How to Be the Best Intern Ever

February 23, 2017

by Ashley Tinstman

As someone who was once a nervous, timid intern, I’ll admit—internships can be somewhat terrifying.  Your professors constantly stress the importance of getting multiple internships, but the process of seeking and obtaining those internships can sometimes feel overwhelming.

If you’ve ever felt this way, take a deep breath and relax.  Internships are a process of trial and error—they’re designed to help you learn what you like and don’t like, all while getting real-world experience.  And as employers, we’re here to help you grow, and that’s something we love to do.

Here at Curley & Pynn, interns are a valuable part of our team who get to work on all kinds of projects—drafting newsletters, doing research, building media lists and more.  Now, you might be thinking, “That sounds awesome, but what exactly do you look for in an intern?”  Luckily for you, I am here to answer that very question.  Here are five things that make a great C&P intern:

  • Write.  And then write some more.

But seriously … writing is a vital skill in our industry.  As an intern at C&P (and in your future jobs), you will be writing on a consistent basis. Whether it’s a news release, feature story or a media pitch, you must have strong writing skills and know how to tailor your writing to very specific audiences.  If writing isn’t exactly your strong suit, practice!  It’ll go a long way in helping you stand out during your interview.

  • Be a sponge.

Once you’ve landed the internship, be eager to learn all you can.  Observe what others do, take notes, ask to sit in on meetings and seek out advice. We are here to be a resource for you, so don’t be shy.  You can learn a great deal by observing and asking questions.

  • Be a problem solver.

In the PR industry, you will undoubtedly face challenges that require you to think critically.  You may have to do difficult research for a client or write about a topic with which you’re unfamiliar.  In those cases, be resourceful and attempt to work through the problem you’re facing.  But if you get stuck after trying, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

  • View mistakes as a learning opportunity.

Everyone makes mistakes.  It’s an unavoidable reality.  You’ll make mistakes as an intern, and you’ll make mistakes as a seasoned industry pro.  But guess what … that’s OK.  Mistakes may not be pleasant in the moment, but they can be a valuable learning opportunity.  When your internship supervisor offers constructive criticism, view it as a positive.  We want to help you grow and succeed.

  • Take initiative.

One of the most valuable things you can do as an intern is take initiative. If there’s a project you want to get involved with, tell us.  If there’s something you want to learn more about, speak up.  If you don’t have enough work to do, ask for more.  We do our best to get our interns involved in a variety of projects, but we always like when our interns take the initiative to ask first.

If you’re interested in interning at an awesome agency with awesome people, you can find more information here.


Doing My Homework

December 19, 2016

By Karen Kacir

I want to be able to have an informed conversation about anything.  While I know I’m never going to be fluent in all disciplines, I’ve always wanted to know at least a little about as many things as I could.

This made interning at Curley & Pynn this semester a real treat.  While no one in PR doubts the importance of research, I could tell this team took it to the next level.  Even before I applied to the internship program, I was impressed with the firm’s emphasis on using solid research to inform strategic direction.

Interning here, I made some progress toward my goal of knowing at least a little about a lot.  Over the past three months, I’ve researched and written about subjects I never thought I’d touch, from fuel cells to financial technology.

It was always gratifying to know that the hours I dedicated to each research project didn’t disappear into thin air.  Some of what I dug up was the basis for stories slated to appear in the next issue of florida.HIGH.TECH, the Florida High Tech Corridor’s annual magazine.  Some of it went into reports used to shape decisions made at executive levels.  Regardless of what the final product looked like or where it ended up, I’ve had a lot of fun being involved in the process.

And while I’m never going to develop super-cool, Back-to-the-Future-inspired solar energy filaments, it’s good to know that — if the subject ever comes up at the dinner table — I won’t be completely lost.

Editor’s note:

We’ve had the opportunity to work with many very talented college students over the years through our internship program, and several of those interns have gone on to work with us as full-time specialists.  We would have loved for our most recent intern, Karen Kacir, to be the latest to join our team, but she has other plans for her future … a Peace Corps teaching assignment in Colombia.  Before Karen left us to make her impact on the world, she drafted one last Taking Aim post to discuss the impact our internship had on her world.  Best of luck, Karen!


Interns are People, Too

April 11, 2012

by Kim Taylor

The value of interns cannot be overstated.  We’ve had an active internship program at Curley & Pynn since, well, nearly the beginning.  And, in my (almost) 12 years here, I’ve watched as a select few have made a direct path from intern to full-time employee.

While I acknowledge that many internships must consist of making coffee, picking up dry cleaning and generally handling menial tasks like something out of “The Devil Wears Prada” that surely doesn’t reflect the experience we try to create.  Learning is a critical part, but real-world experiences are essential.

If the same is true elsewhere, I wonder, then, why I continue to see emails from “intern@XYZcompany.” If an intern is tasked with communicating with the media, for instance, how much credibility does their “intern@” email address have?

Don’t get me wrong, we’re not in the business of passing off interns as seasoned pros, but we are in the business of creating real opportunities and interns are people, too.


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