By Tathiana Moise, Vice President of Career Services
You’re studying public relations in the classroom, writing press releases, and building your brand on your social media. You feel like you have a good understanding of how it all works. Now it is time to take the next step towards graduating as a true PR professional: internships.
There are many different decisions to make when looking for an internship. Should you find a summer internship or one during the school year? Will it be paid or unpaid? Once you figure out what you’re looking for in an internship, you send out your custom resume and cover letters. Then once you’ve impressed them with that, the hard part comes: the interview. How will you land the internship?
Here is my list of 10 ways to leave a good impression:
1. Do your research: The company has a sense of who you are based on the information you provided them from your resume. It’s important to show that you know about them too. Take some time to look at their website and social media pages. Find the company’s mission and look at some of the recent work. It’s never a bad thing to drop a few lines about what you read on their website during the interview. More importantly, familiarize yourself with their company and make sure it is a good fit. You never know-it could be your future job.
2. Create a portfolio: Put together your best relevant work. This could include classwork, projects from work, or some of your best social media posts. Create a personalized collection of pieces that shows off your talents and emphasize your strengths.
3. Perfect your elevator pitch: In this quick summary you should express who you are and your goals. You can even throw in why making you their intern is a good choice. The key to delivering the perfect elevator pitch is confidence. So make sure when you state your pitch, your voice and your body language is in firm agreement.
4. Dress up: Try on your outfit the night before. Check that your outfit is stain free and wrinkle free. Look at yourself in full sized mirror from all angles. You want to be sure that you are always showing your best side. Also make sure the outfit is appropriate. Ladies, especially, if you are going to wear a dress or skirt, make sure it fits nicely standing up and sitting down.
5. Arrive 15 minutes early: There is nothing like the first impression. Arriving late will only paint that picture of consistent tardiness. Arrive early and check in to let them know you have arrived. Use these 15 minutes to make sure you’re ready, check your portfolio, and take a mint or two to freshen your breath.
6. Present the best you: Zone in on what you do best. Talk about your greatest accomplishments, in a humble manner, and smile! No one wants to talk to an emotionless drone.
7. Ask questions: Show that you are truly interested in the company and its internship program. Ask how the internship will be supervised and if you will be documenting the work you accomplish during the internship.
8. Say thank you: Courtesy goes a long way. Say thank you in person before you leave. Also send a thank you card or email shortly after the interview.
9. A few things to do after the interview, if you haven’t already: “Like” or follow them on social media, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to start.
10. Follow up: If you haven’t heard back from them in a week, give them a call to let them know you are still interested and waiting on a response. Also, if you have accepted another internship, let them know as a courtesy.
Once you land your internship, take as much in from the experience. Even if you do not end up working for them in the future, the experience you gain will put you ahead for another job.
Photo Credit: Be-prepared to intern.png