This internship with K2 & Co. was my first ‘big girl job’ and I spent the last 10 months learning everything I can from discovering how to build social media calendars to effectively drafting opinion editorials for national news channels. The team here at K2 has been patient, supportive and encouraging throughout my entire learning process.
As my internship comes to an end, I thought it would be valuable to leave some advice for other young professionals beginning their internships in PR/Communications. I hope my advice helps alleviate some of the concerns and questions you may have about taking this step towards discovering your future career.
Tip #1 – Don’t be afraid to ask questions…lots of them…even the dumb ones.
I still remember my first day as an intern at K2 & Co. I had no idea what I was doing, I didn’t understand any PR/comms lingo AND I got lost trying to find the office building. During the first two months of work I probably asked Chelsea Thompson, who graciously manages the K2 interns, about 1,000 questions ranging from “how do you even pronounce this?” to “I have no idea who that is” or “wait what am I supposed to do exactly?” In short, I was completely lost.
As time went on I found myself asking fewer amateur questions and more professional ones. I began using PR lingo and I could finally keep up with conversations about clients and media strategies. I no longer needed a step-by-step walkthrough for my assignments. I was learning!
However, none of that learning would have ever taken place if I had not asked questions. There will be some days where you feel like an idiot for asking certain things, but I promise you that temporarily feeling like an idiot is 10x better than NOT asking questions and ruining an entire project. This is your time to learn. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to learn from such patient and experienced coworkers at K2.
Tip #2 – Connect with everyone you meet and attend as many events as possible!
As someone who started off their internship as a college student, it didn’t take much to impress me. All I needed to hear was the words “there will be free food” and I was in! But the events I got to work at and attend during my time at K2 were spectacular to say the least. Each event I went to had a unique vibe and purpose and I got to meet and interact with people I had only ever seen on TV!
For those of you who, like me, are introverted extroverts, attending social events can be intimidating. I learned that you just have to put yourself out there and do it, no matter how scary it is. My network grew immensely during my time at K2 and I have made wonderful connections with individuals I never would have met if I didn’t put myself out there.
Tip #3 – Trial and error is one of the best teachers.
As I look back at my very first letter to the editor I wrote at K2 I cannot believe how much has changed. Through trial and error I became a more developed, confident and quick writer. I have a mountain of improvement ahead of me, but the point is that I know I have improved. My advice to new interns is: do not get discouraged when you mess up, because I promise you will mess up, but instead use that blunder as a learning opportunity and do better next time. There are very few mistakes that you can make as an intern that are unfixable.
I know this sounds cheesy, but don’t let the fear of not completing something perfectly keep you from completing it at all. As I said earlier, this is your time to learn, make mistakes and then improve.