Top 5 tips for interns from a PR pro

Dig&Fish13_3957About Angie Bradbury 

Founder and Managing Director of Dig & Fish.

A leader of best practice marketing and communications programs for the food, drinks and leisure industries for more than a decade, Angie currently chairs Wine Communicators of Australia, and is a member of the Victorian Food and Wine Tourism Council and Starlight Children’s Foundation Advisory Board.

With a reputation as a straight forward, direct and pragmatic strategist who always pushes for the better answer or solution, Angie is the brains-trust for Dig&Fish, instilling best-practice operations and leadership across the entire way we do business.

Angie’s TOP 5 TIPS for Interns:

1.  Take the initiative – the best interns make themselves indispensable by getting involved, asking good questions and becoming important members of the team.  Be positive and get involved, it really helps.

2. Can do – just say yes and get stuff done, again the more value you add and the better experience you are going to have.

3.  Ask – it’s not always easy to know what interns want to get from the experience so ask to get involved, ask for help and ask for information and learning.  If you do points one and two then companies will be much more likely to provide education and knowledge opportunities

4.  Add value – in media and comms if you’re asked to do the media monitoring then read with a purpose and add value to media lists, update contact details and identify opps that might be relevant for the employer and / or their clients.  If you think things can be done better or differently, speak up.

5.  Be organised – communicate your timetable and exam commitments well in advance – don’t make yourself really useful and then not be there when you’re needed or change plans last minute.

You can tweet Angie at @digandfish if you have any questions.

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Get the cover letter covered

By Stephanie Hume

i loved your CL

In applying for an internship the cover letter is a self-pitch and a way of showing off your personality and unique offering to a potential employer. The cover letter can come in many different forms. I have personally used the body of an email as a cover letter and then attached my CV and I have also kept the cover letter separate as an attached document. The summary section of your LinkedIn profile is also another type of cover letter.

Others have impressed me by using a video cover letter to show off their video skills and it serves as a tool to immediately show your personality to the recruiter. It depends on the requirements of the internship or job you are applying for. While you probably already know this already, it’s good to revisit the aim of the cover letter. Always remember regardless of medium, the cover should still include the following key elements outlined below:

–   Tailor and personalise the reasons why you want to work for the company. Don’t ever send a generic letter. Make the company feel like you’ve shown some initiative and researched their work. Put it this way, if your friend sent a mass text would you feel like they valued the friendship or would you prefer them to tailor the message specifically to you and build on your common interests? Exactly. You’d probably appreciate the time they took to talk directly to you and you’d be more likely to take notice.

–  Contextualise yourself as holding similar values as the company and what they represent. What are they trying to achieve that you feel you can contribute to? This can be found in their about section.

Define your core skills that are relevant to the company, that relate to the position you are applying for. What can you bring that other candidates cannot? Perhaps they have hospitality clients and you have extensive hospitality experience so you can offer experience that others might not have.

Show off your personality – Blandness is never a reason why people are hired in the creative industries. Show off your exceptional writing, wit and ability to build rapport. Employers want to hire people they enjoy working with as much as for their skills. Always remember personality is your point of difference.

–   Do not copy a cover letter from the internet. I’ve heard first hand of a student copying a cover letter online verbatim and the intern coordinator at the company found out they had plagiarised. It happens, so use your own work. Professionally speaking, that would be the worst situation to find yourself in.

Proofread before sending. With any application you do especially a cover letter make sure you triple check. Why would they hire someone that could potentially tarnish their company’s image with sloppy spelling and grammar? Or the worst case scenario saying the wrong company name.

Still having trouble? Check out Seek.com.au cover letter tips and samples (including an intern cover letter).

All the best. Tweet us at @myinterninglife with tips you’d add.


5 ways to nail your internship

5 ways to nail your internship by Gabrielle Tozer

1.     Pinpoint your drive: why do you want to work in the media? Knowing this will help you to stay focused and hardworking during your internship, especially during those times when it feels like an impossible industry to crack (which is a lot – but if you work hard then it pays off, I promise.)

2.     Take initiative: don’t wait to be asked to do something during your internship. Offer help. Write something and show them. Ask what the journalists need assistance with and get involved – even if it means transcribing, photo-copying or coffee runs. You never know who’ll you meet along the way.

3.     Work hard – damn hard: this one should be obvious. If you’re bludging on Twitter/Facebook during your internship then forget about scoring any paid work later on – and yes, everyone probably saw you slacking off. The beauty of open-plan offices, eh? Knuckle down and work during your internship, after all you won’t build an impressive writing portfolio watching YouTube videos of kittens climbing into boxes.

4.     Follow up: maintain a relationship with your internship coordinator by checking in after your internship wraps up, thanking them for assistance and asking about further opportunities. Stay on their radar. Just be careful not to cross over to the borderline stalker category (daily emails or phone calls, anyone?). Send one email, and, if you haven’t heard in a week, wait – yes, trust me on that – then send a short, polite follow-up.

5.     Reflect on the good (and the bad) – then learn from it: what lessons did you learn during your internship? Sometimes the worst experiences still provide great lessons (maybe you’ve learn what not to do later in your career?). Write it all down and put it into practice at your next internship or, fingers crossed, job! Good luck.

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Gabrielle Tozer (née McMillan) is a Sydney-based magazine senior features writer and soon-to-be YA author. Her debut novel hits shelves and kindles in February 2014. When Gabrielle’s not working fulltime, she’s writing the sequel (and weeping over her laptop).
 
Visit www.gabrielletozer.com and www.facebook.com/hellogabrielletozer for more information on her magazine work and books, and to engage with other writers. Gabrielle’s currently cheating on her manuscript with Twitter, so come say hello via www.twitter.com/gabrielletozer.