If youâ€™re a communications major, chances are, youâ€™re looking for an internship to jump start your career. Although internships are a learning experience, youâ€™ll be steps ahead if you work on a certain set of skills. After all, itâ€™s a great time to get into a career in communications, with communication graduates experiencing the largest increase in salary from 2013-2014 (by 10.1%). So what skills do you need to show off your communications degree and impress your new bosses?
Writing – Lose the Typos and Be Clear and Concise
Write Write Write! We canâ€™t stress it enough. Your job is to communicate effectively so make sure there are no typos (not just in your work but in all your forms of communication) and that you stay concise. Donâ€™t give us a story, just get it done.
Know Whatâ€™s in the News – Especially With Your Clients
If you do not know about the Ebola virus, itâ€™s time to read the news. Reading the news can not only inform you about bad press, but also trending topics that can affect your or your clientâ€™s industry. Who knows, maybe your CEO will participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge or be available to speak about a breaking story.
Always Keep the Big Picture in Mind, But Don’t Be Afraid To Be Creative
When youâ€™re assigned a task, always keep the bigger picture in mind. Your job is not merely to follow specific instruction, but to think critically of the task at hand so that you can input ideas that can enhance the bigger picture. Constantly thinking about the big picture will show your employers that you can think creatively and independently, read between the lines, and understand how each detail fits, or can fit, into the big picture.
If you have nothing to do, ASK. Communications is always happening where you work. After a couple of days of work, youâ€™ll soon realize that communications never ends, so you shouldnâ€™t have too many spare moments.
The Extra Mile
If you think something can look better, sound nicer, or seem simpler, FIX IT and show your boss the changes you made. They will most likely thank you for your hard work and hawk-like eye. The takeaway is to never do the minimum and always blow peoplesâ€™ minds away.
Even though you may be working at the same company, you may not have the same vision, and thatâ€™s ok. Just make sure that you agree to disagree and respect each otherâ€™s opinion. This way, you can focus on what would be best for the company.
Itâ€™s not easy to work in the communications industry, and itâ€™s not for everyone, but if you make yourself aware of what the industry expects of you, you can improve and enhance the skills that you need to be successful in this career.
By Brian Liberman