It’s been quite a while since I last posted here. Juggling school, friends, job hunting and part-time work. This leaves little time for anything else. After getting through my corporate communications program, I managed to nail a great internship position at a boutique public relations agency downtown. With the great grades I was getting at school, it was a surefire sign that I was going to succeed in the working world. Because being good in school means you’ll be good in the workplace, right?
Jumping from school to the working world can be a huge transition, especially if it’s an internship position. I know I’m not alone when I say I have had moments when I question my own abilities and choice of career.
However, what I do know and what helps keep me grounded is that I do know why I’m here – It’s where I belong.
Internships can be an incredibly humbling experience, but also a time for us to really engage in our future area of expertise and get first-hand experience in the industry. I find myself gaining the essential skills of a public relations practitioner that I had previously not put enough thought into. How should you talk about your client on the phone? How would you appropriately reply to an e-mail? Have you followed up with a contact? How can you communicate your message when you use such flowery language?
Two of the biggest lessons I have learned so far:
1. Don’t over think things
2. Ask lots of questions
I’m guilty of compulsively thinking and assessing things down to something that wracks my brain and causes a multitude of restless nights when in the end it was never worth any of it. If something is bothering me, why don’t I just ask about it? I’m lucky to have a supportive network of co-workers that want to help me in this process. When we’re given a task, we need to ask questions to get a better understanding of what needs to be done and move forward. If you hit a road or mental block, ask your supervisor. We start off as an almost blank slate so this is our chance to focus and learn.
It hasn’t been a smooth road for me as an intern. There have been some bumps along the way and I’m sure there may be some more ahead. I believe that how you maneuver these obstacles define the type of professional you are. Face them head-on and move forward. Everyday I am learning something new and as I learn, I know I’m growing into the person I want to be.
Upwards and onwards!