The Intern's World: Five Months at C. Pharr & Co.

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A job and an internship aren't very different. The basics are still there, from the interviewing process to the day-to-day. Yet, one distinct difference stands out among all the jobs I’ve ever had: On my first day at C. Pharr & Co., I was asked what three tasks I wanted to accomplish by the time I left and how they could help me achieve those goals.

At my previous jobs, I worked in serving, house cleaning, data entry and publishing. However, this was the only place where someone asked me what they could do to help me grow as a professional. 

That is what makes C. Pharr so different. They care about their intern's experience. I learned so much under the team’s tutelage, and if I could go back in time and do it all over again, I most certainly would. They each taught me something new and different, and for that I am forever grateful.

Here are five things I discovered during my five months at the agency:

1. If a task takes longer than you expected, ask if there is a better way

Agency life is fast-paced. If it takes you an hour to do a routine task, a more efficient method is probably out there, so just ask. Your boss is more than willing to help you succeed.

2. Communication is key

Always make an effort to share status updates on projects, and speak up when you feel overwhelmed or bored. If you're bored, then ask if you can help with something. This is key to leaving a lasting (positive) impression.

3. Be prepared - always

Always have a pen and a notebook on hand! If you are attending an event, don't forget your padfolio. Also, bring a spare charger for your phone, because live tweeting can drain a battery quickly.

4. Time management and project management are crucial for success

Working in a smaller agency is one of the best experiences you can get in public relations because you get the opportunity to work on so many different projects. You will need to quickly adapt to changes and manage your time effectively, so be ready. If you're ever unsure of what needs to be done first, (again) ask how to prioritize. 

5. Classes can only teach you so much about public relations

As an intern, you will experience the learning curve of working in the real world. Though you learn press releases and pitching and all those wonderful tasks in the classroom, you will never experience them firsthand until you get out there in the field.

Don't take your experience for granted and enjoy every opportunity you are presented with because this is where your future begins.

This post was written by Holly McCleary. 

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