So you want to intern at Cookerly? I can see why. It is a fantastic public relations company with many high-profile clients. At the same time, it is small enough that you can meet and get to know everyone. Getting your face known is easy in a place where the President and CEO’s office is a 30-second walk away. As I wrap up my last week here, a few words of wisdom for those looking to fill my shoes:
- Do your homework: Read the case studies on Cookerly’s Web site. Knowing the clients is essential to relating your past work to the work you can do here. One of my interviewers later told me that my knowledge of the agency’s clients really set me apart from other interviewees. What’s more, some of the case studies I wrote might be up there, and, well, it would make me feel good to know that future interns read them and learned something.
- Show ‘em what you’ve got: Luckily, you do not have to know people at Cookerly in order to get an internship here. Additionally, you do not have to have an extensive background in PR to impress the intern team, as demonstrated by the fact that they took a shot on a former government contractor (yes, that would be me!). Send a thoughtful, personal – and error-free – cover letter showing your eagerness to learn and your willingness to work in teams. These are the two most important traits for an intern, in most any professional setting.
- Ace the interview:
- Phone Interview: You will probably have a phone interview before an in-person one, and it is incredibly important for you to demonstrate good phone demeanor. PR professionals spend a lot of time on the phone, so take this seriously. Show some personality, be energetic, and smile even though they can’t see you. Not only does it make you sound pleasant, it can actually ease your nerves too. Since I can quickly get nervous, I kept talking points and questions in front of me too.
- In-person interview: Due to those nerves of mine, I barely remember what I said, but I do remember feeling confident and being prepared. Cookerly hires on both brainpower and personality, so be yourself and show what you can offer the team. Wearing your lucky interview outfit can ensure that you feel confident. (see Amy Salloum’s “Cubicle Couture” for tips). Above all, be prepared. You know the typical interview questions so have those answers down solid. Then be sure to bring some questions of your own.
- History repeats itself: In PR you could do any or all of the following: write, talk, research, take pictures, produce videos, host events, attend events, arrange media interviews, provide guidance to clients, manage client crises and deal with politics. Show the agency how you can relate what you have done professionally and personally to what you think our clients need (see point 1).
- Once you’re in the door: After you’ve gotten the internship (because if you follow these tips you will!), savor every minute. Take advantage and learn from everything you are assigned to do—from publicity reports to events, client meetings, and even opportunities to write photo blurbs, case studies, articles, and blog posts. Not only will this benefit your portfolio, but you will make a lasting impression on Cookerly’s clients and team.
Cookerly has afforded me the opportunity to do such a wide variety of work with so many industries, clients and projects. My wish is that I can give back by bringing in the most intelligent, driven and prepared interns. Make me proud!