What did you do with your summer internship?

Now that we have blown past the Labor Day holiday, summer is unofficially over.  From the look of the tweets of those I follow on Twitter, posts on Facebook and those I talk with in person, folks gained a ton of knowledge and experience from their summer internships.

Whether you travelled hundreds of miles or worked ungodly hours, you (hopefully) learned a few things. But what did you REALLY learn? Will you apply the skills you picked up this summer or just forget all about it?

Here are a five suggestions to make sure you don’t lose all that valuable experience.

1. Keep in touch with your internship leaders. Drop a line and ask about getting together for lunch or just touch base to keep your name fresh in their heads. I’m not talking about bugging them about possible openings every other week, though.  Do ask for advice about your resume, cover letter, etc. Keep the lines of communications open.

2. Compile your work and add it to the portfolio. If you were asked to work on a specific part of a project, then put it to your portfolio.  Make certain you include the finished product to show your contributions on a wider scale.  When it comes time for that first official job interview, you want to show a prospective employer that you’ve got what it takes!

3. Practice what was preached. You certainly learned more of what to do and not to do in public relations and marketing.  Don’t just sit on it, apply it.  If you don’t blog, start one.  Not involved in your school’s PRSSA chapter? Join. The only way you’ll continue to hone your skills is if you stay active and grow as a practitioner.

4. Be active in Twitter chats. This may be a given for many, but if you are an aspiring PR/marketing pro, you need to join in on these valuable chats. There’s #U30Pro, #PRStudChat, and #journchat to name a few.  There are many current pros who take part and they are more than happy to offer advice and guidance.

5. Finish strong! PR and marketing pros never get anywhere by just giving 50%.  Whether you are a junior or senior (freshmen and sophomores, too), your grades are of the utmost importance.  I’m always impressed when I see a new grad’s resume with wonderful experience AND good grades.  It shows the prospective employer that you have both book and job smarts.  Keep that in mind.

Don’t just take what you did this summer and pass it off as “just credits.” That internship could just lead to your first gig.  It did for me.

What advice would you offer? Let me know in the comments section.

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About JasMollica

"It's never too late to have a life and it's never too late to change one." That's something I tell students, friends, and family all the time. After living and working in New York City, I took my own advice in 2004, switched my career from the television/radio industry and got into public relations. Now, I spend my days as a PR/social media marketing consultant and get inspired daily. It's been a good ride, so far. But the car has plenty of gas left. I hope you'll join along in this guy's journey!

Posted on September 7, 2010, in Hot Topic, Inspiration, Job Search, Public Relations, Social Media, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Jason –
    Rather than internship-specific, I read this post as the typical grammar school essay, what did you do on your summer vacation? It makes me think how this time of year is great for reflecting on past experiences and accomplishments, regardless of experience level. I’m currently working on a blog post about how I was invited to speak at my alma mater on all things PR. I firmly believe in tip #3 – the only way to succeed is to fully immerse yourself in the industry. And without a PR major, I had to find the opportunities to gain that exposure. I’m looking forward to spilling my secrets to the students who will be following along as pros in no time at all.

    -Stephanie
    @StephanieFlo

    • Thanks for your take Stephanie! I’m glad you went in the direction you did with your comment.
      I think it’s great you are giving back to your alma mater. I can’t wait to read the blog post on it!

      Jason

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention What did you do with your summer internship? « One Guy's Journey -- Topsy.com

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