Last week, I started an internship at a full service PR agency in London called The PHA Group. I am interning in their Strategic Communications team, a small team of 6 with a great range of clients. This was not my first PR internship but it has been a few months since my last one. I was a little nervous walking into an agency I didn’t know (I’m sure everyone is), but everyone at PHA was so welcoming and I got stuck in to ‘real work’ on my first day.
It can be difficult to settle in to a working environment when you’re new and inexperienced. But doing internships is a great way to gain vital industry knowledge, grow your contacts and get a feel or a taste for the industry. I am always a little nervous in new environments but without a doubt, PHA made me feel right at home.
After my first week, I thought that I would put a little list of tips on how to get the most out of an internship, partly for my own benefit, but I hope it’s useful to anyone starting an internship in the future!
- The first thing that I would always recommend when doing an internship is to ask questions! Whether this is a question about the work that you’re doing or just a general question about PR or the industry, it is always worth asking the question. A side note of this point, and something that I have been told off for this week is saying sorry! As I have been told many times this week, no question is a stupid question!
- My second tip is to talk to people as much as possible. Whether this is networking at work or going out with the team after work on a Friday, this is your opportunity to gain incredible insight into the industry and grow that vital network of contacts! When you start talking to your colleagues, you’ll find that you have a lot in common, and from this not only networks but valuable friendships start to grow.
- Tip number 3 is to keep a log of everything you do. This might sound a little over-the-top but I always write down everything that I do in my internship. This way, I have a log of everything that I have learnt, everything that I have done and when I undoubtedly forget, I can refer back to it in future. Keeping a notebook with you at all times will serve you so well. Write down everything that people ask you to do, I assure you it will be the greatest help. If you do this, you will have a perfect diary to call upon in your next interview that documents everything that you did and what you can bring to a potential job in future.
- My last point is just to relax and enjoy it. If you are stressed and worried, you just won’t get the most out of the opportunity. I am a worrier, and I am guilty of this trait, but it really makes a huge difference when you just relax and try your best.
I hope that these tips are useful for anyone starting out at an internship, they really are what you make of them and they can lead to great opportunities in future!