by Weber Shandwick

With limited or no internship experience, the prospect of graduating can be quite daunting. Landing an internship is the easy part. Being seen as more than just another fresh graduate in the working world is harder.

Four months ago, in my final six months of university, I started interning at Weber Shandwick’s Sydney office. Given it’s difficult to know what type of PR you want to do so early in the game, I took a real liking to Weber Shandwick’s ‘First Light Program’. The program allows interns to work across the organisation and experience each practice area, giving you a feel for what public relations you’re interested in, whether Consumer, Tech, Healthcare, or Corporate and Public Affairs.

I interned two days a fortnight, commuting from Bathurst to Sydney. Finishing up just before my final exams, I couldn’t have been happier with the knowledge and experience I gained as an intern. Interning at Weber Shandwick was only the beginning, and the doors to my public relations journey had been opened…

Can you be seen as more than just an intern?

It’s the question every intern wants answered. My answer is ‘most definitely!’

Making an impression that lasts could be the difference between that “‘good for now” job, and the dream job you worked so hard for through university. As a PR graduate, you might be feeling pretty overwhelmed in this situation. Do you think it’s impossible to impress when you’re only there a few days a week? In reality, it’s not!

Standing out can be as simple as 1, 2, and 3…

So, listen up, interns! The following pointers will help you leave a lasting impression that will have any agency wanting you as part of their team.

  1. Be enthusiastic – Show that you’re motivated and excited. This shows that you want to be there, to learn and develop your skills and it creates a positive vibe where you’re interning. Lets face it, the fact that you chose to pursue a career in PR means you’re probably personable. You should show an interest in the task at hand, especially given the short time you’re in the office.
  2. Listen, then ask questions – Take in what is being asked of you, process the information and then ask questions. This also shows you’re enthusiastic. Asking questions shows you’re invested in the task and want to get it right.
  3. Be prepared to help out – people appreciate all the help they can get in stressful environments… From a coffee run for a client to boost energy levels, or proofreading a client document, every bit of help counts. Using your initiative to go above and beyond really leaves an impression on potential future colleagues and employers.

From my own experience, these hints might sound simple, but they really amount to greatness.

Some people choose their careers, and for some people, their career chooses them. In this case, Weber Shandwick chose me. Although I lacked practical experience, I was eager to learn and my enthusiasm left a positive impact on the people around me.

When a position became available within the agency, who did they call? They called the intern they remembered… me! I had three simple yet effective qualities to get me over the line from intern to employee.

Three simple actions landed the girl from Far West New South Wales her dream job in the Big Smoke.


– Jada Parisi is an Account Coordinator in the healthcare team

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