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Turning an Internship into the Dream Job – 7 Tips

Turning an internship into a job isn’t just something people tell you to help you sleep at night – it is absolutely possible! The marketing and communications industry is a competitive one, and decision-makers in agencies are always scouting to snap up great talent just as much as graduates are eagerly searching for the perfect first job.

I started as an intern at P4 Group in April 2016, and in June, I commenced my role as an Account Coordinator, working part-time while I completed my studies. Kicking off the New Year with a bang, I’m now working full-time as an Account Executive, and loving every minute of it!

However, if you think these kinds of opportunities are going to be handed to you on a silver platter, keep dreaming. Here are my top tips to getting the most out of your internship and landing your dream job, from someone who has been there!

Act the part.

First impressions do count! On your first day, make sure to arrive early, act professionally, work diligently, and dress to impress! It’s always hard to know what to wear on your first day at a new role, but I personally believe it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. All agencies have different interpretations of dress codes, so observe what your team members wear throughout your internship to help you decide what’s appropriate.

Be a ‘YES’ person.

Say yes to everything! It’s important to test your personal limits and get out of your comfort zone in order to grow and step up to that next level in your professional life, whatever it may be! If you’re willing to give anything a red hot go, you’ll go a long way, and trust me, it won’t go unnoticed among your superiors.  If you’re not 100 per cent confident with a task, the next step will help you solve that problem…

Ask ALL of the questions.

It may seem a bit daunting to approach team members and ask questions about your tasks when they’re in the zone, frantically tapping away at work. However, I think I can speak for most PR professionals when I say that we would MUCH prefer that you came and asked those questions, and did a fantastic job at the tasks as a result, rather than keep quiet and fail to complete the tasks to an adequate standard.

Show your interest.

Take an interest in the work that your agency does and express your interest in learning particular skills or working on specific clients. Depending on the kind of work the agency does for the client, it may not always be possible, but if you openly flag your interest, your supervisors will look for opportunities to involve you when they come up. If you’re passionate about something, you’re more likely to do a better job of the task at hand.

Actively seek feedback.

No matter how many years you’ve worked in an industry, you never stop learning. Ask for feedback on tasks you’ve completed so that you can implement that feedback next time you do a similar task. It’s a great feeling seeing how far you’ve come by looking back on your work and what you’ve learned. Continuously striving for improvement also shows your supervisors your solid work ethic and willingness to learn – key skills desired by prospective employers when hiring graduates!

Get to know your team!

Having a great work ethic and producing high quality work is incredibly important in a busy PR agency, but it’s actually just as important to be a fun and sociable team member! Interact with your team members while you’re in the office, and attend any social events you are invited to. You’ll be seeing these faces five days a week, 48 weeks a year with your colleagues, so you may as well have fun doing it!

Keep in touch.

The connections you make in your internships are likely to be the people you’ll be involved with for the entirety of your professional life. Connect with them on LinkedIn and touch base via phone or email a couple of times a year. Staying in contact will ensure that you are top of mind if any suitable work opportunities arise. Often, it’s all about timing!

Blog post written by Sophie Wright, Account Executive at P4 Group.

Are you an aspiring PR professional looking for some real world experience? P4 Group offers a variety of exciting internships all year round. Interested? Email your CV, availability and a bit about yourself to jemma@p4.com.au.

What are your top tips to landing the dream job? Tell us in the comments below.