5 Ways to Rock Your Internship
As another summer quickly approaches, many are planning vacations, getting their beach body ready and signing the kids up for camp. While summer is, for most, a time of relaxation and fun, college sophomores and juniors all over the country are revamping their resumes to land that perfect summer internship. Thousands of companies will soon be inundated with cover letters of enterprising college students ready to take the first step toward the career of their dreams, or, you know, fill a graduation requirement. Regardless of most pop culture examples (I’m thinking of a certain HBO drama hint, hint) it is possible to find an internship that could really lead to a job. The trick is that you’ve got to be smart about it. I consulted with a few other Rinck-terns turned Rincksters to get the five best pieces of advice for new interns.
1. Apply. Apply. Apply.
Before you even start that dream internship, you’ve got to apply for it! Former Rinck-tern now Account Executive Elizabeth Daniels recommends sending your resume and cover letter to as many businesses and organizations as you can. It’s more than likely that you have more skills than you think, and connections can be made anywhere.
Hannah Rheaume, who interned at Rinck in 2014 and is now our Public Relations Specialist, notes that on top of applying everywhere, make your cover letter shine. “Do one thing that will make your cover letter stand out among the rest. Whether that’s starting a blog in your niche or creating a beautiful portfolio”. I know reworking that cover letter for each application can be exhausting, but every summer there are hundreds of opportunities available out there, and you never know what will lead to your next big thing.
2. Be up for anything.
Say yes. Whether its trimming handouts, copying slideshows, fetching lunch, or proofreading, be ready and willing to help. Making yourself indispensable is a great way to be asked back after your internship, and taking that initiative just might land you a job. Not only that, but it helps you learn more about your desired industry. Helping with an event can give you a glance at the hectic job of a Promotions Manager, proofing copy can help you understand how different brands have different tones. And fetching lunch? Could get you an invite to a meeting, which gives you insight on how the real world works, and can be more informative than some of your college courses.
3. Ask Questions.
I’m not sure if it’s a millennial thing, or if it’s just a ‘me’ thing, but sometimes I have a hard time asking questions. I personally feel like I’m interrupting people and that it’s rude. While you should always be aware of what’s going on around you, most of the time, you won’t annoy anyone with questions. Half of the time, gaining a better understanding by asking questions can lead to helping more effectively on projects. So ask questions. Yes, you are there to work. But you’re also there to learn. That’s why many colleges give credits for internships.
4. “Do you need anything?”
Hannah, Elizabeth, Jillian and I all recommend asking this question. A lot. Ask it of multiple people, and always follow up. Most Rincksters from my time interning in the summer of 2014 can remember me popping my head into offices on the regular to ask this very question. Like most things on this list, asking this question will make your internship 10 times more fun and a heck of a lot more useful and well-rounded. Don’t be shy about this. People will almost always appreciate a helping hand, and you can learn so much not only about your industry, but about the people you work with. Those relationships matter, and this is a great way to start them off right.
5. Be there.
Finally, the most obvious of the bunch. Be there. Show up everyday on time and sometimes more than that. As Elizabeth says, “the more you’re there the more you can learn.” It seems really simple, and it kind of is, but you’d be surprised how many people just don’t show up. Or they do, but they’re not really present. They kind of just float from thing to thing, not really following up with people, and not asking ‘how can I help?’. Don’t be this person. Show up, stay late, engage with the staff and give it your all. People will notice, and it can only lead to great things.
So that’s it! Go forth and apply your little hearts out! All of us here at Rinck wish you the best of luck – and oh yeah, our intern slots are already booked for this summer, but there’s this fall, spring and next summer. It’s not too early to apply! Rinck Advertising has hosted over 160 interns over the past 15 years. Check it: [email protected]
Note from Peter Rinck, CEO.
Everything said is true. Beyond that, get an internship (or coop or something.) In the competitive world of marketing, you need one or more work experiences on your resume to get hired. You might be brilliant. You might be dedicated. But the internship proves that you, at least for now, like this career path. You’ve explored it a little. Hiring costs money. Make sure you are a good investment.
Another Note from Peter Rinck, CEO
Today, many, many interns are interested in social media as a career. And it can be a terrific career. However, I do urge further exploration. Media, Digital Coding, Copywriting, Public Relations and Account Management are also good careers. And being on Instagram for your job isn’t quite the same as being on Instagram. So look at the range of careers marketing offers. You might find something you didn’t expect.