As a relatively new intern at Linhart Public Relations, I had the opportunity last month to attend Inside Scoop – our firm’s quarterly information session for any students, recent graduates and career changers to learn more about working at communication agencies and the local PR landscape. While I sat in on the session, I ended up being the target of a surprising amount of attendee questions, almost all of which were about our firm’s full-time, paid internship program.
One question stood out above the others: “What does a typical day look like for you as an intern?”
I wished that I had been able to ask a current intern this same question when I applied to the program. That’s why my fellow Linhart PR intern Marie Gillcrist and I decided to provide some answers. Why not get into the nitty-gritty of the internship and offer the inside scoop at how we support the team every day? Better yet, why not turn it into a two-part blog?
So, for all those January Inside Scoop attendees or post-grads looking to start a career in PR, I present to you part one of our intern series: “What to expect from Linhart PR’s internship program.” (Stay tuned for part two, where Marie will give three tips for learning a new skill.)
A day in the life
There are two things I try to do every morning before anything else: Check my email and make a to-do list for the day. This is a great way to start the morning, as it ensures I’m staying on top of everything while also prioritizing my time.
Next, I tackle the most urgent project on my list, which could be a variety of things. One of my favorite parts about being a Linhart PR intern is the variety. I have an opportunity to support our team and clients wherever help is needed. (Quick intern tip: say yes to everything if you can.) That way, I’m getting a taste of all sorts of projects and am not limited to just one or two clients or industries. This isn’t to say I don’t work with certain clients more than others, and the same goes for Marie. But the variety gives us an opportunity to learn a little bit about all of Linhart PR’s clients while getting a deeper understanding of those we support more consistently.
While my to-do lists look different every day, my tasks (as well as Marie’s) always fall under a few core responsibilities; these include media relations, research, writing and measurement/reporting.
It’s important to acknowledge that these are real responsibilities. We’re definitely not just getting coffee or organizing papers. We’re tasked with projects – some only lasting an hour, others lasting weeks – that are genuinely necessary to achieve an end goal for the client. Whether it’s monitoring news for an energy client every day or pitching a local or national assignment editor about a new restaurant opening, what we’re doing really makes a difference for our clients. I think that’s one of the coolest takeaways so far in the internship: PR truly has an impact, and I’m helping prove that even as an intern.
So, to really answer the question “What does a typical day look like for you as an intern?” – there really is no typical day. Sometimes you’ll head into the day with a clear list of to-do’s, while other times you’ll open up your email to find requests to take on three different projects you didn’t even know were in the works.
You never quite know what to expect, which is the most exciting part. The key to succeeding as an intern is embracing the variety, rolling with the punches, and learning on the go (while continuing to apply those learnings in the future). If you want to read more about that last point, be on the lookout for part two of the Linhart PR intern series. And, if you want to attend Inside Scoop, you can check out the schedule and register for an upcoming session here: http://www.linhartpr.com/careers/.