about what you know, it's about who. You never know when a connection will come in handy, so stay in touch as best you can! You won't be texting your manager every day, but there are plenty of other ways to stay in touch after your internship! You could connect on LinkedIn, the perfect place to professionally connect and coworkers can endorse you for skills you exhibited during your internship or give you public recommendations. Engaging in other social media like Facebook and Twitter is also another option for a less formal manner. It's great to check in every once in a while to maintain your network.

Also, if you've done well during your internship there's no reason you won't get a letter of recommendation! Most supervisors will offer to be a reference, but it's still good to stay connected. That way, you'll have a stronger relationship and they'll be able to tailor the recommendation to the specific role you're applying for in the future.

When it comes to furthering your time at university or even college there is no better way than putting yourself out there and getting some experience in the field you eventually want to work in. It's the perfect learning experience - have you completed any internships that landed you full-time work? Let me know below!

Beth x

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