Five signs of an internship programme which will set you up on the path for success
Splendid Futures forms a core part of our recruitment process, and something we put a lot of time and effort into.
You might have spotted recent intern turned PR Junior Account Executive, Tara’s blog piece on ‘What to expect when starting in PR’, and George’s piece about getting a job straight out of uni.
We strongly believe that landing the right internship is a great way to kick off your career. But we know it can be tricky finding the right opportunity with thousands of internships out there to choose from.
So, we asked two more established Splendid Futures alumni, Normy and Chelsie – now both Senior Account Executives – to reflect on their experience and share their top five attributes of an internship programme that should set you on the path for career success.
Personal development and mentoring
It’s important that you feel valued and are given the opportunity to learn during your time as an intern. A huge part of this is finding an agency that invests in you and your development.
Things to look out for include: being assigned a mentor, regular catch up sessions, being set clear objectives and a structured training programme.
Having been through the Splendid Futures internship programme ourselves, we now are able to not only input into training plans, but we are also mentors to new starters on the programme.
As well as a solid training programme, you should look for somewhere that provides sessions with some of the most experienced people within the agency – here at Splendid, Alec (CEO) and Niki (MD) host frequent training sessions covering areas such as company values, vision, processes and strategy, meaning you get training from people from across the agency, not just your direct team.
The chance to get involved in real client work
When people think of an internship, they immediately think of perpetual trips to fetch coffee and to the post office, but that doesn’t need to be the case. When scouting for internships, make sure you are only looking at agencies that give you the opportunity to get involved with meaningful work. Within the first month, we were made to feel like an extension of the team and were given the chance to work on real client briefs and aspects of media relations and content creation.
Asking about the possibility of being made permanent at the end of your programme is also a great way of gauging whether you are a true investment or will be seen as just a short-term fix.
Company culture is key
Look for an agency that really cares for the people who work for them. Whether it’s a weekly get together – a chance to recap the week and chat about things we love (or hate) over a glass of fizz – or monthly company outings, these things show that the agency values its culture and is keen to make sure that when you work hard, you can also play hard. It’s important to build friendships with the people you work with (you’ll be spending five days a week with them after all), and spending time with your team outside of work hours is a great way of doing this.
Exciting cases studies and past work
‘Passionate’ is one of Splendid’s key company values, and caring about the work you do is massively important when choosing the right agency for you. If you’re doing work that you care about, you’ll feel more motivated and fulfilled by the results you achieve.
Head to the agency’s website and social channels to check out their client roster and past work. Does their past work inspire you? Would you have been proud to have worked behind the scenes on their campaigns? If so, then it could be the place for you.
Step into the unknown
Don’t let lack of experience put you off. The aim of any internship is to learn and figure out if this is the right career path for you. The skills we use in communications don’t have to come from a marketing or PR degree, you’ll probably have them, and not even know. Neither of us had first-hand agency experience before applying for the internship, so we essentially took a leap of faith. Have confidence in the transferable skills you have harnessed through your education and any other previous roles, and go for it… you never know where it might take you!
Think you might fancy joining our team? Then get in touch. We’re always on the hunt for new talent and team members, and we’d love to hear from you.