Turning a PR Internship into a Job

Tough to think about Spring this week, but it’s soon upon us! And for many businesses out there—that means the search is on for a Spring intern.

Being an intern in the rapidly changing and fast-paced world of an agency can seem like a tough gig! It can be intimidating for students to come into an agency and be thrown into the fire to get their feet wet on the job! At GRIT, we strive to give our interns a taste of the real world and we can quickly see who rises to the challenge and who struggles to adjust. Consider these quick tips for how to turn an internship into a job offer.

Show up

Showing up is 90 percent of life! Showing up late is disrespectful to the rest of the team your working with no matter what your internship. And if an unexpected emergency takes place that delays your arrival, communicate with the company in advance to tell them about the situation. Life happens but proving you’re reliable and responsible is critical as an intern.

Have a positive attitude

Attitude is everything. We can teach you to write a news release or handle media relations but a positive attitude can’t be taught. We’re a team of high achievers and being an intern with a can-do spirit means you’ll fit right in … as an intern or an employee.

Own your work – even the small projects

Responsibility has to be earned. Focus on completing each job like it is the most important project you’ve ever worked on.  If you can’t show us we can rely on you for the simple tasks, we’re less likely to give you more complex ones. When completing tasks that seem unimportant, always remember if you weren’t doing it, someone else on the team would be. Small tasks are a part of getting work done and there is no room for egos if you’re trying to land a job.

Dress for the job you want

As a company, we have a causal dress policy, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be careful to dress appropriately and ready for any opportunity that may come your way. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. If you do decide to dress more causal, be prepared with a change of clothes in case an unexpected opportunity for a client meeting or event comes your way. And always dress appropriately even if going business causal.

Need a new project – ask for it

Keeping an intern supplied with projects is a job in itself sometimes. Keep your supervisor updated on your progress on all projects and if you need more to do, just ask for it! Many supervisors are so busy that they don’t have time to track you down to ask if you need more work. Make their job easier by making yourself available.

Put the phone away

Keep your cell phone on silent and away for emergencies only. Your internship is not the time to take a causal phone call or text a friend. Remove the temptation completely so you can focus on the job at hand.

Avoid social media (and doing your homework on company time)

Social media is a great tool that we often use in our industry but if you’re not using social media for an approved project, then you shouldn’t be on it during your internship hours. Save updating your Facebook profile and checking your friends’ status until after your internship is complete for the day. That goes for homework as well. You aren’t getting paid to do class work on company time so please don’t.

Seize new opportunities

Does getting up a 4 AM for early morning live TV shots not interest you? Then public relations may not be the industry for you. When offered an opportunity to have a shadowing experience involving a client and media, successful interns jump at the opportunity even in the early morning hours! Sometimes early mornings are a part of the job and turning down an opportunity because you need more sleep tells us one thing – you don’t want to work in PR badly enough.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Your number one goal during an internship is to learn! Don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know and ask clarifying questions. The best interns act like sponges and soak up every opportunity to learn more about the industry.

Visit other Departments

GRIT is a full service agency. Take advantage of all the experts that surround you each day. Your internship at an agency is an opportunity to learn about design, strategic planning, advertising and more! Through your experience, you may find your passion lies in a different department. At the very least, you’ll learn how to work with experts from all aspects of the business.

Are you interested in being our next GRIT public Relations intern? Contact us!