Dear future interns,
Dear future interns,
It’s the time of year when we receive many new internship candidates’ resumes, inquiring about how they can gain valuable industry experience while boosting their college credits. Please know we read every resume we receive, and we reach out to those applicants we feel will serve as the best asset to our team.
With that said, we wanted to put together a list of Do’s and Don’ts that might help you not only land a position, but succeed once you’re there. Regardless of whether or not you pursue this line of work after graduation, leaving a positive legacy with your managers is a great way to build your roster of professional references once you’re out in the real world. (Trust us when we tell you, you need these. Future employers WILL call your references to inquire about your past work history).
So without further ado…
DO customize your resume and cover letter specifically for the company to which you’re applying. Try to have some sort of familiarity with what we do (we put a lot of information on our website, blog and social media channels). Sending us an obvious mass email with no indication you even went to our website is not likely to warrant a phone call back from us.
If you followed the advice above, DO anticipate a phone call from us. Which means, DON’T answer the phone if you’re:
B) out partying
C) not in a position to participate in a phone interview with us. As soon as you answer the phone, you’re technically in an interview situation. Treat it as such, with professionalism and enthusiasm.
If you’re invited into our office for a second interview, we’re excited to meet you! We don’t expect you to know everything about public relations coming in – that’s what internships are for, to help you learn!
But we DO want you to want to learn about our business, to be curious, to be interested. Contrary to what some candidates think, you’re here to help us, not the other way around. That might sound harsh, but this is the real world – and you might as well hear it now. Ask how you can help our team, and we in turn will gladly show you the ropes.
If you clear those hurdles and land the job, CONGRATULATIONS! You’re on your way to growing your professional skill set. But don’t slack off now. Now the work starts. You’ll be thrown a lot of projects at once, many with time sensitive deadlines. You’ll report to several different people, with different personality types. You might feel overwhelmed or frustrated at all of the information coming your way. You might also feel excited about all of the new stuff you’re learning. It’s okay to feel all of these things – we still feel like this most of the time! It’s normal – we want you to ask questions and learn.
But we also want you to THINK. You’re a college student! You’re successful and smart enough to make decisions. We’re going to challenge you to do that. Have an idea about a project you’re working on to make it better? Let us know! Everyone from the intern on up plays a huge role in generating and implementing new ideas around here. We want to hear what you’re thinking.
DO be professional and honor your commitments. This is a place of business. We have real clients we report to, that pay us real money. We take an enormous amount of pride in making sure we provide the highest level of service to them. As an intern, you will play a key role in contributing to client projects.
So if you sign on for a three-month internship, we expect you to honor that. What if you don’t like it? What if you get another job? Refer back to the second paragraph in this post. Flaking out on an internship is a sure way to burn any future references you might need from us. It’s an internship, it’s not forever. Even if you don’t want to do this job when you’re out of school, you should still fulfill your obligation, do your best work and learn from the experience. And finish your position with grace and dignity.
DON’T put anything in writing – whether that be an email or text – that you wouldn’t want to see plastered all over social media for everyone and your grandmother to see. We had an intern quit recently (unexpectedly, might we add, leaving us in a real bind). She then proceeded to email AND text us quite a nasty-gram. That was silly. Emails and texts can last forever. They can be forwarded to people. They can ruin your reputation. If you have something to say, don’t hide behind your email, and certainly don’t put something in writing you don’t want to come back to haunt you.
DO be a sponge throughout your internship. Learn as much as you can. Participate in meetings. Ask questions. Smile. Get to know your co-workers. Enjoy the experience. Work hard. And use it to help guide your career goals.
We hope these tips are helpful to you, and we wish you the best of luck.
the Full Circle Public Relations team (and maybe your future employers)
PS: if you think you have what it takes to be part of our team, want to work on some really incredible projects and work alongside the best PR team in the business, we’re hiring for a full-time summer internship position in Greenville, SC! Click the link to learn more: http://www.fullcirclepr.com/2015/03/attention-college-students-summer-internship-available-at-full-circle-pr/