Friday marked the last day of my two-week internship at Bell Pottinger, a British multinational public relations and marketing consultancy, headquartered in London.
Bell Pottinger’s clients range from multinational businesses, governments and public sector organisation’s to growth and challenger companies, entrepreneurs and other high-profile individuals. I was lucky enough to sit within their Engage department, as a corporate and brand intern.
With only two weeks at the agency, it was difficult to gain a deep and thorough understanding of the clients they work with. However, it was enough time to absorb the company culture, gain a great insight into the projects the company is working on and develop technical skills that hopefully will be transferable for future employment.
With this in mind, it was therefore important to make the most of every day as an intern, to dive straight in and not be hesitant with any tasks I was given. It was such an insightful, positive experience – an internship I would recommend to any PR student looking to develop industry experience.
Here, I have suggested five top tips to help get most out of an internship – especially if you only have 2 weeks!
1. Do not hesitate to ask questions – with everyone around you so busy, it can feel extremely daunting to interrupt and ask a question. Be considerate but do not hesitate, it is important to understand a task fully to avoid mistakes – it will surprise you how willing everyone is to help to help you!
2. Talk to people in the office – you can learn so much from the people around you in an internship. If you get the chance, try to find out how they got into PR, what clients are they working on and where do they aspire to be – you can gain personal insights into the industry as well as the agency. Make the most of being surrounded by like-minded individuals, because it really is inspiring!
3. Know what you want to achieve – have an idea of which sector of the company interests you the most or whether there are any particular skills you would like to develop. Often when you begin an internship they ask what you are interested in or whether there are any particular skills you would like to develop. Having an idea in mind, allows you to make the most of your time there and learn something that is important to you. So before you start, ask yourself why you are undertaking the internship and what you woulto achieve from it.
4. Don’t be afraid of the telephone – you cannot escape the sales aspect of PR. Calling up journalists and pitching them your news release is a task you should expect. It may be tempting to leave that task until last, but it will only waste time. Overcome the fear of the telephone as soon as you can and you will see it really is not as scary as it seems!
5. Keep a diary – internships fly by – especially when they are only 2 weeks! My advice is to take lots of notes and log what you do from day-to-day. It will be useful to look back on prior to an interview, to be able to share what exactly you worked on and what your responsibilities were. It will also be a nice reflection of your time at the company!
I would like to thank Bell Pottinger for having me and for such an insightful two weeks!