Internship Advice for Beginners

An important part of gaining field experience and meeting potential employers, interning can be an overwhelming topic for those who are unsure about what it exactly is and how they go about getting one. According to Webster’s dictionary, an internship is “an advanced student or graduate in a professional field gaining supervised practical experience.” Being an intern is like working with a mentor, where someone with knowledge in public relations or communications can fill you in on what they know and guide you to become better informed and prepared for the future.

No matter what kind of career you are going into, it is important to do some sort of internship beforehand in order to understand the kind of environment you are entering. A surgeon does not start operating on a patient the day they graduate from med school; they work as an intern or resident so they are fully prepared for their work. The same goes for public relations professionals. Depending on what kind of company you are working for, there are different skills and knowledge that are required for the particular job.  On the blog “Entry Level Rebel,” Jessica Stillman offers six tips for getting the most out of an internship.

  1. Consider applying at a start-up– While most people think you have to intern at a company that has been around for years and is well-established, working for a new company can give you more opportunities to perform big tasks and make a difference.
  2. D0 your homework– Make sure you do your research on the company you want to intern with. It will show them you care about what you are doing and you have a strong interest. This will only strengthen your chances of getting an internship and possibly a position with them in the future.
  3. Be the go-to person at all times– Although you may be confused and unsure about the tasks you are handed at first, don’t be afraid to do your research online and talk to others about what you are supposed to do. Be the person that people know they can depend on to get work done.
  4. Be innovative- think before you ask– Instead of assuming you do not know the answer to a potential problem or issue, look deeper into the question and you could be surprised that you have a great solution. Use the resources you are given for help.
  5. Think like the CEO– Is the work you are doing making the company better? This should be the main objective of every task you perform. Go out of your way to do things you are not asked or required to do; it will make you look sufficient and hard-working.
  6. Take notes and always have to-do list– When you are in a meeting with a boss or just receiving tips from an employee, jot down information so that you always have it to refer to. Use your notes to decide what you can do to perform your best work.

Be the best intern you can be!

Sometimes businesses do not have a lot of work to give interns because they are unsure about the kind of skills that interns possess. Brigid Wolf, who attends the University of Akron in Ohio, said she was able to perform more work for the company she interned with after she told them she was fluent with Excel and PowerPoint. “After I told them I was good at working with those programs, the employer was able to give me important projects to complete.”

Jeff Carter, a senior public relations major at Georgia Southern, enjoyed the networking aspect of his internship he completed last year. “It was a great opportunity to make numerous connections with local business owners,” he said. According to the blog, “Career Advancement- Tips to Maximize an Internship Into Career Success,” it is crucial to stay in connection with the people you work with. By letting the employer you worked under know what you are currently doing, this will “…keep your name in front of the employer.” You never know when you will need someone’s advice or help to get you where you want to be.

The most important aspect of choosing an internship is making sure it appeals to you! Tory Johnson, CEO of “Women for Hire,” gives this pointer in the blog “Top Tips for Picking an Internship.” Pick something that you feel will give you the kind of experience and work you are looking for to give you the skills you need for your dream job!

Information used in this blog can be found at the following websites:



Filed under PRCA 3711 Practicum

5 responses to “Internship Advice for Beginners

  1. marielorelei

    I think that tip one about internships is quite interesting. Applying at a start up company definitely has a few advantages and disadvantages. If you interned at TOMS Shoes when it was first started, then you are now a part of something wonderful that is now thriving. If you interned at some no name company that went under, then there’s no opportunity for getting picked up for a job with that company. I like the idea of interning with a company that already has an established reputation because if you get picked up for a job after your internship then that’s great and if you don’t then that mention on your resume might impress another company into wanting to hire you.

  2. Pingback: Social Media Blog Comments (23) « Life as a Dreamer

  3. Hello Lauren. Two very important points that I found in your blog were: do your homework and be innovative. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard how important it is to do a little pre-research on the company of your interest. I completely agree. By doing just a little leg work beforehand you can really maximize your potential and even impress your next employer. Being innovative is also important. Not everyone is creative and can think of new opportunities or great ideas. If you have that ability it will distinguish you from the rest of the crowd immediately. Thanks for the advice on Internships!

  4. smcclou3

    I was intensely stressed with the thought of having to find and complete an internship. Fortunately, I attended the Mocktails event, networked, and landed my internship. While at my internship I have a better understanding about what I want to do in public relations, if I choose to stay in this field. I work at a non-profit that has a small marketing department so this has allowed me to have a lot of responsibilities as if I were at a start-up. When I saw the tip to ‘be the go to person at all times’ I thought, “Well, that’s really hard, when you don’t have much time to build the trust of your employer.” Sometimes I wish my internship were longer just because I’ve finally gotten into a workplace groove and feel secure in what I’m doing and I finally feel comfortable asking questions.

  5. Pingback: Blog Responses « Interning While Doing Practicum Might Be a Little Backwards

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