Summer Internship Do’s and Don’ts
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 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’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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