"If you look at the most successful agencies out there, no question, they all have a defined culture"
- Sally Jones
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 worked, immersed myself in new accounts and spoke to a few more employees, the importance of internal culture really struck me - it's the hidden key to success. Internal culture dictates:
1) What you 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 may mean your supervisor has to rush to finish what they were doing, or make you hover in the door way until they're ready - neither are fun situations to be in. Keep your eyes open and 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 could be an internal partner, an employee, or an external 501C3 organization depending on who you ask. Agencies and teams ave their own unique jargon, things that they rarely notice. The only way you'll understand it is through listening.
A Boston girl via Toronto. University of Toronto, Sheridan College, and Boston University alumna. Passionate about ending domestic violence. Hoping to never go a day without carbs or chocolate.