So you’ve scored a PR agency internship and you’re ready to put your nose to the grindstone for the next three to six months. Before you jump right into media list building, influencer vetting, and coffee getting (that doesn’t happen too often, I swear!), take the time to build a game plan for how you’ll use this internship to get to the next step – getting a job offer.
The below are my tried and true tips that I implemented as an intern (and have shared with many interns turned AC’s since). While these will likely help, I’d also encourage you to ask your direct teammates for their recommendations – learn how to best support your team, and you’ll be able to tailor your day-to-day work to carve out an opportunity for yourself down the line.
Look for opportunities to help.
Don’t wait around for assignments to be tossed your way. If you notice that your Account Coordinator is swamped, offer to take something off his or her plate – this is music to a busy AC’s ears. Proactively flag an interesting industry article that’s on-trend for a client, paired with a suggestion for how the team could jump on the news moment. During team meetings and client calls, take diligent notes and call out action items that may have been mentioned off hand. For example, if a team member suggests scheduling a brainstorm, be the one to follow up and offer to get it on the books.
Approach problems with solutions in mind.
Feel empowered to ask for additional direction or guidance on projects, but always bring your own idea for solving the problem. An issue presented with a potential solution is always better received by the task manager, and you’re demonstrating your own autonomy and smarts (double win!).
Take it to the next level.
As an intern, I had a sticky note at my desk that said “and then what?” to serve as a reminder that even when I thought the work was done, I could probably add something else of value. Finished your media list early? Go back and add thoughtful pitch angles for each target. Asked to go on a juice run for a client? Make it the best damn juice run anyone’s ever seen.
Ultimately, these three tips point to one overarching goal – become the right hand to your teammates. If you look for opportunities to help, approach problems with solutions in mind, and take your day-to-day responsibilities to the next level, you’ll make yourself an irreplaceable member of the team.
Oh, and one more thing – be friendly and get to know other agency employees outside of the team you directly support. You never know where an opportunity could arise!
Senior Account Executive