Five tips for the first week of an internship – Laine Dannemiller

After spending months networking, tailoring resumes, writing cover letters, and interviewing, college students across the country have accepted internships that will jumpstart their careers. However, after getting that dream internship, how can students ensure that they’ll thrive in their position? Well, any PR professional knows that first impressions matter, and the first week of any job can be the beginning of a career changing experience. So, here are five tips to help college students navigate their first week of any internship and be a star for the rest of the summer:

1. Ask questions

There is a reason why organizations have orientation for their interns! This a great opportunity to ask questions about different programs within the organization, any platforms you’ll be using daily, and to show curiosity. Asking questions is also the best way to learn. Keep this inquisitive attitude throughout the internship!

2. Introduce yourself

One of the best parts of having an internship is being able to easily connect with professionals. Setting up quick one-on-ones with people is a great way for an intern to make themselves known and potentially gain more experience out of an internship. For example, if someone has a PR internship but really wants to learn more about strategy, then reaching out to an account planner or strategist to express interest can lead to getting assigned more strategy work.

3. Ask what you can be doing

Sometimes the first week of an internship can be slow. If an intern finds themself in this situation, then the best thing to do is to email their supervisor and ask what they can help with. This shows an eagerness to learn, a sense of responsibility, and motivation.

4. Reach out to other interns

Although in-person internships are coming back again, many are still remote. If an internship is remote, then reaching out to other interns can be a great way to build a sense of community and will be helpful as the internship goes on. In-person interns might have an easier time connecting with one another, but should still make sure to build those relationships!

5. Be yourself

Remember submitting that amazing cover letter the hiring manager loved? Organizations don’t just hire someone because they meet all the credentials. Being yourself is essential for thriving in an internship – especially in PR and advertising. A great organization doesn’t want their employees to dim their lights for a job, so remember to keep being authentically you!

Laine Dannemiller is a senior studying strategic communication at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. She serves as the Executive Vice President of Scripps PRSSA. Connect with her on LinkedIn here and Twitter here.

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