By Katherine Hancock (a real-life intern)

This is it… She’s done it! Armed with a shiny new degree and an ambitious grin, the wide-eyed student sets off into the big world of full-time employment. Long gone are the days of textbooks and study groups, philosophy lectures and cram sessions – here’s to finally doing something! A real job – a senior job – in an agency, dare I say it… contributing to the world.

I’ll stop there. I see that look in your eyes, I had you going right? You can’t just waltz into the castle and expect to be handed a coveted, dazzling position in the agency. You’ve got to work for it, hone those skills, go above and beyond.

Without further ado, prancing in from the mystical woods to your left, yielding a sword and shield – student internships.

Student internships have the power to slice and dice your career dreams, but there’s no need to worry. Get your grip on that internship and hold on tight! You’re about to learn things a degree can’t even dream of teaching you.

Getting the right internships no easy feat. You’ll search far and wide before finding the perfect fit. Pick  internships that interest you and push you in the right direction. Think about your happily ever after, where is it set? In the bustling cubicles of a city corporation or in the tidy confines of a home office or maybe somewhere in between?

Now you’ve landed one of the internships you’ve hunted down, you’re in your new office wear (were the heels too much?) and it’s learning time! But let’s not be dazed by the sudden influx of new tasks and duties, you’ve got to make an impression on your new boss. It’s easy to get chewed up and spat out, but that’s why you arm yourself with your best defense – your mind.

So what’s the best thing to bring on your first day? Well, it’s not as simple as that. There’s a myriad of qualities that can make an intern stand out and sparkle. You’ve got to cut it down to the basics;


Having an open mind and being quite the enthusiast is bound to make an impression. It’s not all about your attitude, but demonstrating a positive outlook and enthusiastic for each task goes a long way…regardless of the task. Just as an aside – no-one is going to ask you to write strategy as an intern.


Now it’s all about asking questions. You’re here to learn and eagerness is definitely not frowned upon. Being curious shows that you’re engaged and willing to learn – act as a sponge, soak it up and squeeze it out (preferably later, rather than sooner). Demonstrating ‘how much you know’ is likely to demonstrate just how little that actually is.


You’re here to better your skills, while working towards a goal or landing that dream job. Through focus and hard work, you may even get just that. Now being overly ambitious isn’t necessarily a fault, but it’s good to keep it in check. Nobody likes a buzz kill.


Kristin Austin Marketing Communication & Training offers two internships for 3rd year marketing or PR students per semester (unless an existing intern decides they want to stay on – and some do). If you think you’ve got what it takes to be one of our interns, drop us a note with your CV explaining why you’re the one.

PS: please note, CVs without cover notes and explanations, don’t get read.

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