The value of internships - a firsthand account

The value of internships - a firsthand account

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin

Franklin’s quote conveys one simple truth - experience is the best teacher.

Over my past two months interning for Elevate, I’ve learnt just how right he is.

In a field as wide as PR, internships and the practical experience they provide are vital. You can learn a lot buzzing on caffeine and surrounded by textbooks, but it's internships allow you to take the lessons you’ve learnt in the classroom, and apply them to first hand situations.

My time at Elevate has proved invaluable to my career progression, for five main reasons.

1.   It allows me to learn practically, not theoretically

Until I had some work experience under my belt, it was hard to understand the difference between practical and theoretical learning. It’s a completely different ballgame when you write a media release for a client instead of a high distinction. The strict time limitations, attention to specific details, and relationships with clients; put authentic responsibility on your shoulders. Practical experience changes how you think, and teaches you to get the job done under pressure – something you can’t grasp through study alone.

2.   I am building my professional network

At Elevate I am not only surrounded by a team of PR professionals, I am engaged with them. Whether lending assistance to a client brainstorm or working on a monthly report, I am always talking to, asking advice of or being offered advice from team members in the office. These interactions form working relationships between myself and company employees, which I can add to my professional network.

3.   I received helpful feedback through mentoring 

Mentoring can play a huge role in professional development. Although an intern is usually linked to one person, I have felt mentored by the entire team at Elevate. Each working day a different team member took time out of their busy schedules to take me out for lunch and share their industry experiences. This allowed me to ask questions and gain insight into how they had failed and succeeded in the past; information I know will help me with my career choices. Elevate’s mentoring has been fundamental to my growth throughout the internship program.

4.   I was given opportunities to showcase my skills and talents 

This internship challenged me in my writing, communication, and PR skillsets. Every day I was given a clear schedule that outlined tasks I was expected to complete by certain times. Some tasks of these included drafting media releases, news stories and monthly reports, conducting franchisee communications, conference preparation, and monitoring Elevate’s social media presence. The challenges that these tasks presented allowed me to show what I am capable of to experienced professionals, and receive their invaluable feedback.

5.   I expanded my career options 

Internships are one of the best ways to ‘kick-start’ a career. My acceptance for Elevate’s internship program was greatly influenced by my experience as a journalism intern for The Courier Mail a few months beforehand. After publishing a story centred on Elevate client Eagle Boys Pizza, I was contacted by their head office who recommended me to Elevate. I never thought that my initial journalism internship would lead anywhere, but it has ultimately allowed me to explore the world of PR first hand.

At the end of the day, choosing to seek internships was one of the best decisions I could have made to start out my career. My time at Elevate has been invaluable, and will have long lasting effects on my career now and into the future.

- Sam Moore, Elevate Intern

Want your own Elevate Experience? Contact us to become our next intern.

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