Written by Karim Mohamed • Published 07th May 2015
University students and graduates are always on the lookout for internships, to gain that invaluable work experience that university simply cannot teach you. Having been successful in gaining an internship in my first year at university, in a fast-paced public relations agency in the heart of London, here are my top five tips on succeeding as an intern.
Show drive and willing
Before starting my internship I received one piece of advice from a university lecturer, which I believe will help any intern stand out from all the previous interns. ‘Go into the workplace hungry but humble’ with a smile on your face and happy to take on everything and anything. This will be sure to get you noticed around the office – too many interns feel they have some sanctimonious right to be involved in all of the exciting projects.
Reality check: you have to prove that you are good enough to be involved in the exciting projects, by making sure every task you are given, however small, is carried out to the best of your ability.
I have had the opportunity to get involved in countless tasks during my time as an intern. I have created numerous media lists and have been a little media detective looking for celebrities, agents or managers’ contact information. I really enjoy doing this, and to some extent have become an expert at creating them now.
Get our your comfort zone
Always attempt to do any tasks even if you are not confident with them. I have to be honest, press releases are not my strongest point but I was hungry to learn how to get better at writing them and have now written a number of during my time at PHA. It’s true what they say, you only get better with practice.
Use existing skills
Don’t be afraid to offer help in tasks that you feel you are capable of doing well; I have a background in film editing, and I offered to edit a video that needed doing. This saved time for my colleagues to get on with other tasks that needed completing – plus it feels particularly rewarding knowing the skills you already have can be applied professionally.
Spend time with your colleagues outside of work
Finally, socialising and getting to know your colleagues is not only imperative, but actually really fun. People can be completely different as they are in work mode, but everyone is a lot more relaxed outside of a work setting. This is also a great opportunity for your colleagues to get to know more about you, and for you to leave your mark so you are not forgotten.