An internship is a great way to learn about a profession, hands on. Quite often I get asked how to get into event planning. My advice is always networking and, for students, event planning internships. There are many types of jobs in event planning. From a student’s perspective, an event planning internship is an ideal way to get exposure as well as to make valuable industry connections. Naturally, as we gain experience, we tend to gravitate towards our strengths and which jobs utilize those skills.
In North America, there’s an ongoing debate regarding non-paid internships. My position has always been that internships are an ideal way to learn about a job, by being hands on.
It’s also no secret that, often, an event planning company will hire someone after his or her internship. So it’s vitally important that you treat your internship the same way you would conduct yourself in a job interview.
Event Planning Internships – 3 Don’ts
Not Showing up/Coming in Late/Calling in Sick. Just because you’re not being paid does not mean that you can come and go as you please. Treat your internship as if you have been hired for the position. After all, you are trying to educate yourself about the industry.
- Knowing the Answer to Everything. Guess what? You don’t know all the answers. Or you wouldn’t be going to school to learn the answers. When you are asked for your input offer your suggestion, of course. But if you are fortunate enough to be included in an internal meeting, it’s best to keep quiet and learn from the experience.
- Treat Everyone Graciously. I have heard stories where some interns are very positive with their managers, yet forget that the people that they are working with, or “below”, are even more important. Quite often a manager will consult their team to get feedback about an intern. And don’t forget these are the same people that, if you’re hired, you’ll be working alongside. Don’t burn bridges.
Oh and Here’s a Bonus-Lose the Phones. Put your smart phones away. If you’re an event planning intern chances are you’ll be working in public spaces. People do not want to see you texting or talking on your smart phone. This doesn’t only apply to interns but to employees as well.
You may also be interested in these related articles:
- Encouraging Words from a Young Event Planning Professional
- From Summer to School, an Event Planning Student’s Journey
- Salary Expectations for Event Planner Jobs
Event planning internships are a great way to learn about the industry. But it’s important to understand what the internship is all about – learning. If you take that approach, your chances of being offered quality jobs in event planning will increase. Your goal should be to make yourself stand out in a crowd.