As this fall season’s intern group slowly starts to depart, we look to our colleagues and friends at Bravo for advice. They’ve been there for us every step of the way as we have worked on countless projects. There was never a time when we felt like we couldn’t ask for help. Now, more than ever, we need that help and support as we move on from our short, but remarkable, time at Bravo.
After some intern collaboration, we came up with many questions that we wanted answers to. After making a long list, we realize how much we trust the advice of everyone at Bravo. Here’s what people had to say:
What skills do you think are important for us to develop in order to appear more marketable in the communications industry?
Noelle Lorine: Problem solving and willingness to think outside the box to come up with unique and creative solutions to everyday problems. Also be proactive and seek out any and all opportunities to develop professionally. Attend networking events, keep in touch with former interns and mentors, and keep up with industry news.
Anna Idler: I think even beyond basic skills, developing a sharp knowledge of the industry you’d like to be in is key when diving into the communications industry. Read the news, think critically, strengthen your writing, research new industry trends. And overall, be open to learning something new every day. Sometimes it’s not about having the answer for everything when at your job – working at a firm means collaborating with peers enthusiastically and utilizing your unique ideas to move your company forward.
Kelley Denny: I think humility is an important skill in this industry. It’s good to know what you know, but even better know what you don’t know. Be honest about that.
Anne Merrick: Develop a single skill that you can own and grow with. It doesn’t have to be super complicated, but position yourself to be an expert with that skill and grow with it as it evolves – this will allow you to always add differentiated value in a crowded talent pool.
What is the most beneficial thing we can do right now for our future, no matter what age we are?
Noelle: Keep learning, even if you’re not in school. Learn from your coworkers, your friends, mentors and role models. Find opportunities to learn a skill and use it to show your value in the professional world.
Anna: I think it’s extremely beneficial to never compare yourself to others in your peer group when it comes to careers, or really anything else. Everyone has a different timeline for life’s milestones!
Kelley: Send thank you notes. No one does anymore. Also, try everything and be a “serial” intern.
Anne: Read everything and anything. Recognize that almost everyone has a unique perspective and value-add—identify it and learn from them.
Is there anything you didn’t do when you were our age that could have helped better prepare you for life?
Noelle: Read the news!! It’s so important to have a working knowledge of current events. I was interviewing for an entry-level PR position and was asked to list the day’s top stories – I had NO idea! So embarrassing but I definitely learned my lesson.
Anna: I could have definitely been more proactive during my early internships. I was so used to a college classroom setting – receive assignment, do project/write paper, hand in to professor, get a grade. But working at a job is so much more than waiting for a task to complete. Ask questions, go the extra mile, bring suggestions to your intern supervisors – your superiors will notice and appreciate your eagerness and creativity.
Kelley: Take big risks, not small ones. The things that worked for me were the ones that made no sense and felt terrifying at the time. Fake it until you make it and it will come to you.
Anne: I compared myself to others too much – don’t do this. Instead measure success by personal improvement each day.
Which personal attributes do you think we should strive to display?
Noelle: Open-mindedness, willingness to learn and try new things, creativity, teamwork.
Anna: Some very important attributes in my opinion to display in a professional setting would be: honesty, optimism, determination, patience and effective time management skills.
Kelley: Most beneficial thing you can do is remember how to say, “I made a mistake.” We all make them. There is no point or title that makes that sentence obsolete. It’s a real problem when people feel they don’t have to say it any longer. I said it twice this week, at least. And that is just at work.
Anne: Kindness, ambition, and positivity.
Any last words of advice for departing interns?
Noelle: Best of luck and keep in touch! Remember that we’re always here for advice and want to help you succeed regardless of the path you decide to pursue.
Anna: Keep an open mind, stay positive, network with family and friends, and have fun.
Kelley: Do the unexpected. Stay late, go early, and show some passion for the work. If you do it right, it’s not a job, but an adventure.
Anne: Always support the people on your team no matter what. Always remember what being an intern felt like. Pretty much nothing in work and life is black and white and pretty much everything is a shade of grey.
Emily Brensinger | Bravo Group | Wayne Intern