Once you graduate you may expect to start you dream job and begin putting those college internships behind you. Right? Well, in PR that is not always the case. Your career path may call for you to take on a post-grad internship (or two) before you land your first job that doesn’t have the word “Intern” in its title.
When you are looking for your first job after college be sure to apply for both entry-level positions and internships. You can work at an internship full-time allowing you to get into the flow of what life will be like in your first career job.
I suggest that you take on a lot of responsibility at your internship, treating it as if it’s the position that you want next. Ask your supervisor what’s the difference between an intern and the position above that role. This will allow you to map out your internship to help prepare you for your next position.
Other benefits/tips of a post-grad internship:
- Allows you to work in a new city temporarily helping get your feet wet in your career and the city.
- Take it very seriously – There is a great chance it can lead to a full-time permanent position, so act like you got the job.
- Live your life outside of your internship as close as possible to the way you want it to be at your first career job.
- At internships you are held responsible/accountable for your work, but it’s expected for you to be there to learn. Take advantage of this as a learning opportunity!
- Internships, especially in PR are important for your career and your next employer will really look at all of the experience you had regardless if the job title has the word “intern” in it.
- Don’t rule out a post-grad internship.
Overall, when you are looking for your post-grad job be sure to search the internship listings too. You never know where an internship can take you.
Keep in mind that Peppercomm hires full-time interns in both New York and San Francisco: http://peppercomm.com/employment
Regardless of your education level you should find ways to enhance your learning: formally and/or informally. After reading the 10 ways to do this on a budget I’m committed to making sure I remain a student for life.
Here are the 10 ways to continue your PR education on a budget:
- Seek out free Webinars
- Take a class at your local community college
- Attend an event or conference that allows you to learn and network
- Find a mentor
- Conduct an informational interview
- Read industry journals
- Give your library card a workout
- Join Twitter if you are not already a member
- Read up on award-winning case studies
I do a lot of these on the list already, but I really want to do more. You can read the full article here.
Which of the 10 ways to continue your PR education do you find the most interesting?
Today’s post is in response to this article.
There are always so many tips for new PR pros and the above mentioned article is no different. There are great tips like always, but at the end of the day it’s up to you how you will be during your career. I suggest being proactive and searching out work in your current job, but know your limits. You don’t want to take on so much work that you begin missing deadlines.
The article gave 14 tips and here are my favorite five:
- Learn a client’s industry and their business
- How can you add value if you don’t know how your clients make money? Get in the trenches. Study your clients and their competition.
- The future belongs to those who can do the work and sell the work. Build relationships in the business community. Get involved in civic and charitable organizations, and don’t expect your company to pay for it all. You must invest in yourself.
- Develop your oral and written communication skills
- If you don’t know how to research a company and write a press release, you won’t make it in this field.
- Dedicate yourself to learning
- Those who go the extra mile to learn on their own will make it further. Firms are working with limited resources and don’t have time to spoon-feed newbies. If you learned how to do a research paper in college, apply those techniques on the job.
- Watch business trends and analyze their impact on clients
- In time, this trait will come to those who are naturally curious. I love curiosity, because it breeds creativity and ingenuity. Employers, seek employees who are naturally curious.
From the list above do you have a favorite or would you add anything else?
Someone recently shared this PRNewser article with me, 5 Important Skills PR Interns Should Possess Before They Get the Gig. Starting my career as an intern, I remembering hearing these tips (and similar ones) many times. This advice came from mentors, internship managers, professors, school advisers and the like. After reading the article, I have to agree that having the following five skills will help interns move to the next level. Although, these same tips should be remembered at any stage in a public relations professionals career.
Writing is a given. Be it in the form of a press release or email, being able to write is crucial in this industry. Multitasking for me is more about balancing my workload to get everything completed without trying to do everything at once. Attempting to write a press release, make a phone call and send a tweet all at the same time is a recipe for disaster. Instead, it’s about your ability to switch quickly from one project to the next while still producing quality work.
Speaking is an important skill to have when giving a presentation or making a cold call for a media pitch. Learning how to master the art of talking with a purpose is key to communicating with clients, the media and coworkers. Researching as an intern was one of the task I remembering having to do almost everyday. Using resources outside of Google really helped in sharpening my skills and gave me the opportunity to bring fresh ideas to my teams. Finally, ask questions. Questioning is something that you should never stop doing and as you advance you’ll become a lot better at it.
These are just a sample of skills that a PR intern needs in order to reach that next level. What other skills do you think are important?