Like most people my age I spent the better part of my senior year planning for this moment. When I’d finally get a shot to prove what I could do. After months of emails, phone calls, and informational interviews I finally found PAN. I was a public relations major in college but PAN decided I was the right fit for their marketing internship. It wasn’t easy, not even remotely, but the time and energy I put in was worth it. Now I’m at an award-winning PR agency and I’ve got a few tips for those out their looking for their own shot.
- Don’t limit yourself. I know you’ve heard this before but seriously, widen your scope. If you’re in a position where you need advice like this that probably means you haven’t been able to find your preconceived notion of that “perfect job”. I was a PR major in college so naturally that’s the line of work I was looking into. When I first started my job search I wasn’t thinking about marketing at all; I wasn’t a marketing major, I hadn’t even taken a marketing class, so why would I? During the time I was talking with PAN about a PR internship they were in the process of creating this marketing internship and when they asked if I wanted to apply for this job I didn’t even hesitate. Luckily for me I love it. Even if the internship isn’t the best fit, it gets your foot in the door.
- Leave home if you can, it’s good for you. Most of the people I went to college with went right back home after graduation. Cost wise it’s a good move, but I didn’t have that option and I’m very glad I didn’t. You’re going to spend many nights wishing you had paid more attention to your mom when she was cooking dinner, but other than that you’ll be fine.
- Embrace your fear; it can be your best motivator. As excited as I was to come to Boston I was also wicked scared. Sure I’ve been to Boston before but it’s a whole other animal to live here, especially by myself. But out of that fear you get this exhilaration you wouldn’t get by playing it safe somewhere you feel comfortable. Nearly every day I face some type of “trial by fire” moment and when I succeed there’s no sweeter feeling.
- Don't hesitate, jump right in. You’re young and your mind is still basically a blank slate. Come into it with an open mind, keep asking for projects, work with experienced people, and really focus on learning the ins and outs. You may be like me and find out you were better suited for marketing all along.
At the end of the day it comes down to you. This isn’t school anymore; success isn’t going to be measured on how you do on a test. Now it’s managing relationships, being creative, going the extra mile, and really just working your tail off. It’s effort time. My parents have always loved to say “it’s all about effort” and honestly there are few better words to live by, especially for an intern.