The quality of an internship does not rest solely upon the employer; it's a two-way street. The more you do and the harder you work, the more you will get out of your experience. That's only one thing I've learned from my internship at Morrissey & Co
As my internship comes to a close, here's what I've learned over the past eight months.
When you can, ask for more work.
You can help direct the success by always offering to help your co-workers and supervisors. They may simply be so accustomed to completing certain projects that they don't realize they could give it to someone else. When you realize your plate is empty (well, empty enough), send an email to your team or supervisor asking whether they need assistance. Even if they don't have anything for you to work on at the time, they will certainly appreciate your proactive approach.
Be open to criticism; it can help you improve.
You have to be willing to accept criticism and to work on improving your skills. You might think you can write an awesome press release, but when your supervisor returns it with critical comments, take the critique to heart, but don't take it personally. Carefully read the corrections, recognize the mistakes you made, and find ways to improve.
Eat lunch with your co-workers.
It's so simple, but many interns may not realize how important it is to connect with co-workers on a casual level. Taking a half-hour break during the day is necessary, so why not spend it with people who can offer advice and share stories about the industry you're interested in?
Get a mentor.
Speaking of lunch buddies, use your co-workers as mentors. In any industry, it's important to find someone who has similar interests and is willing to help you in the professional world. This meaningful connection can last long after your internship ends.
Find ways to help your place of work.
Once you've settled in and have a better idea of what your projects will be, figure out ways to help the organization you're working at. For example, contribute to social media efforts by offering to post updates on its social media channels. If your company has a blog, ask to write an entry. Helping your place of work will also gain you experience.
I've had a wonderful PR internship experience. Yours may have been completely different. With whom did you eat lunch? Have you found a mentor? I'd love to know.