It’s nearing the end of the university year, everyone’s unwinding and chilling out – but you’ve bagged yourself an internship. PANIC? No! We’ve got some tips to help you prepare for your internship in PR in a calm and collected manner (…yes that is possible!)
1. Stay confident: The excitement about starting an internship can quickly transform into terror the closer you get to your start date. The pressure of moving from theory based coursework and exam revision to actually DOING THE JOB is pretty huge.
While we’re told that PR is vocational, and that learning on the job is essential – remember that you have studied for this! You’re not starting blind, you’ve likely been taught by PR practitioners, and you’ve kept up to date on recent PR trends – so you know something.
Don’t panic, stay confident. A quiet confidence is key to getting you through (at least) the first week of an internship.
2. Accept that you’re out of your depth: “You’re entering the real world now, it’s not just fun and games anymore!” You’ll probably hear this a few times – I did. I would tend to disagree – any job can be ‘fun and games’ if you want it to be.
However, what I did take from this is that it’s a whole new experience. It’s a new ‘world’ and yes, I am out of my depth. Sometimes the best way to deal with that is to acknowledge it. Don’t assume, or pretend, that you’ll be able to do everything or that you’ll understand everything.
Try your best with everything, but accept from the beginning that this is new to you and you’ll need help and guidance in some things.
No one likes a know-it-all anyway…
3. Be willing to learn: While it’s great to acknowledge your strengths, it’s absolutely vital in PR that you’re willing to learn new things. PR is changing at the speed of lightning. There are new ideas and approaches discovered daily, so know that you’re getting yourself into an environment where you’ll be forced into constant learning. Use your strengths where you can, but research and learn new things as you go.
4. Get to know yourself: Before an internship, it’s good to look back on what type of experience you’ve had before. Make a list of the things you’ve done in the past, and recognise what you’re good at. This will help you to become more confident in your strengths!
5. Give yourself a pat on the back: Lastly – applaud yourself! The PR industry is thriving. Growth is constant and it’s a very competitive sector, but you’ve gained a space!
Jump straight in, give a lot, learn a lot and enjoy!