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WORDS TO
THE WISE

Summer Internship Do’s and Don’ts
05.06.14

By Samantha Delgado

I remember my first PR internship like it was yesterday.  When I found out that I’d been chosen to intern at an agency in Orlando, I was excited to begin my career and learn the ropes. However, as my start-date loomed, I also felt nervous and worried because I didn’t know what to expect.

Now, almost four years later and with a few additional internships under my belt, I am an Account Coordinator at Linda Costa Communications Group – and it’s my turn to pass on valuable nuggets of advice.

With the help of the CCG team, I rounded up some “do’s” and “don’ts” to help prepare you for your agency internship this summer:

Do’s

Do be realistic when it comes to deadlines. It’s better to under-promise and over-deliver than vice versa.

Do be a sponge for information. At an agency, you’ll experience working with a variety of clients in different industries. Knowing each client inside and out gives you a huge advantage.

Do be proactive. If you’re passionate about a particular client or industry, ask how you can get more involved. It leaves a good impression and also provides an opportunity to expand your portfolio.

Do participate. Whether you’re in a brainstorm session or a team meeting, don’t be afraid to chime in with an idea or a creative concept.

Do ask for references at the end of your internship. These will be helpful when you apply for future internships and jobs.

Do create a portfolio. Providing examples of your past work to a potential employer shows that you can “walk the walk.”

Don’ts

Don’t forget to “close the loop.” This is a catchphrase at CCG for good reason. If your supervisor or teammate asked you to look into something, always follow up once you have the information – even if the results aren’t what you expected. Err on the side of over-communication.

Don’t rush through your assignments. Take your time on projects, and always proofread for edits or mistakes. Pretend you’re sending your work to a client.

Don’t be unorganized. At an agency there will be various projects thrown your way, so it’s important to stay organized in order to accomplish everything. To-do lists are helpful.

Don’t leave for the day without offering more help. If your supervisor is still in his/her office at quitting time, ask if there’s anything you can do to help. Chances are, they’ll say no – but it’s the thought that counts.

Don’t forget to tell your supervisors what you hope to gain from the internship. Agencies want to create a mutually beneficial relationship that allows for them, and you, to grow.

I hope these tips will help guide you through your internship this summer. Good luck!

 - Samantha Delgado

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