News & Commentary Straight from Think HQ

News January 07, 2020

Tips for turning your internship into that first job

By Riley O’Farrell

I started a public relations internship with Think HQ in July because, with one year left of my degree and a highly competitive industry awaiting me, I wanted to distinguish myself, expand my knowledge and experience a deeper insight into the dynamic world of public relations.

I was immediately attracted to Think HQ’s values, clients and meaningful projects they have delivered to help create positive social change. Their work with the Organ and Tissue Authority, Respect Victoria and projects with Department of Social Services were notable projects that stood out to me.

After overcoming some first day nerves, meeting the team and developing a deeper insight into the numerous projects that Think HQ work on that truly make a difference, I knew I was in the right place.

As my internship came to an end, to my delight I was offered work 4 days a week with Think HQ, that I have balanced with my studies and other commitments. This was a rewarding and exciting moment, and I was delighted to be officially joining the Think HQ team and its inclusive, strong culture.

Reflecting back to just a few months ago when I was interning, to now, I am proud of how far I’ve come.

It’s interesting working in a communications agency and comparing it to what I was expecting based on what I had learnt at University and my previous internship. The tasks I have been completing are beyond much of what is taught at University and I have learnt so much. The diverse fields of work that public relations offers is also why I enjoy communications and public relations. This is another reason why I believe completing internships are so beneficial. You have the opportunity to receive real life experience, develop your skills and increase your knowledge whilst receiving support and advice from experienced professionals.

Whilst it may seem daunting, I cannot recommend enough stepping outside your comfort zone and being proactive with your future. It will demonstrate your interest and motivations towards your career, enhance your career portfolio, led to new networks and help you to gain a better understanding of your profession. It may even land you a job!

To any students wanting to gain industry experience through an internship program, here are some tips I would recommend that I found really beneficial.

  • Be punctual throughout your internship, always arrive on time and be well-prepared.
  • Take initiative with tasks and be proactive in asking people around the office for help. This will show that you are motivated, eager to learn and reflects your ability to work well in a team.
  • Work across several areas where possible to discover the areas you enjoy working in most.
  • Have a positive attitude and strong work ethic. This will help you to make a good impression, can enhance your career opportunities and is particularly important for a fast-paced environment such as agencies.
  • Ask for feedback. During my internship, I had weekly meetings with my supervisor which was extremely beneficial as it provided an opportunity to discuss what I had been working on, any fields of work/tasks I would like to complete, address any issues and seek feedback in an honest and appropriate manner.
  • Make use of your networks and continue to develop them. Networks are highly important and extremely worthwhile for career progression. I am so grateful to my network who recommended Think HQ which ultimately influenced where I am today.

I am so appreciative of the ongoing support I have received from everyone at Think HQ, since the first day of my internship. I look forward to continuing to grow and be a part of a communications agency committed to thinking differently within the community services sector.

Interested in an internship with Think HQ? Contact Lauren McMahon – lauren@think-hq.com.au