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Allison MelnikApril 28, 20154 min read

10 Tips to Help You Excel in Your Marketing Internship


So you’ve landed your dream internship— now what?

Internships can be a great way to gain knowledge that only firsthand experience can give you, but being an intern can be a little overwhelming at times.

Outlined below are ten valuable tips I learned during my internship with PR 20/20 that can help you not only succeed, but excel during your marketing internship.

1. Ask Questions

It’s OK if you aren’t 100% sure what is going on at first—you are new at this! Make sure to ask questions if you don’t understand something, to avoid spending an unnecessary amount of time on a project or task.

Although it’s important to take initiative and be proactive, it’s also encouraged to ask for help when you need it. Your co-workers understand this is all a little foreign to you, and they are the perfect people to help guide you along the way.

2. Have a Hunger for Knowledge

No matter what stage you may be in your professional career, there is always room for growth. Take advantage of the endless resources that you have at your fingertips. Read books, earn certifications and attend networking events so you can absorb as much information as possible.

Always nurture your drive to learn, especially during the beginning stages of your career.

Related: Learn what it takes to excel in your marketing career. Check out The Marketing Performance Blueprint by PR 20/20 CEO Paul Roetzer

3. Get to Know Your Co-workers

You spend a large portion of your day at work with your co-workers, so building strong relationships is essential to ensure a happy work environment and cohesiveness.

As an intern, it may be a little intimidating to reach out to co-workers, but it will be nothing but beneficial in the long run. Make an effort to connect by attending company events, asking people to lunch or coffee and overall just being friendly throughout the day.

4. Manage Your Stress Levels

Let’s face it—you are going to be a bit stressed at times. This is all new to you, which may be overwhelming.

When this happens, it is important to take a deep breath and evaluate your surroundings. Determine the cause of your stress, and brainstorm solutions. If your stress levels do not decrease, talk with your managers and team members. Chances are they will have some wise words of wisdom to calm that brain of yours that is going 100 miles per hour!

5. Learn the Importance of Time Management

One of the main strategies to ensure success is to keep your priorities in line. Stay on top of deadlines and reach out to managers if you feel you have too much on your plate.

Over time you will begin to have a better grasp on how long it will take you to do specific tasks. This will allow you to determine how much time you will need to allot for yourself to assure your projects are completed effectively and efficiently.

6. Always Have a Positive Attitude

A positive attitude is everything. With an outstanding attitude, you can accomplish almost anything. Come into each workday and be the type of person you want to work with.

Although you may get discouraged at times, you must remember that an internship is a great professional and personal learning experience. Even on your worst days, remember the opportunity you have been given and take full advantage of the situation.

7. Reach Out and Retain Feedback

Always, always, always ask your managers and team members for feedback so you can better yourself as a professional. During your internship, there will be projects and tasks you have to tackle that you have never dealt with before. Feedback is a great way for you to learn where you are excelling and what you need to improve.

Don’t simply ask for feedback and then disregard it. Absorb and retain any and all information you receive. Structured feedback is not useful unless you are actively applying it to your work.

8. Learn From Your Mistakes

The truth is, you are going to make mistakes. When you do, take them and turn them into the ultimate learning experience. Everyone messes up sometimes, but it’s how you bounce back from those mistakes that show your true character and capabilities.

Keep in mind that although it is okay to make mistakes sometimes, it’s important to not make a habit of making the same ones over and over again.

9. Deliver Your Best Work

Accuracy and efficiency are extremely important characteristics to possess in any job position. Always put forth your best effort when submitting your work to managers in the event that a project has to be delivered ahead of schedule.

With an internship comes the understanding of a learning curve, but don’t use this as a crutch. Keep in mind that the quality of your work reflects on your work ethic and should be the best you can produce at all times.

10. Never Sell Yourself Short

One of the most important aspects you must remember from beginning to end is that you must believe in yourself. Have the courage to not only succeed, but also excel in your program so you can reach your goals.

Internships are a great way to show exactly what you are made of, and to let your true potential shine. Take full advantage of this incredible journey to build great connections within your industry, gain valuable learning experiences and maybe even earn your way to a full-time position!


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Image Credit: Allison Kurz (@AllisonKurz)


Allison Melnik

Allison Melnik is a consultant at PR 20/20. She is a 2014 graduate of Kent State University with a concentration in organizational communications and public relations. Full bio.