In the past two weeks, I covered how to secure a work experience placement and how to thrive in this environment. Now it’s time for the final part of the Intern guide, in which I’ll suggest a few actions that you can take once you’ve completed your internship. Prepare your pens, thank-you cards and stamps!
#1 Reflect upon experience
Work experience is a tremendous way of getting exposure into different disciplines of the industry. It’s a great way of finding “your thing.” How are you supposed to know whether you like consumer practice? Or how will you know if healthcare work is something you’d enjoy more than public affairs? An internship is your opportunity to get a taste of each discipline. The more placements you secure, the better understanding of the industry you’ll get.
#2 Blog about it
Your work experience can also be a great topic for your blog. Follow the lead of other students and make a write-up of your placements. Kelly Hewitt did an amazing job blogging about her work experience in the industry. Orlagh Shanks is another great example — she covered her work experience, as well as her comms assistant role. What are the biggest lessons you’ve learnt during your internship? What was the most challenging? Did you get to work on some exciting campaigns and can you already share your work? (The last one is tricky — make sure you don’t breach any confidentiality agreements!)
#3 Say “thank you”
Make sure you show your gratitude for those who deserve it. Did someone help you to land your internship? Did someone teach you a lot during the placement? You have to thank them for that. Don’t take people around you for granted. Email thank-you note is fine, but what will make you stand out is sending an actual card (the one you need to put a stamp on, very old skool — I know). There are no excuses here — you might have an ugly handwriting, but a card is something meaningful and it will surely be appreciated.
#4 Follow up
An internship is the first step in your career. It can ultimately lead you to the permanent role. I know many people who secured their first jobs through the work experience placements. If you’re coming back to university, and there is no chance of you landing a job straight after it, make sure you stay in touch with the people you’ve met. If you see something interesting in the news, an interesting article, or event they might have an interest in attending, send it to the team you worked with. Why not asking to grab coffee with the members of your former team? All of those will help you be remembered and when a role comes up, you might be the one getting it.
If you have any suggestions, or would like to give me a feedback, feel free to email me at kl.marcel [at] gmail.com or tweet me @marcelkl. Thanks for stopping by, have a splendid day!