The Intern Checklist
1. Learn your co-workers names. Do what you gotta do to learn the difference between Sarah G. and Sara M., whether that’s making flash cards, or a spreadsheet kept on a minimized tab at the bottom of your computer screen. Don’t let your summer accomplishments peak at the discovery that Jeff is actually Jack. You can’t just unsubscribe from those remaining awkward small-talk sessions in the office kitchen.
2. Play it cool. Aim to be at work around ten minutes early, but not too early. Ask your supervisor what else you can do to help, but don’t ask every five minutes. Just be cool about it. Or else you’re basically the red-flag equivalency of the “Desperate Dater” type – your overly-eager best friend who has been in love with you since grade-school, and comes on too strong after finding out about your recent breakup.
3. Bring a lunch. This is to make sure you don’t end up spending an extra couple hundred dollars per month. Yes it might require you to either wake up an extra ten minutes early to whip up “a lil somethin’ somethin.” I get it, that extra ten minutes may save you from a face-in-palm kind of day at the office. But trust me - you snooze, you lose.
4. Go to happy hour. Have a drink with your co-workers and share a table of appetizers. Even workaholics hate talking about work 24/7, and this is how you establish meaningful relationships with the people you are working with. So go hang out-over a glass of water if you’re underage-and have fun.
5. Do everything with enthusiasm and a smile. A good attitude doesn’t always go unnoticed, but a bad attitude never does. If you’re given a task that isn’t necessarily the most exciting task, my motto is to get it done the right way, as quickly as possible. They gave you something else that wasn’t exciting? Get it done quick, and with a smile on your face - because eventually they will run out of the boring stuff to give you, and you might get the chance to help with something you may not have gotten the chance to work on.
My time here at Mangan Holcomb Partners has been nothing short of an unquestionably, stellar experience. Aside from the friendships I’ve made spending five days a week with the lovely ladies in the PR department, I have learned so much more in the two months working here in comparison to a one-hour MWF class. These people took an interest in me, and they genuinely wanted me to get the absolute most out of my experience, including departments that I wasn’t necessarily working in.
I am sure that this was the best internship I could have asked for, because there was not a single day that looked the same. I didn’t sit at a desk all day writing press release, after press release, after press release (which is what I imagined any kind of PR internship to look like). Other than checking my email as soon as I come in at 8:30, each day began with an entirely new task - going to news stations, client meetings, lunches with the media to pitch story ideas, crafting client presentations, “beer” storming sessions (it’s exactly what it sounds like). I was given the opportunity to experience what it's like to be a real-life PR professional.
I am positively sure that this was the best internship I could have asked for, because it also gave me the validation I needed to know that this is what I want to do with my life. I can only hope to be as successful, knowledgeable, and just downright cool as my new friends at MHP.