entry level

The 4 C’s of College Internships

By Katie Mudd, TrizCom PR

The best way for college students to get a taste of their major in the working world is through internships. However, not all internships are created equal. When selecting an internship program to apply to, it’s important to keep the 4 C’s in mind: culture, career development, coaching and connections.

1. Culture – When seeking internship opportunities, you should have an understanding of what kind of corporate culture and work environment will best suite your ability to learn. Some work environments are full of energy and fast paced, while others may be more predictable and provide a conservative work atmosphere. Whatever your preference is, determine what type of culture and workplace environment will be most conducive to your internship experience.

2. Career Development – It’s important to seek an internship that is relevant to your area of study to enhance your learning experience. The end goal is to gain experience and knowledge of your field as a full-time career before you enter the working world. To ensure you are selecting an internship that is appropriate to your field of study, use your interview opportunity as a way to gather information about the specific duties that are required for the position. This is a great way to discover whether or not the internship program aligns with your career path.

3. Coaching – A good internship should provide interns with strong leadership and mentors who will help guide young professionals as they start their career. Most established internship programs provide interns with a supervisor they should feel comfortable talking to. Interns should feel free to ask their supervisor or team members for advice to help make the internship experience productive and fun.

4. Connections – In the working world, it’s all about who you know that determines where you will go with your career. Internships allow students to gain professional experience while building their network. Interns should take advantage of every opportunity available to them to meet people during their internship, whether it’s an after-hours event or grabbing lunch with the team. Most organizations hire within their intern pool or recommend their interns to other members of their industry – but usually this only happens with interns who have taken the time to get to know their team.

TrizCom hires interns throughout the year to help develop successful public relations campaigns for local, national and international clients. The ideal candidate should be detail-oriented, creative and passionate about crafting the perfect media pitch, while having tons of fun!

Tips for PR intern interviews

By Nikki Darling, TrizCom PR

Dear potential interns,

Less than one year ago, I was in your exact same shoes – staring at the abyss of my closet the night before an internship interview, trying to find something passable to wear and fighting off the worry that there is probably a spelling error somewhere in my portfolio or resume.

Don’t furrow your brow for too long, though. It will all work out. I interviewed, secured the internship and after a few months was hired on full time. 

Yes, interviewing for an internship in public relations can be nerve-wracking. It may be your first big foray into the industry, where all you’ve learned so far is put to the test. But while internships can be scary, they are also exhilarating and can be amazing opportunities to learn what it’s really like to work in the public relations industry.

So, you want that coveted internship right? Here are a few tips to get you going and position you for interview success:

1.    Dress professionally: This is a no-brainer but still worth stating for those who missed the boat. Guys – a suit and tie goes a long way in maintaining that professional look. Ladies – a nice dress and jacket or a women’s suit will show you mean business. Even if the company isn’t very formal, show you are willing to dress the part of a PR professional.

2.    Bring extra copies: Bring extra copies of your resume, portfolio or any writing samples, even if you aren’t asked. Having backup copies ready to go shows you are thinking ahead and prepared.

3.    Read the company’s website: Understand how the company works, what the culture is like and especially who the clients are. You don’t want questions about clients or why you want to work there to come as a shock.

4.    Study the company’s social media pages: This is a really great way to get to know the firm’s clients, activities and company culture. Follow, like, comment – make your presence known on their social channels. Start a conversation before your interview even begins.

5.    Follow up: Always, always, always follow up after the interview. Thank your interviewer for taking the time out of their day to meet with you, and ensure they have all of the documents they need to make a decision. It also doesn’t hurt to send a hand-written thank you note.

6.    Have nice nails: Bad hair days happen. Makeup can get messy. But when in PR, you had better have nice nails. You are constantly shaking people’s hands and sitting at conference tables with your hands on the table. Guys and gals: clean up those nail beds, file those jagged edges, and make those nails shine.

Interested in an internship with TrizCom? Email Katie Mudd at Katie@TrizCom.com for more information on our internship program. And if you’re lucky enough to score an interview, keep the above tips in mind. They may just help you out.

Nikki is a junior account executive and former intern at TrizCom Public Relations

From national industry leaders and Dallas-Fort Worth’s largest companies to startups and growing enterprises, TrizCom PR provides public relations and social media services to a wide variety of businesses encompassing startup, healthcare, lifestyle brands, B2B, energy, tech, entertainment, food/beverage and beyond. TrizCom PR has a dynamic track record of local, regional, national and international media placements on behalf of its clients that, if monetized, would equal hundreds of millions of dollars. In 2014 and 2015, TrizCom PR has been named in the top 25 of PR Firms by Dallas Business Journal. TrizCom PR is a Certified Woman Owned Business Corporation (NWBOC). For more information on TrizCom PR call 972-247-1369 or visit www.TrizCom.com.

Nikki’s contact information: 
O: 972-247-1369
C: 469-667-9371
E: Nikki@TrizCom.com
L: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nikkimdarling
T: https://twitter.com/nik_darling