There are few situations more intimidating than walking into an agency as an intern, especially when it's an agency you have hoped to work for since the moment you decided on PR. Whether an employee or an intern, you want to stand out. However, you want to stand out for your work ethic, your personality and your creations - not because you simply cannot understand how to mesh with the people around you.
The more I work and immerse myself in new accounts and projects, the more important internal culture becomes. Internal culture dictates:
1) What to wear
We're taught to dress for the job we want. While under dressing is never a good idea, over dressing is rarely one either. Facing a dressed down supervisor, mentor or agency executive in your red carpet attire makes for an uncomfortable situation. As interns, we should always aim to look more professional than expected - but take cues from the employees around you.
2) When to arrive
As somebody who prides themselves on never being late - EVER - this is hard to admit. While tardiness is frustrating, being too prompt can be just as aggravating. Showing up five minutes before a meeting forces your supervisor to rush to complete their work, or forces you to hover in the door way until they're ready - neither are fun situations to be in. Keep your eyes open. If you notice people heading somewhere only a minute or two before a meeting, you should do the same.
3) What they're talking about
To some, a powerpoint presentation isn't a powerpoint presentation - it's a deck. To others, writing an email isn't writing an email - it's sending coms. A "partner" may be an internal partner, an employee, or an external 501C3 organization, depending who you ask. Agencies and teams have their own unique jargon and words they rarely notice. The only way you'll understand it is by listening.