This summer I had the opportunity to intern at KSC Incorporated, a full-service public relations, advertising and marketing firm located in Sarasota, Florida. As I contributed to small client work, the main focus of the internship was to help plan and organize the Florida Public Relations Association’s 77th Annual Conference. The four-day conference was hosted in Orlando and filled with endless professional development, recognition and networking opportunities for public relations practitioners. While hosting 25 of the most influential speakers in the nation through six general sessions and 18 breakout sessions, there were more than 250 conference registrants. From contributing to brochure content copy, social media promotion, creating the conference smartphone app and much more, I was exposed to almost every detail of the conference planning. Here is some of what I learned from this amazing experience:
Be involved. Take advantage of every opportunity present. I found working on the smallest projects is where I learned the most. The greater the diversity of projects to which you are exposed, the more knowledge and experience you will gain.
Organization is everything. Write everything down or make a list. It will be impressive to those around you if you can remember the small details.
Ask for help. Don’t hesitate to admit that you don’t know how to do something. An internship is supposed to be a learning opportunity, so you are expected to ask questions and learn from the people around you. Most of the time, those around you would love to teach you something. Make it a goal to learn something new on a daily basis.
Be early, not on time. Play it safe and think about the travel time needed, plus a few extra minutes.
Be willing to work extra. Actions truly speak louder than words in most cases. Going above and beyond always will pay off either immediately or down the road. It’s the extra time you put into finishing a project or important task that will make you stand out.
Be invested. There are so many “moving parts,” as my boss would say. Being truly passionate about what you are doing at the moment is vital. It may be your internship now, but soon it could be your career.
Stay calm. An internship can be a big step in the right direction toward a potential career. It is very important to have your composure at all times even during the most stressful situations. Be sure to remain strong and act in a professional manner.
Feel free to network. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself or even ask for a business card. You never know who you are going to meet or with whom you will randomly cross paths. Take advantage of the professional environment and connect with as many people as you can. In the future, you may be contacting them for a potential job or internship opportunity. Most professionals would love to help with questions you may have and share their career advice.
-by Olivia Ortiz, PRSSA Executive Member
All blogs are written by general members of UAPRSSA and Capstone Agency.