When pursuing your dreams, you cannot do it alone. Sometimes it’s who you know and not what you know.
Social media is a great place to connect and network with people that share your same career interests. I told some of my network that I was relocating to the NYC area. After 24 hours of living in NYC, one of my associates invited me to Cassie’s listening party for her new mix tape “Rock A Bye Baby.” It was the first time I actually met my associate in person. At first I wasn’t going to go because I commute to the city and I didn’t feel like commuting back. After second thought, I decided to attend because it’s a chance to grow my network. I’m so glad I did that!
I met a lot of people in the entertainment industry. People from Global Grind, Blogxilla, Def Jam, XXL Magazine, Concreteloop.com, DDotomen.com and so much more. My associate’s friend then took me and my associate to the 40/40 club to watch the NCAA championship. The club’s owner even came by to watch the game, Jay-Z! It was the best Monday night I’ve ever had and to think I was going to stay in and watch television!
My story about getting my virtual internship is a unique one, to say the least. It started when this actress/comedian came to UNCG to perform her amazing stand-up show. From there I continued to follow her journey to success on social media. She is a wonderful person because she will actually interact with most of her followers and responds to tweets and posts, unlike many people who have finally received their big shot on television. Her publicist actually reached out to me via Twitter. From there I applied for an internship and I was offered a position. The company is located in a different time zone than mine so our entire relationship is virtual and through phone conversations. I just want to share with you a few tips on how to successfully gain and maintain a virtual internship.
Truly be passionate about the job that you are seeking to apply for because it is harder to sometimes do a job when everything is virtual. You must truly be immersed in the industry and with the job duties, otherwise it will seem like a miserable waist of time.
Be sure to have a steady internet connection at home. A virtual internship means that the majority, if not all, of your time will be spend doing work online through emails and follow ups. You will also be doing a ton of research not only for your job duties, but to figure out how to do certain things as well such as how to get your client on-to the red carpet of a movie screening. Also of course have a land-line/cellular phone as another means of communication.
Be proactive and take initiative. Never wait on your boss to tell you EXACTLY what to do everyday of your internship. You wanted the internship in the first place so show your boss why they hired you. Start pitching the company’s clients to media and get to know the clients before you pitch them.
Ask questions. The purpose of an internship is not only to perform work but to learn how to do the job duties. The boss cannot expect you to know everything. An internship is an opportunity for both sides (intern and boss) to learn about themselves and to teach each other (intentionally and unintentionally) how to be a better intern or how to be a better boss.
*Bonus tip*- Understand and segment who you should be pitching your client to! Don’t pitch a client that sells computers to a food trade magazine. It is pointless and a waist of time to pitch to an unrelated industry. Also find out the correct editors to pitch to. Not all editors accept pitches from PR professionals.
These are just some of the things I’ve learned about myself that I feel are necessary to have in order to work a virtual internship. What are some other things you feel are necessary for a virtual PR internship? A virtual internship?
I attended the 2nd Annual Women in PR Summit & Retreat.
My main purpose in going: to learn more about the public relations industry and to network with great professionals already in the industry. I was more interested in the panelists and the different panels more than anything.
There has been a lot of backlash about this event due to scheduled keynote speaker Kelly Cutrone deciding not to come. I had already signed up for this conference before the organization brought Kelly Cutrone on board. Although I was really excited to see her and hear what she had to say, it was NOT my only reason for coming. Don’t pay money for a full conference if you are interested in only one part. If that’s the case, try to reach out to that one person you are there to see.
There has been a few people asking me about the entire situation and I’m not sure why because I don’t speak on behalf of any of these two parties. I would encourage others to continue to follow this story and wait to hear official statements from BOTH parties. I respect Kelly Cutrone but I also respect and admire Anje Collins for wanting to help others in the industry and I thank her for all that she has done for the organization’s members.
What is your opinion about this situation? Please respect other people’s comments, you are entitled to your opinion.
When you meet people from work, on-go-to conferences, and tradeshows, the people you meet may help you with your next project for work. Here are a few tips:
Arrive early-make sure that you are prepared for the event that you are attending. Chances are others will do the same and you can connect instantly without a room full of people in your way.
Don’t be afraid to speak first– sometimes breaking the ice requires nothing more than a smile and an introduction. You can also casually walk beside someone and comment on how wonderful the previous speaker was.
Ask a question– if something was unclear at the conference, chances are other attendees may help you find the correct answer. Thank them and introduce yourself. This will also unintentionally break the ice and for a conversation between two strangers.
Have business cards ready– stand out when networking. Having a plain business card will take the experience of networking on a downward slope. Make the business card help the other person remember who you are. Include a photo on your cards. Make sure you get as many business cards as possible.
Follow up– after the event is over and it has been a few days after you have settle from your trip back home, follow up with the people you’ve connected with. It can be simple as just touching base with them and keeping the conversation going with emails every now and then. Maybe share an article they would find interesting.