An open letter to Interns
By Natasha D’souza
I hope you’re well. Congratulations on landing this position. You have big shoes to fill.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, get creative and break boundaries. After all, you’re communicating with your peers. That’s why we’ll rely on you to come up with new ideas that cut through the noise. Your role is to help us communicate SOCIATE’S mission in a way that’s interesting, innovative and make people pay attention and care.
During your internship, think of this opportunity as a chance to “try on” a new role, or possibly several new roles if you’re given the chance to rotate through different areas of the organization. At SOCIATE we welcome a number interns through the year, and we try hard to help them get the most out of their experience. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of yours:
- Have expectations and manage them. While you may have started out with the simple goal of gaining experience, it’s not too late to list a few specific objectives. These can vary from simple to ambitious — like introducing yourself to at least one new person a day, to learning HootSuite management or presenting a proposal to a group of co-workers. If you don’t seem on track to accomplish your goals, let your manager know you’d like to take on more responsibility. Managers don’t always have a lot of time to manage interns, so it’s up to you to be vocal about what you want.
- Don’t just sit at your desk. You want to stand out as an intern and that’s hard to do if you’re sitting and taking notes! Walk around. Get to know people in different departments. Strike up a conversation in the elevator or kitchen. You never know when you’ll have a conversation with someone who has a need that matches your skill set. We are a small team at SOCIATE but we love lunch option dilemmas and gossip from the latest Netflix series you are watching to an app you are using.
- Network as much as possible. It’s possible the most important thing you’ll walk away with this internship is a network of new professional connections. These contacts can be helpful as future references, mentors or friends. Challenge yourself to a new task every week, if possible. As a communication professional you must know what are the trending topics. Local news and the very latest on the worldwide web.
- Speak up and ask questions. If you don’t understand something, be sure to speak up. You’re an intern and you’re there to learn, so don’t be afraid to ask questions or admit you don’t understand something. Also, curiosity is a highly valued trait and your manager will appreciate your interest in learning more about his or her business. A key thing to remember – NEVER GET ANGRY or DISAPPOINTED AT CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK. You’ll appreciate it at some stage in your career.
- Keep a record of your accomplishments. Every week, jot down your key accomplishments, whether it was sitting in on a call with the vice president of sales, contributing to a report or booking a meeting space. Even if something seems small, it can demonstrate a useful skill, such as knowing how to use Excel. Keep track of those accomplishments, because before you know it time will be gone and you’ll be left wondering exactly what you did for those three months.
So let’s work together. Some of the challenges that await you could include:
– Translating client briefs into press releases, creative story ideas for the media, short videos and visuals for Instagram and Twitter. Bonus points: Something like this would be amazing.
– Help craft a strategy and create content for SOCIATE and our clients on social media channels.
– Discover and write blog topics that will be fresh, exciting and quirky!
– Surprise us and come up with initiatives and ideas we haven’t even thought of yet.
Are you in? If so, send us your CV to email@example.com