Steps to internship success

Contributed by Ashley Dalsing, newsletter co-chair.

In today’s society, you hear professors and professionals within various industries speaking about the importance of receiving experience through internships.

And, as a fun fact—nearly everyone you meet or encounter makes a judgement about you within five seconds.

No pressure, but if you want to find a stellar internship over your classmates and peers and have a better chance of being placed in a job you can use your skills and knowledge at your first job post-grad, you need to make a great first impression and leave a lasting one.

This starts with your internships.

Internships offer real-world experience through various tasks, projects and help adjust students from classroom to workplace environments. They also provide a view into different industries and environments to help you determine what a best fit is for you.

So, whether you have a summer internship at a local nonprofit, a Fortune 500 company, or a local well-respected agency, there are a few steps you can take to lead you on the path of solid, lasting impressions and receive any desired recommendation letters.

Steps to success:

  1. Learn the industries. Whether you are interning for a corporation, nonprofit or agency—read trade publications based on their specialty.
  2. Google yourself. Check your name out on Google—do you like what you see?
  3. Develop your online presence. As an up-and-coming marketing communication or public relations young professional, you should know all the latest trends. So, whether that means starting a website to house portfolio work, a blog to express your personality or photography.
  4. Be presentable. Regardless if you went out the night before, or hit snooze a few too many times, make sure you take time out of your morning to look presentable—hair, face, clothes, etc.
  5. Never say no. You may be working on awesome projects at your internship—but that doesn’t mean you should turn down other opportunities or on-off tasks you may not want to do.
  6. Thank you cards. Whether you just finished up an interview, received mentorship/help throughout your internship, or are finishing up your internship—always prepare a ‘thank you’ card. It is personal, professional, and personal!

Although these steps to success will help you tremendously, you still have to focus on providing good, solid work and helping your team members out wherever you can.

Always go the extra mile, ask questions and work hard and you and your resume will find a good place down the road. 

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