How to Be a Super Intern This Summer

Congratulations…you’ve landed an awesome internship for the summer! Since you’ve done this, I’m assuming you know the basics of dressing appropriately, not abusing your internet privileges, and being polite to the people that actually work there. If you don’t, then you may be in store for a rough next two months. Obviously, don’t be lazy, work hard, be a team player, and stay positive. Seriously, you’re a smart cookie, use common sense and be professional at all times. If you need more basics then that you should go to your college’s career office this is for those that want to be super interns and stand out from the rest.

I’ve been very lucky to have four amazing internships and thus feel compelled to give you the truth about what it takes to be successful and super. First, you will not be on vacation this summer…sorry! Good news is you are one step closer to landing an amazing job after graduation than your classmates lounging on the beach. Real world experience is no longer recommended for entry-level positions, but required. My friends that had little or no internship experience either struggled for months to find a job or they aren’t even using their degree now. Next, no internship experience is created equal. Your experience will be what you make of it. Each person in your internship cohort will describe their experience differently at the end.

To be one of the interns that brags about their experience at the end, I have given four tips. I never did all of these on my first internship, but internships are trial and error. You intern and you learn. You may not leave knowing exactly what you want to do for the rest of your career, but you will definitely know what you don’t want to do. How to be super:

Be Weird
All public relations and marketing people are a little weird. The ones that say otherwise are the weirdest ones! You’re not working in corporate America so it’s okay to stand out (in a good way). Let your personality shine in your work and your behavior. Most agency culture is relaxed and casual and thus it’s okay to tell some fun jokes and play a little music at your desk.

Be Curious
You will be given clear projects and instructions for the summer, but don’t be afraid to ask for more work. Ask every question that pops into your mind. Each question will either be something your intern leader wanted to tell you or something that everyone is curious about but doesn’t want to ask. Also, feel free to go visit different departments that you want to learn more about.

Keep a Diary
When you’re in a job interview, you’re not going to remember everything you did over the summer. Keep track of everything you contribute to whether it is a small or large project. Keep this in addition to your actual portfolio. I have a list of tasks such as creating media advisories and working events then I have my writing and creative samples in a portfolio. You will need both in the future.

Never Eat Alone
Once or twice a week schedule a lunch with people from different departments. Make an effort to gain insights from people all over the agency. Internships are a time of professional and personal discovery. You may dine with someone at the company that changes the course of your career. Also, you have to constantly network to be successful in the marketing and public relations industry this includes people in your company. One of my summer internship advisers helped me land another internship for the fall and wrote one of my graduate recommendation letters. In addition to a position on your resume you want to leave your internship with as many phone numbers and email addresses as possible.

Still curious about what really makes a super intern, it’s someone that they will remember. Not just the work you do, but who you are and who you want to grow to be. A super intern is willing to get the job done and even after the internship they stay involved with the company and follow their work. Be you and have fun! You have what it takes to be super this summer!

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