Successfully Transitioning from an Intern to a Full-Time PR Professional
My time with Crowe PR began at the very end of January, with an internship that marked the last leg of my college career, and the start to my professional career. Applying for a PR internship was a pivot from my original plan —throughout college, being a journalist was the goal, but after exploring journalism I realized it wasn’t what I wanted. So after some pondering and soul-searching, I decided to give PR a shot. It seemed to have a lot of the elements I was looking for, and I figured I’d give it —as they say— the ol’ college try. The original goal was simply to test out the industry and learn as much as I could. Suffice to say, the goal quickly changed when I realized I’d stumbled into an industry and a company I loved. My new hope was —dream with me here folks— to be hired full time after graduation. Spoiler alert: I succeeded, and now I’m sharing how.
Take Baby Steps
Transitioning from an intern to a full-time, full-fledged member of the team didn’t happen all at once, but rather through a series of small steps. I wasn’t going to play all my cards at once, so instead, I worked to advance in small ways. My original internship was set to end toward the end of my semester, in mid-to-late May. Instead of approaching my boss about being hired post-grad, I asked if I could extend my internship through the end of the summer. The hope, of course, was to be hired by the end of this point, but at the very least I knew I would continue to gain great experience. I asked, and she accepted, and phase one was complete. Once they knew I was planning to be around for awhile, the next steps came naturally. The account coordinator title came right after graduation and with it a part-time status of 30 hours a week. Flash forward a month, and the full-time offer came along, and with it, 40 hours a week, benefits, and the promise of an exciting new career.
Don’t Be Coy
This might be an unpopular opinion, but I can tell you 100% that I did not, in the slightest, play it cool, and I would recommend you do the same. I wanted the job, and I wasn’t afraid to tell anyone that. Friends, family, the checkout guy at Trader Joe’s…I told them all. Most importantly, I told my boss. I saw absolutely no problem in making it known that Crowe PR was where I wanted to work. Sure, I wasn’t delusional, I knew I should be keeping my eye on some other options, but at the end of the day, Crowe PR was the goal, and I was doing all I could to make it clear they took top priority.
Know, and Show, Your Worth
It’s no secret that come the end of the semester, there is a lot of pressure for soon-to-be grads to find a job. Here in San Diego, there are four major universities, a half dozen community colleges, and tons of grads that attended school out of the area that will be coming back home to begin their job search. Long story short, the competition is fierce, and you have to set yourself apart from the crowd to secure a great job. I approached this by purposefully playing to my strengths. No previous PR experience? No problem! I had experience writing, a highly desirable skill in the PR industry, so I leveraged that. Writing assignments became my forte, and I was happy to take them on whenever the team threw them at me. From there, I gained more experience, was given special projects, and introduced to some of the clients. Throwing myself into those projects took some responsibilities off the team’s plate, made me a little more valuable to them, and, I think, ultimately played a huge role in their decision to hire me.
Don’t Get Discouraged
The job market is a fickle friend, and it’s easy to get discouraged when trying to land your dream job —or really any job! There were times when I thought that it wasn’t going to happen, and it can definitely be a frustrating process. What kept me going in those moments was the knowledge that either way, I was gaining incredible experience, and would be thankful in the long run regardless of the outcome. I was lucky enough to have my internship end in a full-time offer but had it not, my internship experience was still a wonderful learning opportunity, and was an invaluable part of kick-starting my career.
By Dani DeVries, Account Coordinator