1. Have a to-do list. I had a to-do list broken up by days so I could see what I needed to do day of and easily visualize my upcoming projects. This ensured I plotted out my days to full capacity (without being overwhelmed) and never missed a deadline.
2. Stay organized. While a to-do list is a form of being organized, it’s not the only method. I used many tools (both digital and physical) to stay organized and centered. My desk was my hub of information, and when seated, I was calm and collected, literally. Helpful hints: sticky notes, clearly marked folders, pens in consistent places and journals for each client, etc.
3. Think big picture. The No. 1 task motivator for me was knowing what I did not only affected my team, my team leader, the company but also the client and whoever the client was trying to serve. Seeing myself as a larger part of an organization was extremely helpful for me to have energy and passion for each project, even down to the simplest tasks. How do you do this? Always ask your supervisor or other team members how your project plays into the bigger picture. The answer isn’t “because deadline” or “the client needs it,” and you’ll start to realize the importance of public relations and yourself.
4. Ask questions. Similar to the above, asking questions is vital to completing projects. If you’re unclear of what is expected of you, ask. Don’t be afraid because no one is going to be mean or think you’re stupid. Asking smart (non-Google-able questions) improves the quality of your work, your understanding of public relations functions and makes you look more engaged.
5. Stop thinking of yourself as an “just an intern.” You matter. Erase that typical intern-making-coffee scene. What you do matters, so find the best way for you to do the best work, and don’t forget you’re a critical part of the team. Speak up in meetings, get to know your coworkers and always have a great attitude.