footprints forum: What would you teach an intern?

The focus of this blog has always been to help students and young professionals create a successful career in public relations. The advice offered on footprints (up to now) has exclusively been my own, but I’ve realized that must change immediately. The vast network this blog has created is filled with great questions, insightful opinions and solid entry-level experience — all of which can help my target achieve their goals.

This is where I turn to my readers to share their experiences and counsel, beginning with this thought-starter:

From your experience, what is the ONE thing you would teach an intern?

Some of the best talent in the industry has already answered that question. I’d like to offer a BIG thanks to those who participated. For those reading, you would truly benefit by following their advice.

Sarah Evans | @PRSarahEvans

PR and social media expert. Founded #journchat, the weekly industry live chat between PR professionals, journalists and bloggers on Twitter.
“Don’t the let the title of intern diminish your importance. Too many times I’ve heard, ‘Oh, I’m just an intern.’ You have value!”

Heather Huhman | @HeatherHuhman

Career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder of content marketing/PR firm @ComeRecommended.
“Be a sponge — take in as much knowledge as possible from everyone around you.”

Philip Tate | @PhilipTater

Charlotte PRSA 2010 Infinity Award recipient.  Serves as treasurer on the national board of directors for PRSA.
“Take every opportunity to be curious.”

Kevin Saghy | @CredibleKev

PR and Marketing Specialist, Chicago Cubs. Former PRSSA National President.
“Handle the basics with a good attitude. More responsibility will come your way if people can trust you to handle assigned tasks and you’re enjoyable to work with.”

Kelsey Cox | @KelseyPaige

Rising young professional in PR/Social Media. Former PRSSA FORUM Assistant Editor / local Chapter President.
“Put forth consistent effort and embrace emerging challenges. Don’t be afraid to share what you’ve learned. Approach your managers with measured confidence in speaking, presenting and in everyday conversation. Above all else, retain what you learn and soak up any bit of knowledge you can. You’ll be able to use your experiences in your future career.”

My Word | @RyanMcShane

Enter the internship prepared. Work with your supervisors to establish benchmarks. Both sides should determine what a successful internship looks like and work together during the program to achieve those goals.

Your Word

Submit your comment below, email me or tweet @ryanmcshane to be a part of this living post. 

Kristin Ellertson | @KEllertson
“Enjoy the experience and learn as much as you can. Ask questions and keep track of your goals. Be confident in your progress and take on more responsibility with enthusiasm. An open mind and positive attitude go a long way!”

Nealie Stufflet | @Nealie
“Provide your thoughts. You’re not here just to do task work. We’re interested in your ideas.”

Mike Branan
“Keep your ears open and be prepared to get your hands dirty. Works wonders and is so much better than making coffee and copies.”



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