Today, Lil Wayne is making a comeback with his “Carter V” album. His life has been quite rough, but he is still standing strong on the other side of it and rapping the truth of his story. A lot like Lil Wayne’s life, internships look like sparkling opportunities but are actually hard. Interns do the tedious, annoying tasks that a regular employee does not want to do in hopes of getting a recommendation, a job or just a chance to learn something great. Public relations interns spend hours upon hours speaking with clients, scouring the internet for current events, making graphics, running around getting coffee and food, raising money for campaigns and talking to citizens who unfortunately are not all charming. For those of you doing fall internships, you are in the middle of it, and if you are anything like me, you are tired of doing the hard stuff for barely any recognition. Below are five quotes out of different Lil Wayne albums and his life that will hopefully provide guidance through your difficult or stressful internship, because let’s face it, there is nothing better than rap for a little public relations intern motivation.
You learn more from the hard tasks. You remember them. They shape you, and they will shape your career. If you want to be a great employee, accept the hard challenges and take them on first. In the end, you will stand out in your workplace for excelling at the work that many other interns would pass on, you will learn more and you will feel more rewarded. Do not shy away from hard tasks, hard questions, hard people, etc. The hard parts create your grind and are worth it.
Do not overthink — simply act. If you make a mistake, just fix it. There is no time to overthink about your mistakes in the public relations world; it moves too fast. Therefore, do not allow the competition of interns to take your thunder if you make a mistake. Instead, show your employer that you are a reliable, innovative resource. Admit your mistake, fix the problem, and move on to the next issue that arises. It is that simple. Rise above yourself, fix it and work on the next issue. The past has no time for you in the public relations world or the intern world.
The best advice I ever received from a supervisor was to make friends with the little people because they will get you through, and you never know where they will end up. At luncheons and dinners, be nice to those serving you. They will remember you and make sure, even though you are at the bottom of the totem pole, you always have something to eat. Be nice and respect the freshman working in your political science group that is quiet. He or she might be an ambassador one day that you need a quote from to make a story. You never know what someone is going through or where he or she will end up. Be a friend to all, and when you need a friend in your professional career, they will remember and be a friend to you.
You do not need to be the loudest intern to make the most impact. Sometimes the best interns are the ones who do not comment on everything or draw a crowd. Get to know the people in your office individually and always be willing to do things for everyone, even if it is just getting coffee for the secretary at the front desk. Trust me, your boss will notice and you will make a more outstanding impact by being the hard-working intern who is genuine, instead of the loud-mouthed intern who just needs a show.
What do you want? If you’re going to go far in the world, you have to not only proclaim what you want but you have to show it. The more graciously you set yourself up, the better. Even the people that are grumpy by nature will kiss up to their bosses at work because at the end of the day, we all want to get somewhere, and attitude affects a recommendation immensely. Be on time. Be humble, and show your workplace that you want and deserve to move up with your positive attitude.
Internships are far from glamorous, but they do make a difference in your professional career and your life in general. Typically, your hardest internships will teach you the most about public relations and yourself. You stretch your limits of how much you can work on four hours of sleep, learn to communicate with people who are outrageously different from yourself, get out of your comfort zone, and you test yourself on how much busy work one can do. Internships are a lot of work but be honest with yourself, life is a lot of work. However, if it is done right, it will be worth it. Therefore, take heart and push through your internship season, because if Young Weezy can make it from nothing to here, you can too. You too, like Lil Wayne, can make a comeback in your come up. With that being said, blast some Lil Wayne on your speakers and get to work.
Julianna Kendall is from Huntsville, AL, but she is currently living in Birmingham, AL for college. She is studying Journalism & Mass Communication, & Spanish because she cannot get enough of the languages. Most of her time is spent with close friends, studying, volunteering and playing intramurals through her sorority, AOII. An aspiring writer, she is currently working on a novel series and building her professional portfolio. Julianna’s next steps are to graduate from college and move off to a bigger city where she can continue to write, and work as a public relations manager for new talents in the entertainment industry.