Internships 101: Tips for Before, During and After the Internship Experience

Internships 101: Tips for Before, During and After the Internship Experience

The 2014-2015 Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art account team brings a wide variety of internship experience to Allen Hall Public Relations. On our team, we have a UO student ambassador, a Ballet Fantastique intern and a marketing and events intern for Seattle Met Magazine. We know how stressful it can be to find and secure an internship. We wanted to give you our best tips for how to make the internship process a successful experience!

Before:

Here are a few preliminary tips to help you land the internship:

– Do your research before applying or interviewing: Research the company, department, and group you are interviewing for. Displaying knowledge of previous clients shows you care and have put effort into doing research.

– Practice your interviewing skills: While your résumé may say that you are qualified, do your public speaking skills prove it as well?

– Express your gratitude: There is a sweet spot for everything. Within 24 hours, make sure you send your interviewer a quick note for taking time out of their day to speak with you. This will show you appreciate their effort and that you care about their decision.

 

During:

Here are a few things to remember during your time as an intern:

– Manage your time. Having an internship can be time consuming. Especially if you are also going to school or have a job on the side. Make lists and plan things in advance so you don’t get behind. Internships are professional work; your supervisor will expect you to know your time limits and get things done by the deadlines.

– Shout out new ideas. If you think of an idea that would be beneficial to the company or organization, tell someone. Supervisors love to know that you can speak up and that you are actively thinking about the job.

– Ask for help. Internships are for learning, and your supervisor will understand that. If you have a question about how to format a press release or who to call to for a donation, just ask.

– Enjoy it! This is real life experience that you will have for your résumé, portfolio, and talking points during interviews. Have fun and remember, you get out of it what you put in.

 

After:

Here are a few follow-up tips that will allow you to reap the full benefits of your internship:

– Start with a simple ‘thank you’: Remember that not all employers offer internships. Yes, you are doing work for him or her (sometimes unpaid), but most employers are aware that you are there to gain valuable skills, and therefore would like to help you whenever they get the chance. Your supervisor will be very grateful (and impressed) when you provide them with a genuine thank-you card, for allowing you to learn, ask questions and grow as a professional.

– Discuss a reference or recommendation: Before you exit the internship, speak with your supervisors about using them as a future reference and if they would be willing to write a recommendation for you. It is important to have that discussion before leaving, so that your supervisors know that you think highly of them.

– Keep them updated: Connect with your employer on LinkedIn and provide them with any updates you may have as you begin your career. It is important that your supervisor know that they personally contributed to your future success. They also may be able to connect you with other individuals in your field.

 

 

– Megan Connor is a senior at the University of Oregon double majoring in public relations and media studies. Connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter

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