Having experienced my first taste of PR during the past six weeks, I have condensed my internship into six key takeaways for any newbies entering the industry below.

1. There is no such thing as a bad idea

It can be nerve-wracking to contribute your ideas in a new environment, especially when you are the least experienced person on the premises. However, in life, I’ve found that often when I’ve chosen to stay quiet, someone almost always says exactly what I was thinking and is well-received. Therefore, it is important to vocalize your ideas and input – even as a beginner. While your approach might not be successful on the first attempt, do not be disheartened: instead, take a step back and pivot to get to a better-formulated idea or plan. Even if your idea is not perfect or may not fit the situation at hand, it can be a stepping stone to the right solution or idea, either for you or for your colleagues to cultivate.

2. Learn by experience. You don’t need to know everything right away

When you’re just getting your feet wet in a firmly established professional environment, it can be stressful to try and catch up to the existing pace; there will be language and terms that you’ve never heard, in addition to concepts that you’ve never wrapped your head around previously. Don’t be overwhelmed. The first step to surviving your first introduction to PR is accepting that you do not know everything and have a lot to learn. Therefore, you must trust the process. However, don’t forget that while you learn by experience, it is still your responsibility to ask any lingering questions and continue prodding until you’ve received satisfactory answers. You cannot let yourself remain quiet or embarrassed and pretend as though you don’t have any questions or try to figure out everything yourself. This leads to actual mistakes that could have been avoided. Furthermore, you must be open to criticism and take every misstep as an opportunity for growth.

3. Have confidence in everything that you do

As the least experienced in the group, it can be difficult to enter the workplace with confidence, but you cannot be afraid of failure. Once you realize the learning benefits of making a minor mistake, you will gain confidence in yourself and take initiative more often as your work becomes sharper and stronger. PR is unique in its ability to offer direct interaction through social media and other forms of outreach; even before experiencing the PR world, it was easy to tell which companies stood out solely because of the strength of their digital presence. The more personal, human, and engaging a social media page, the more interesting and relevant a company, individual or business is perceived. Recognizing this, an integrated firm like Lou Hammond Group allows you to express yourself and unleash your personality through social media in order to creativity promote different clientele. Feeling confident in what you create in the workplace leads you exceed your own expectations and reservations, as well as communicate more effectively with the seasoned professionals around you.

4. Teamwork is essential

The people around you want you to succeed because each person’s individual success leads to the overall success of the group. This is especially crucial to keep in mind, especially at Lou Hammond Group, where I witnessed teamwork at the heart of every task at hand. It is so important for members of a workplace to support each other, for both their personal and professional benefits. Teamwork fosters creatively and blends complementary traits; it ensures that what is being presented is the best possible solution with every possible alternative considered. Problems are better avoided and risks are more easily calculated when working as a team. That being said, successful teams cannot properly function without an experienced leader to guide the group itself. This team, as I’ve experienced at LHG, is a wonderfully skilled group, all with different strengths and perspectives, who, when fused together, produces the best possible services for their clients. Teamwork is especially important in the world of PR, especially in communications. Whether you’re seeking a second pair eyes for a press release or working through each step of a crisis strategy plan – these are all endeavors that require third-party insight to succeed.

5. Be kind

While teamwork is important, it can only be fostered through solid relations within the workplace. Upon my first meeting at LHG, I was aware of the stereotype of office pettiness in the PR world and that there might be a certain level of competitiveness and satisfaction in out-performing one’s coworkers to the point where the office is not as kind or welcoming of a place. I was told that this is not what I should expect at Lou Hammond Group. In my few short weeks serving LHG’s ranks, I have seen this to be true. Between members of this office, there is an undeniable sense of mutual-respect that exists, along with a rare breed of friendship. This seamlessly translates to each and every deliverable in the workplace, convincing me that if kindness does not exist within a workplace, the work leaving the office will reap the repercussions. My time at LHG has helped me envision the kind of environment in which I’d like to permanently apply my skills someday and the relationships I’d like to share with future coworkers.

6. Be proud of your work

Here at Lou Hammond Group, I have learned just how important it is to take pride in your work. If your name or your organization’s title on something, then it is not complete until you can take pride in the result. In business, a reputation is built on a job well done. Those who are passionate and enthusiastic about what they do will reflect those sentiments in the products that they deliver. An office that takes pride in its team and the services they provide will only seem more attractive to clients; people like to be associated with good work because they know that they are receiving the best service possible. On a personal level, I am extremely proud of all that I’ve learned during my time at Lou Hammond Group. I’ve been forced to exceed my limitations and expand my comfort level beyond what I thought possible. As a result, I feel more at home within the big, wide world of PR, as well as within the workplace as a whole.