Porter Novelli Intern Blog | PR Internships

How to leave a footprint at your internship… and in the hearts of your colleagues

Picture credit: wandee007 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Okay, so the title’s a little cheesy. I’m here to provide tips on creating an impact at your internship that will stick even after you leave. In this economy, the best you can hope for is that you leave your boss and colleagues impressed with:

  1. Your work.
  2. Your skills.
  3. Your (smiling) face. 

Here are some tips from me (and from my role models and fellow PN colleagues) that I have already used and plan to take with me as I swim into the sea of real-world public relations.

  • Be friendly to everyone in the office, even those you don’t know. Introduce yourself.  Ask them about their job and background. It’s an easy way to get to know people and build relationships.
  • Get connected on LinkedIn with your co-workers. That way, after you leave your internship, you still have an easy way to contact them. Plus, if you keep your resume section updated, they’ll see what you’re up to.
  • Ask different co-workers out for coffee.  When I found out a few of my co-workers had a Spanish background, I asked each of them to coffee. They explained to me how they found a niche for Spanish in each job they had- and that was inspiring.  If somebody has a similar background as you, they’re likely a goldmine for information on how to use your skills in specialty areas.
  • Get career advice from somebody at the top of the heap. Even if it’s a quick 15 minutes in their office, speaking to execs that have worldly experience may be the best decision you’ve made yet. Be sure to write up questions beforehand and talk them over with your advisor.
  • Be open to doing anything and everything, even if it’s not something you’d list as a hobby, and pay close attention to detail. As my former boss said, “the devil is in the detail”. The small things you do will make a BIG difference in the end.
  • Stay in touch with your boss and colleagues after you leave. Making lasting connections gets you places. And be sure to write (hand-written, Millenials!) thank-you cards before you walk out the door.

To close off my advice saga, I’d like to relay some advice from some of the brightest public relations professionals I know:  Remember to always keep yourself one step ahead of the game, stay flexible, and don’t singlehandedly try to cure cancer. Just talk about it like a pro.

- Rachel Krasnow