For many college and high school students, early spring is the time to apply for a summer internship. As Co-Communications is busy culling through many great internship applications for our New York PR offices and Connecticut PR office, we wanted to take a moment to offer some tips for college students seeking internships:
Tailor Your Application to the Position
As marketers and PR professionals, we want to know not only what you want from an internship – we want to know why you want this internship. Whether we work with clients and causes you are personally passionate about, specialize in a specific type of marketing or public relations area that you are eager to learn more about, or you know prior Co-Communications interns who recommended you apply, tell us in your cover letter. While you may have read articles debating whether or not the cover letter is dead, I’m here to tell you that a personal note goes a long way. Cover letters help your potential agency understand both why you are interested in the opportunity and what skills and expertise you will bring to the position.
Do Your Homework
Before you apply for a PR/marketing internship, research the company to which you are applying. This may entail visiting the company’s website, looking at the company’s social media channels, conducting online searches for the company, and contacting people in your LinkedIn network who have interned with or worked for the company. Doing your homework will help you write your cover letter and ensure you are prepared for a possible interview – be it by phone or in-person. It will also ensure that you…
Come Prepared with Questions
While it is important for us, as a PR/marketing agency, to find interns who are strong fits in both skills and company culture, it is equally important for you, as an intern, to find an opportunity that is aligned with your skills, interests, and aptitudes. That said, an interview is just as important an opportunity for us to learn more about you as it is for you to learn more about us. We want to know that the interns we select are curious about our company, our clients, and the work that we do. We also want to know that you are deeply invested in finding an opportunity that will prepare you for your career.
Know What You Want to Take Away from the Experience
While we do our best as marketers and PR professionals to expose interns to a wide range of clients and industry facets, we encourage our interns to let us know what they want to learn during their internship – be it media relations skills, social media campaigns, or inbound marketing. When you know – and we know – what you are passionate about learning, we can work together to develop an internship program that is a win-win for everyone.
Ask for Feedback
Whether you get your dream internship or not, feedback is important for helping you grow as a communications professional. If you secure an internship, request feedback on individual projects and tasks. At the end of your internship, many firms will offer you a debrief interview where you can recap your experience. This is an important opportunity for you to learn where you excelled – and how you can improve. It is also an important opportunity for your internship host to learn what you loved, what you liked, and what would have made the experience a better opportunity. If you do not score the internship you dreamed of, do not be discouraged. Use the news as an opportunity to obtain feedback and learn why the opportunity was offered to another internship applicant.
PR internships are a great opportunity for students to hone their skills and prepare for their future careers in the communications industry. As you prepare to apply for an internship, remembering these five tips will help package yourself to secure your optimal internship opportunity.
If you’re interested in interning at Co-Communications, contact us for additional information. If you’re interested in personal branding tips to help you prepare for your future internship, check out company president Stacey Cohen’s recent article on personal branding, as seen in Westchester County Business Journal.