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



I’m Rachel Krasnow, and it’s a pleasure to say I’ve been working as the Health and Social Marketing intern at PN’s DC office for the past 10 weeks.  Time flies when you’re having fun… and working hard!  Although my internship officially ends in one week, I’ve got to a lot to say about my experience here.  At PN this summer, we’ve had a lot of laughs, a giant 6 foot map placed on my boss’ wall and the presence of Congress arguing about the debt ceiling just minutes away.


BACKGROUND: This fall, I’ll be a senior double major in Spanish and Journalism at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.  I’m from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and as you can see, I went from one Big Ten school to the other.  I’ve always loved to write- I began as a reporter at my college newspaper and gradually ‘crossed over’ to the other side.  I realized after interning at a public relations agency last summer that this is what I really want to do.

WHAT I LOVE: PORTER NOVELLI – that’s obvious, though.  I love my internship and the people I work with.  This has been the best working experience of my life, hands down.  Outside of work, I love to sing, write, dance and listen to good music (I’m an “old soul” according to one of my PN colleagues).  I like doing the right thing—which means spreading awareness on the diagnosis and treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Medicare’s preventive services is right up my alley!

WHAT I DON’T LOVE: Not being busy and impatient journalists.

MY DREAM:  I want to work in public relations while utilizing my Spanish, communications skills and passion for human rights.


  1. I’m right in the midst of the nation’s capital. This means there is NEVER a dull moment.
  2. My HSM team, Kendra Kojcsich, Ken Sain, Rosy McGillan and Laura Hanssen are all AMAZING professionals (and fabulous role models).
  3. In the process of two and half months, I learned about 124673 different things.  I’ve seen how ‘real life’ public relations work.  I shook Michele Bachmann’s hand.  I’ve networked a LOT.  I’ve become an acronym expert: I know what RFP, DLD, NHLBI, COPD, CMS, HHS, SFI, IDIQ mean.  Most importantly, I’ve worked with talented professionals in the field, gotten valuable career advice, and have seen what it’s like to work at an award-winning public relations agency.

Look for my future posts as I share the wealth from DC!

-Rachel Krasnow