Jess’s Tips for Internships

Read all about our Vice President Jess Scarcella’s experience interning with Elle Communications this past semester in Los Angeles!

By: Jess Scarcella

Internships; getting coffee, learning nothing, actually learning something, disliking your coworkers, making great friends. Internships can have a huge impact on who you are as a professional and how it does really depends on the type of internship and whom you end up working with.

12048556_1637196933222315_1165130411_nI had the opportunity to live in Los Angeles for 8 months this past spring and summer. While there my life changed, I grew up and changed more than I thought I needed to and I owe most of my progression to the three internships I did while I was there.

My first internship was at Elle Communications, a small PR firm located in downtown Los Angeles that was centered on working with charitable fashion companies. I would say this was a very straightforward PR internship, they had me building media lists, using Cision every five seconds, they taught me the typical PR terms I would soon be using in the professional world, and they gave me complete creative freedom when it came to writing pitches. Here is one of my favorites.

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I was able to create my own layouts and use my lovely imagination to come up with titillating lines that would make the reader take action. I loved it! It was definitely the best first internship I could have asked for; there was no general office work and everyone was extremely laid back so there wasn’t a lot of pressure put on me. Aside from the hour and a half commute I am extremely happy that I had to chance to work at Elle.

At the time I was interning they were developing their internship program so I had to be open to helping them make changes to the program and go along if they ever had to switch something up. This could easily be the case at any internship. A lot of companies are beginning to develop programs in order to avoid legal complications; which is very smart on their part.

If I could have gone back and done this internship again I definitely would have opened up to my coworkers more. I would have told them how much I loved doing pitches, even though I was already the go-to pitch girl, and I would have gotten to know the interns more. Doing this would have made the experience much more worthwhile even though it was unpaid.

Ah, that brings up MONEY, something we all want and something that would give us a kick in the butt to possibly step up our game. All I can say is don’t be discouraged from not being paid. It doesn’t mean that they don’t appreciate you for the work you are doing. They actually probably appreciate you more since you are not being paid.

So the takeaway…

  1. Speak up! Ask people for help, ask them if they need help, get to know them, let them know what you enjoy doing the most.
  2. Have an open mind! Go into each day of work with a smile a coffee and a full belly it will make you a much more enjoyable person to be around.
  3. Be SMART. Make sure you think about what you do before you do it and try your hardest at every task you are given!

If you ever find yourself in the LA or NY area check out Elle C
ommunications for an internship! Ellecomm.com

By the way, that was a terrible call to action. If you end up writing pitches for your internship make sure you come up with something better!

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