Last week I finished my internship with CommsCo, where the team took me under its wing for three weeks and showed me the ropes of PR in a professional environment. I’ve interned elsewhere for longer periods, but nowhere has taught me more in such a short time. It’s been educational, exciting, and engaging in equal measure – for anyone in my position considering applying for some PR experience themselves, I definitely recommend it. Here are just three reasons why:
An internship can help kickstart your career
Students and young professionals are increasingly aware that a degree alone often isn’t enough when entering the job market. Companies now look at how candidates can demonstrate roles of responsibility and work experience when making their hiring decisions. So, for those wanting to enter particularly competitive industries, a useful internship can be worth its weight in gold.
The work I’ve done with CommsCo has allowed me to learn from industry professionals and take on work that I would never have had the chance to at university. Going forward, I can say that I have real-life experience, whether that’s putting together a research document on blockchain or designing a presentation for the senior team. Hands-on really is best.
…and build your confidence in the workplace…
During the interview process with CommsCo and for my first couple of days, I was definitely nervous and anxious about what lay ahead. After all, I’d never done ‘proper’ PR before. But the CommsCo team made me feel very welcome and were happy to answer my questions to make sure I understood what I was doing and why. And I wasn’t just stuck making tea or scanning documents!
A good working environment is integral to your job because, if you don’t enjoy being there, you won’t want to excel at it. An internship gives you the chance to ask questions, observe and learn in a way you can’t necessarily do as a full-time employee. Being comfortable at CommsCo allowed me to improve my skills and excel at my work without feeling under pressure.
Ultimately, good interns can really impress when they begin a permanent role because they’re quick to learn and better equipped than many of their peers that have not completed an internship.
…with opportunities there for the taking!
Each Thursday at CommsCo is ‘Training Thursday’. One person runs a half-hour training session aimed at teaching everyone something new that will be helpful to us all when it comes to PR. During my internship, one of the account managers, Ed, ran a session on organising and managing a Twitter Chat. Another manager, Leah, ran through the different personality types that make up an office and how to make the most out of everyone’s strengths. (I’m a ‘Commander’, by the way).
Doing an internship allows you the chance of learning from professionals in an industry that interests you, and for me it is really rewarding to have been able to work with CommsCo. It’s especially encouraging to know that two of the team actually came through CommsCo’s internship scheme to land full time roles. I’d encourage those with an interest to get stuck in to an internship (or three) while they have the chance; it can only be good for your future prospects.