InsightsPOSTED October 30, 2017

How to get the internship

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For many college and university students, the search for an internship can cause sleepless nights and worry-filled days. Our four interns can attest to these feelings because only a few short months ago those were the shoes they occupied. Fast forward a few months and all four are busy working in the world of PR. So we thought who better to ask for some advice on how to get the internship than our interns. Here’s what they had to say:

 

 

Kristia Pavlakos, intern coordinator for 6 months

“My best piece of advice is to not be afraid to take chances and get out of your comfort zone. If you want to grow and thrive in this industry, you need to network! One month before I got the internship (almost to the day, actually), I went to a networking event hosted by a Toronto-based magazine, The Kit. Everyone was so accomplished (and fashionable!) and I was absolutely terrified to start a conversation, but I set a goal to introduce myself to at least five people by the end of the day. I ended up speaking with The Kit’s marketing director, Evie and met with her a week later to discuss breaking into the industry. Forcing myself to get out there and talk to people really helped me with the interview process at APEX (and it was a bonus that APEX works with The Kit all the time!). It also helped me after I started working – PR is all about building relationships – with your coworkers, your clients and the media, among others – and learning how to start a conversation, how to ask questions and how to thrive in new (and sometimes intimidating) settings is a very important part of building any career.”

 

Kristina Mikhalkova, intern coordinator for 3 months

 

“Research! I can’t stress this enough. Research is the most important first step of getting your

internship. It’s important because during this process you’ll start to identify which organizations you really want to go through with the application process for and which you don’t. After you’ve done your research think about you, who you are and whether or not you will fit into the organizations based on the research you’ve completed. You have to find the internships that best suits you. Because after all, even though it’s a trial period in the workforce, you don’t to be going to work and waiting for the weekend. You want to love your internship.”

 

Kevin Behar, intern coordinator for 3 months

 

“Perseverance and networking. We all go through tough times where we are applying for internships and jobs and we are not getting responses. Keep pushing through that because eventually, you will begin to get those call backs, which is an awesome feeling. All that hard work will pay off. Networking opens doors for you. You could end up working for someone you met, or they can connect you with another internship opportunity. These connections can also give you a real sense of what it is like to work in that particular field because it’s important that you find something you like.”

 

Alison Chiu, intern coordinator for 2 months

 

“The first step is definitely to do your research! While looking for an internship, you want to make sure the organization or company you’re applying to is one that you feel would be the right fit and that you’re passionate about joining the team. Look into what the company cares about and what they’re involved in, as well as the responsibilities of the intern role. It’s a good idea to also research the people who will be interviewing you; you might have similar interests or have a better idea of what you want to share during your meeting. Along with lots of research, I found it was helpful to prepare myself for what information I wanted to share with my interviewers. Don’t have a whole script prepared, but think about your key points and stick to that. Otherwise, it’ll sound too scripted and disingenuous. When you think about your key points, think about ways you can stand out with your personality and experience with what they’re looking for. Making connections and being open to learning and new ideas is also really important, you never know who you might meet, and what you can do, unless you try it.”


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