Ask any editor or writer, and chances are they started their career as an intern. If you have grand aspirations of getting into editorial – in whatever capacity – securing yourself some experience is vital, no matter how great a wordsmith you are. Here are my top tips on turning your internship into a dream job.
Smile and be positive
A smile goes a long, long way. You’ll probably be given lots of different tasks to do, but sulking whilst doing the less glamorous roles will not score you any brownie points. No one’s saying you should be taken advantage of, but don’t be under any illusions that you’ll be breaking news stories and meeting celebrities. Take a big bit of humble pie and tackle every job with gusto.
It’s really important when doing work experience that you’re aware of your surroundings and act in a professional manner. Always arrive on time and check in with your editor before leaving to make sure they have everything they need. These small touches will show that you’re dedicated and committed to the role.
Use your initiative
Take it from me, there’s nothing more frustrating than an intern that needs babysitting. It’s great to ask lots of questions, but don’t make people repeat themselves over and over again, so make lots of notes during your first few days. If you’re ever quiet, think of some ideas that may help the team and pitch them to your editor or senior. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
– Start some research for an upcoming project or feature
– If you’re working online, suggest a quality audit of a particular section of the website.
– Take a look at the businesses’ competitors and see what they’re doing differently
– Pull together relevant articles that your team will find interesting each week
Value your working relationships
Most of the great opportunities that have come my way in recent years, have been sought through the relationships I’ve built along the way. Always be honest, always be reliable and always be polite. No one ever forgets a brilliant intern, but they very quickly forget a bad one! And, don’t forget, industries are small so your reputation will precede you.
Be open minded
The world of e-commerce and content has changed so much over the past few years, so there are so many more varied roles available that you may not have immediately thought of. Ok, so your first job may not be Vogue, but smaller companies and websites can offer you tons of experience. Freelancing on the side is also a great way to work on lots of different projects.
Keep in touch
Once you’ve completed your internship, make sure you keep in touch with the team. A friendly email every now and then could turn into a long-standing relationship and a job opportunity further along the line.
Do you have any tips on turning an internship into a career, or are you a budding graduate looking for experience? Drop me a line by commenting below.