We are fortunate to have two interns at Chaloner right now – Swetha Nagaraj has just started at our Boston office and Emily Kelly is finishing up a summer working in New York. Swetha is a graduate student at Emerson College and Emily is entering her senior year at Loyola University in Maryland. These women are expert interns, having both held internships before this one. They have some good insight on how to both contribute, and absorb, as much as possible from such an opportunity.
Did you have any internships before this one? How did you land at Chaloner?
SN: I previously worked as a content intern at a Radio Station and as a newsreporter for one of India’s leading newspapers. I came across this internship on www.internships.com and also saw it posted on the Emerson College employment website. The interview with Rebecca and Christine went really great- it was a matter of explaining my goals and aligning them with those of Chaloner.
EK: I had an internship last summer at Martha Stewart as their digital marketing intern. I found this internship online and the interview process was different than any interview I had before, as it had several different steps- a phone interview, an in-person interview, and a research test. This better prepared me for interviews in the future.
What sort of work did you expect you’d be doing and what sort of work did you end up doing?
SN: So far the work I have been doing is just what I expected. Starting this week, I will be attending a couple of events with Christine and am looking forward to newer aspects of this internship like networking.
EK: I knew I would be doing a lot of research but I wasn’t exactly sure what that entailed. The bulk of my work was searching across Linkedin and other resources for people who might be a good fit for the jobs we were looking for. I also started working on the company’s web page by posting blogs and job descriptions, something I did not know I would be doing. I learned a great deal from working in both capacities.
Any surprises / discoveries about working in this environment?
SN: I have never worked in an environment with just 4 people. The level of professionalism is amazing.
EK: Everyone really works as a team. If someone has a question or needs advice on how to handle a situation, we can simply turn around and get opinions from everyone in the room. When a search is completed it’s also great to see how the whole office gets excited, not just the person working on the search.
How has this internship equipped you to pursue a career in PR?
SN: It is still early to tell, but I am sure that having prior knowledge of the agencies, salaries, job requirements and having had the opportunity to network with people will give me an edge when I set out to pursue my career in PR.
EK: You always hear the word PR but until this internship I didn’t really know exactly what PR meant. After working on a few PR searches, I was able to see that there are so many different elements that fall into that category. When I begin my job search later in the year it’s definitely something I’ll be looking out for in a job description.
How can an intern make the most of his/her experience? What advice would you give to future interns?
SN: Don’t be afraid to bring your strengths and strong points to the table. My advice to future interns would be to absorb as much as one can and make the most of what you can with the experience.
EK: It is important for interns to take it seriously and learn as much as they can. An internship is an opportunity to learn, grow, and figure out what you like and don’t like for future positions. Without being annoying, ask questions when you are unsure or if something is unclear.
Whether you’re considering an internship for yourself or taking on an intern for your company, I would encourage you to pursue the opportunity. An internship is a useful gateway into an industry you want to explore or a company you’d love to work for. And those of us working with interns can attest that the good ones bring fresh energy, new ideas and an insatiable curiosity that reminds us why we do what we do. We are so grateful to have Emily and Swetha onboard and look forward to watching their careers take off!
Chaloner, founded in 1979 as Chaloner Associates, is a national executive search firm that focuses on recruiting mid- to senior-level communications, public relations, marketing and investor relations professionals.