When I decided I wanted to pursue an internship in PR I had no idea where to start or what I needed to do. I soon realised that it was pretty much the same as everything else in life, you just need to start somewhere! Once you’ve started, the next steps slowly fall into place – this is how I landed a PR internship with Carnsight and the steps I followed to get there:
Why do you want it?
Although it may seem obvious, I first had to decide why PR was the path I wanted to take for my internship. My university course for English Language and Linguistics provides a path to a wide range of jobs. This may sound like a good thing but for me it actually overcomplicates things as it feels like the two ends of the spectrum are far too wide to make a decision. I’ve always struggled when I’ve had too many options so I really had to sit myself down and just zone in on what areas of my course I enjoy.
Marketing and PR had always been options for me and I knew my university course and some of my skills were relevant to the field, but that’s about as far as it went. I knew I loved language and communication, I always had since my schooling days when English was my favourite subject. So I sat down and had to just think about the skills I have, the knowledge I’d grown in through my course, and what I enjoyed doing. I was also interested in media. How we use language to release information and create a certain public perception of an organisation, company, or individual. When I put all that together, I found PR high up my list, so I decided to go ahead and look for an internship in that field with the hope of finding out if this was the career path for me.
So although maybe the most obvious, a vitally important step is to know why you want a career or internship in PR. Perhaps you’ve always known that’s what you wanted to do, or maybe you want an internship to help you decided whether a career in PR is the direction for you. I could only begin the search for a PR internship once I answered this question for myself.
The next critical step in the process of landing an internship is your CV. I spent many hours adjusting, changing, and adding to mine before I was happy to send it out. And even then, I never really stop the altering process because it is important that I tailor it to each job I apply for. Some companies will focus on or highlight certain aspects of the field more than others, so it is important to read up on each position and make sure your CV includes the specific skills you possess that are relevant to that particular company or job.
I learned not to worry too much about whether you think you will get the job or not and just send it out anyway. I have landed all my internships through the most unexpected people and I would have missed out on some incredible experiences and relationships if I had second-guessed myself. It will do no harm to send out a CV to too many places, but you will miss out if you hold back on potential opportunities.
Know and sell your skills
Throughout the interview process and even when writing my CV, I had to learn to be able to sell the skills that I had which is something I really struggled with at the beginning. I didn’t think I was qualified, but I came to understand that even if I have never worked in that role or position before, I still have qualities and skills that would enable me to, and that’s what I had to sell. It’s not always about whether you’re experienced enough in that exact job title, although sometimes it may be, it’s whether you have the knowledge or skills that will enable you to grow and succeed in that position.
I had never worked in a PR job before Carnsight, so I couldn’t really claim that I had sufficient experience; however, I know I have language and communication skills that are required for the job. This means I have something that I can bring to the team. (Find out more about the skills required in PR here and marketing here). When looking for an internship it’s important to think about your skillset and have confidence that you can add something to the projects you’ll be working on. This is also what separates you from other potential hires.
Finding an internship isn’t often an easy path, but if you’re looking for something you enjoy, have the confidence to apply and the skills to succeed you may just find success in the places you least expected!
Carnsight has a history of offering some wonderful internship opportunities. Account Executive Leigh-Ann also started as an intern. Find out more about her journey here.