Let’s be honest not all of us have that dream internship. You know…. the internships that are Monday through Friday from nine to five and are paid. Realistically, most of us have part-time unpaid internships or none at all. Like most college students, we need money. This summer I went to my internship two days a week and worked the other days in retail.
However, I did learn a few lessons from my part-time job that offered me a few insights into my public relations profession.
Customers are like clients. You have to maintain a level of professionalism at all times, even when you’re dealing with picky, stubborn, and rude demands. While the customer may not always be right, there is always a compromise that both parties can reach.
Professionalism is key. This summer I had customers complain that I was too friendly and chatty, but I would rather be remembered for that instead of being sarcastic and impolite. Maintaining a level of professionalism shows you’re well-mannered and will ultimately leave you respected and trusted.
Hard work pays (off). Getting your hands a little dirty in fields other than strategic communications helps build character. It gives you a different perspective and teaches life lessons. It’s also a pay check, which is motivation in and of itself. Plus, the employee discount is also a perk.
Communication is vital. Staying in touch with your coworkers is extremely important for productive and successful results. Whether it’s through email (at your internship) or an intercom (at your part-time job), communicating wants, needs, goals, and concerns with others will help achieve the best results.
“Team work makes the dream work.” My manager would constantly drill this motto to our team. During any shift, certain team members would stock shelfs, put away returns, do markdowns, or work the cash register. Either way, each of my coworkers had a role that would help contribute to an enjoyable shopping experience for our customers.
By: Clarissa Ford