Your polished resume may be a thing of beauty, but is your resume more than a pretty face? While academic experience is invaluable, in today’s job market, it is important that it’s coupled with real work experience. That combination will help you to stand out as a job candidate. Securing an internship is a huge accomplishment for your academic and professional career. What’s even better is kicking @$$ at your internship is how you can stand out as an asset to your company.

As a returning SHIFTern there are few key takeaways I’ve learned about rocking an internship:

Be Competitive with Yourself.
Competition exists in every industry but don’t fixate on what other interns or candidates are doing. Compete with yourself. Go through your daily to-dos and re-evaluate where you can improve and make those adjustments a priority for the next day. This technique can help you better prioritize your time so you can learn more and do more than you did the day before. Immersing yourself in a team environment like SHIFT provides a unique opportunity to work alongside talented PR professionals while simultaneously embracing personal growth. Strive to perform above the status quo and you will always differentiate yourself from the pack – internally and externally.

Always Harbor a Positive Mindset.
Attitude can have a significant impact on work quality. If you come into the office tired, sluggish and exhausted, not only will it reflect in your work, but it will also bring negative vibes on your team. As an employee, you own a certain part of a project and the quality of that deliverable is a direct reflection on the SHIFT brand. Always strive for exemplary work – you’re representing the SHIFT image!

Tap your Network.
Employee relations are an essential part of your internship experience. Meeting an office full of multi-faceted PR professionals gives SHIFTerns the ability to learn and leverage knowledge from different fields. Taking the time to connect with a coworker will not only make work a fun place to be, but it will also give you more resources for your post-graduation career. SHIFT has four offices (Boston, New York, Austin and San Francisco): That’s quadruple the connections! Be a sponge, learn through osmosis and always feel empowered to make connections!

Make an Impression.
While this may seem a little odd or atypical, in the SHIFT community, it is quite the norm. Be bold and ask questions, speak up in your team meetings, highlight things that you think are valuable and pass them on to your coworkers. Keep in mind that everyone is willing to help. The point is: If you’re looking for the square peg-square in the square-hole hole experience, you’re doing yourself a disservice and moreover, you’re not going to embrace the SHIFT mantra of differentiation. Be fearless, think big, and create a legacy to leave behind so you’re unforgettable.

To be a kick@$$ intern you should start your everyday with an eagerness to learn, to connect, and to contribute to your teams; you’ll be a SHIFTern rockstar!

Brittany Joyal
Senior Account Executive (Previously PR Intern on the consumer team)

This post was originally published in July 1, 2014, updated in February 13, 2018


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