I just spent the Fall semester of my senior year interning at KBGTexas Communications in San Antonio, TX. While the KGB jokes from my friends got old quickly, I had the opportunity to gain valuable experience and I cherish my time there.
This was my first internship working in an agency setting and I absolutely loved it. I’m the kind of person who likes to be busy, so the fast pace of the office and the diversity of the clients was perfect for me.
I learned a lot about the public relations world and even the public affairs world while I was there but some of my favorite lessons can be applied to any professional internship setting whether it be PR, business or engineering. Here is a list of the 7 most important things I learned at KGBTexas:
- Write Things Down: While this may seem obvious it is crucial. When you sit in on a meeting or you are given an assignment, write down what they are saying or asking you to do. I promise it will make your life easier and you will save your supervisor the frustration of having to repeat things multiple times.
- Ask Questions: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Whether is be related to a project you are working or it has to do with daily operations in the agency, asking questions is how you will learn. It also shows our supervisor that you are passionate about the industry and eager to learn.
- Take Initiative: As much as we might wish they would, people don’t just hand things to us. I was offered the internship at KGBTX after three semesters of emailing back and forth with their internship coordinator. I got to work on the projects I did because I expressed interest and offered to help. Make the effort to go for what you want and I promise it will be worth it.
- Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve: Ok, maybe I learned this in high school theatre, but it sure came in handy. Criticism helps you grow. Look at it as something to learn from, not something to be offended by, and you will go a long way.
- Don’t be afraid to fail: This goes hand-in-hand with number four but nobody has ever done anything perfectly the first time. They picked bad ideas, failed, picked themselves up and moved on. And guess what? Their next attempt was better.
- Network, Network, Network: My freshman year someone told me “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” While I don’t 100% agree with that statement there is some truth to it. The people you meet in your career can turn out to be valuable resources for you. They can become mentors or friends but always keep in mind that they’ve been doing this a lot longer than you and you can learn a lot from them. When they’re talking you should be listening.
- Say Yes: If someone comes to you with something new, different or outrageous just SAY YES. Some of my favorite projects I worked on were things that I had no idea about until I said “Yes, I can do that.” and I did it.