Updated: Jul 13
The Importance of Completing an Internship By Claudia Bolger, Intern at Straight Up PR from 1st February – 28th February 2019
Learning the fundamentals of PR and Communications at university provides students with an understanding of the industry and equips them with the skills to write, analyse data and think strategically. However, completing an internship provides students with the opportunity to gain real world and hands on experience in an office and team environment and gain exposure to the full gamut that the communications industry has to offer.
I recently completed an internship at Straight Up PR, a full service communications and talent agency who spread trusted health and wellbeing messages to all of Australia and New Zealand. My time throughout the 1-month internship was truly an enjoyable and invaluable experience. I had the chance to work on a range of tasks across different client and talent accounts. I wrote Media Releases, prepared client send outs and even assisted with a product launch event. By working closely with the team, I was able to absorb all the information around me, gain exposure into agency life, ask curious questions, and work on real world campaigns.
If you’re considering doing an internship, here are my four tips before starting out:
1. Apply for an internship at a company you’re interested in Applying for an internship at a company that is of genuine interest to you is imperative. Personally, I’m passionate about living a healthy and active lifestyle, which is why Straight Up PR was a top choice for me. Straight Up PR practice what their clients preach and truly live and breathe health and wellness. I was thrilled at the chance of working with a team that is hardworking, passionate, authentic and most importantly, they love what they do.
2. Have a positive attitude It’s essential to have a positive attitude and give everything a go. At first, some tasks may seem a bit daunting, but the best way to learn is by diving straight into the deep end and trying your best to undertake any task that’s thrown your way. This was my approach whilst interning, which allowed me to make the most out of my first full-time role experience and tackle hard tasks without getting too overwhelmed.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions No question is a silly question. Putting your hand up if you’re struggling with a task or need further explanation is one of the best ways to get the most out of your internship. In my experience, I found that by asking observational questions about the daily activities of the team and being curious about why they do what they do, allowed me to gain a deeper understanding into how an agency or business operates.
4. Be prepared to not just be getting teas and coffees
Before completing my internship, I was skeptical about how much exposure into the industry I was going to gain. You often hear about interns only doing small office tasks or getting coffees. But interning at a credible business or agency is so much more than doing coffee runs. My daily tasks at Straight Up PR included updating Master Media Lists, creating Influencer gifting lists, packaging and sending out Influencer deliveries, writing Biography’s and Media Releases and assisting with the planning of events. Be prepared to work hard, give everything a go and complete tasks you’ve never done before.
Interning at Straight Up PR was an amazing opportunity. The team was supportive, energetic and a pleasure to work alongside. I learnt so much in my short time with the team, and it will be an experience that will stay with me forever. The most valuable thing for me, was the time and patience that the team took to introduce me to all of the client and talent accounts, run me through the day-to-day tasks and provide further explanation whenever I needed it. I instantly felt part of the team. I now have the confidence and drive to complete my university degree and get straight into the workforce!