Successful tips for your first (way-to-go) internship

Hello Everyone! This is Paige Kenny, the newest intern at LCI. Not only is this my first blog, but it’s also my first position at a corporate Public Relations Company and, so far, it’s been a wonderful learning experience.

I want to be successful. However, just because I want it doesn’t mean that success will come easy. I’ve learned this reality during the three exciting and challenging weeks at LCI. To assist those of you in my position, here are some helpful tips that I have learned and will hopefully benefit you during your first internship.

1. Always ask questions

I understand that this may be obvious, but my advice is to take this tip to the extreme. I have made mistakes simply because I was too nervous to ask a question or not enough questions, and that is only going to hurt even the most talented intern. Your co-workers and employees are all there to help you and the best part is that they actually want you to succeed. It’s just up to you to ask.

2. Keep a “To Do List” & Stay Organized

You’re new BFF (best friend forever) is a note pad and paper. Take it with you everywhere that you go. Keep a record of your emails (both sent and received) and phone messages so that you can quickly reference phone numbers and dates of contacts. Check off your accomplishments and keep track of the record so you begin to know how you manage your time and what you have been able to contribute to the success of the company.

3. Make the Extra Effort

To get noticed and hopefully employed at the end of your internship, you need to do noticeable tasks. Get into the office early, spend extra time drafting press releases or completing tasks before you’re even asked to do them. Don’t just take on extra work; take it on and do it well. Have other employees review your work before you submit it to your boss so that you have the benefit of their insights.

4. Be Positive and Optimistic

No one wants to work with Negative Nancy. In fact, if you see someone who is a Negative Nancy, run the other way. Remember that the most effective leaders are positive people, and you always want to look for and associate with positive people because their attitude will rub off on you. When you answer the phone or visit a client, they don’t want to hear a negative, sour note. They want, and you have the responsibility to give them, an upbeat, on the money voice. There is always a way to achieve a goal and your job may throw you some obstacles, but if you handle them with a positive attitude, it will make things that much better.

5. Get Enough Sleep

No this isn’t your mother, it’s a 22 year old telling you how important sleep is. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll feel “out of it” for the entire day. Taking care of your health is very important (okay that was your mom speaking).

6. Don’t Take Things Personally

I know there are some people who will say that this guideline should be first, should be in all caps, and even put in flashing lights atop Union Square for everyone of every generation to review. Because this guideline is more of a life goal, I am listing it. For those of you out there like me, the sensitive, over-thinking, thin-skinned people, who feel responsible for all that happens; there is one and only one guideline: don’t take things personally. When someone tells you that you need to correct this or fix that, it isn’t because you are a bad person; rather they simply want things to be a certain way. When you hear a negative tone of voice or a snarl from the customer at the other end of the phone, it’s not automatically your fault. Can you imagine how much time you will waste if you think every nasty comment is your fault when really it could be because the car ran out of gas, someone’s girlfriend left him, the caterer is going to have to charge twice as much for the shrimp, or the printer is out of ink? Although this tip will be a hard one to follow, it will help you for the rest of your career and, really, it is great advice for your private life, too.

7. BREATHE, Success Takes Time.

I like to think that I’m an educated, ambitious, smart and personable employee, but I am having a heck of a time figuring out mail merge or why you have to dial a ‘9’ at one phone but two at the other! However, I remind myself to take a deep breath. Just because it’s taking a little while to learn how to work the postage machine or answer the phone correctly doesn’t mean that you’re any less of a valuable team member or that you can’t learn how to do it all in time. Just like everything else, success takes time—learning takes time. So just relax and enjoy the experience.

So to all my fellow interns out there, I hope these tips help you to succeed. If you have any more successful tips, please share them with me at paige’landispr.com. Have a wonderful day and don’t’ forget, you’re doing a great job!

Buzzworthy Recommendations:

1. Yelp (http://www.yelp.com/) Helpful reviews on any/every place in SF

2. ChaChaCha Tapas Restaurant and Bar (http://www.cha3.com/) Best sangria in SF

3. Baker Beach (http://www.parksconservancy.org/visit/park.asp?park=1) Beautiful beach with gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

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3 Comments

  1. david Reply

    Way to go, Paige. Your first blog is a winner. . .and you’re going to be a PR star! Cheers, David

  2. Brianne Miller Reply

    Paige, you forgot to include one of YOUR very best attributes – your bright and happy phone manner! People like to talk to people who sound happy to hear from them.

    And I love cha cha cha too…

  3. Sanja Palavra Reply

    I love the tip don’t take things personal because many people do. You experience that in so many different situations. If someone tells you don’t do this or do this instead, they are just trying to help you get better. Many people believe that their boss is being bossy.