How to Captain the InternSHIP

By: Amanda Wagner

Congratulations! You landed the internship. You survived the interview process, and now it’s time to set sail on your PR journey. But what does that mean? How do you make sure it’s smooth sailing?

Every new job comes with a lot of opportunities for success.  As a recent intern at MSL (hired full time in September as an Account Associate!), here are my four tips for crushing your PR agency internship.

 Focus on learning the position.The first month of your internship may feel like an information overload, and that’s because the team is communicating all of their expectations and the client’s needs to you. This won’t be as straightforward as the introduction provided by HR. With each meeting you attend and every client call you participate in, you’ll start to notice patterns of tasks you’re given. As an intern, in meetings I liked to observe the Account Associates and notice how they’reparticipating in the conversation, to better understand how I can provide value.

Write it down.Take plenty of notes, and pay attention to those administrative details that may seem minor at the time! From formatting monthly coverage reports, to keeping track of your time, there is a reason why you’re asked to do things a certain way. It’s crucial that you understand how the agency tracks, reports and presents administrative details, because no one likes chasing team members for missing information when they’re in a time crunch to present to a client.

Master time management.Agency life is inherently busy and as an intern you’ll likely work on several accounts. When you apply to the positon, you should already have strong time management skills, but mastering that skill in the role will be crucial to the success of the team. One strategy I use to keep myself on track is to keep a list of all my tasks for a given day or week. When given a deadline, I glance at that list to ensure it’s feasible to accomplish that task in the given time frame. This leads into my final tip…

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Honesty saves everyone’s time.If you know you’re going to struggle with a timeline, mention that right away! It’s important for the entire team to know when a task will be finished, as it could help form the foundation of a project. If you’re notgiven a deadline, ask for one (and stick to it!). Consistently delivering your tasks on time will help establish your reliability and professionalism among your colleagues. Being honest and self-aware is key.

A mentor once told me, “being nervous means you care”, which changed my whole perspective. I was nervous as an intern, because I wanted to do well. But remember, at the core, an internship is about learning and growing. Take comfort in the fact that everyone has been in your position before and they’ll be happy to share their insights and tips along the way too.

If you’re interested in learning more about internship opportunities at MSL in Canada, reach out today!

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