This Friday marks Emma’s last day with us. She has been a highly capable Intelligent Intern over the course of the 12-week programme, and we have been absolutely thrilled to have her on the team with us. We know that whatever she goes on to next will be something phenomenal – but while she’s still with us, we had her share a little of her journey to Intelligent Ink, and what she has learned while she’s been here.
Someone once told me to “always reach for the stars because stars don’t have arms to reach for you”. At the time, I thought it was quite odd. Now, I realise that what they meant was if you really want something, no matter how ambitious, if you just go for it and try your best, anything is possible. By going the extra mile to attain a position as a public relations intern at Intelligent Ink I have been blessed with a truly enlightening experience that would not have otherwise come to me.
The road to Intelligent Ink
To give you a bit of background I discovered Intelligent Ink towards the end of my second year of a Bachelor of Communications at AUT. I was about to commence my final year of tertiary study and I had set my heart on a career in public relations.
I knew that if I wanted to stand out to potential employers after graduation, I needed more than just that all-important piece of paper called ‘a degree’. So to give myself the competitive edge over my fellow graduates, I was determined to get myself some work experience. Not only because it would look good on my CV, but also because it would confirm that I was on the right path.
After harassing a guest speaker who came to my university about whether she knew of any work experience or internship opportunities, I was referred to Intelligent Ink – a relatively young public relations and copywriting agency that runs an internship program. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity, got the position and 12 weeks after I started, I can safely say it has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. My determination led me to a public relations agency that has been perfect for me in every way, from its unique personality and extra-curricular activities to its incredibly talented team of Inkers who tell the extraordinary stories of their many amazing clients every day.
My internship has allowed me to learn and experience a lot. Now I can confidently communicate with business leaders, formulate media reports, liaise with clients and the media, as well as write a range of content from media releases to newsletters and blog posts. Three key lessons that I would pass on to anyone else commencing an internship are
1. Leave your ego at the door. Any experience is a good experience and no job is beneath you, especially when you are just trying to get your foot in the door one toe at a time. If you focus and work hard enough within every task you are given you will get noticed. Once you earn your stripes, bigger and more interesting jobs will come your way. It’s also a great opportunity to practice and get a solid understanding of the basics before you take on the more complex tasks.
2. Seize every opportunity. Accept every invitation and task you are asked to do, especially if it scares you. If you are asked to pitch a client’s story to a journalist or a colleague invites you to a big, professional networking event, if you take a breath and just do it, chances are it won’t be as scary as you think and the results will definitely be worth it.
3. Go the extra mile wherever possible and pay attention to the details. Your brain is your greatest asset so use it to its fullest extent. Often it’s just paying attention and doing the little things well that will get you noticed the most. What I highly recommend is always be on time, dressing for the job you want instead of the job you have, being polite, using your common sense and proof-reading every document one extra time for luck so that you can confidently submit it knowing that it is flawless.
But overall, the most important thing that I take away from this internship is the confidence that I can be a public relations professional not just in theory but in the real world as well. This wonderful experience has taught me many things that I will definitely put in my pocket and save for a rainy day.