Letter to My Intern Self


By Michelle Favalora
The Hoffman Agency, San Jose

This September marks my two-year anniversary in public relations. It’s hard to believe that it’s been two years since I was scouring job boards and interviewing with PR companies in Los Angeles, hoping someone would see my potential (read: cut me a break) and hire me as an intern. My fairytale ending came true, and I started my first PR internship within days of beginning my last year at UCLA.

To celebrate, I’m writing a letter to my intern self, sharing advice that I could have used from Day 1. Here it goes:

Dear Michelle-the-intern,

Congrats! You’re about to embark on an exciting chapter where you will learn so much and face new challenges as you prepare for the imminent real world.

While it may be too late to stop you from getting those ridiculous bangs, there’s still time to share a few words of advice before you hit the ground running, such as:

1) Always do your very best.
Do everything you can to make sure your work is comprehensive and complete. Take time to think about your assignments from different angles, double-check your content and create a presentable client-ready draft. Your teammates do not expect you to be perfect, but they will appreciate knowing that you did your best

2) But, don’t be too hard on yourself or your colleagues.
Everyone in your office has made a mistake and will make one again in the future. Don’t hold yourself (or anyone else) to an unattainable standard of perfection. Rather, when mistakes happen, focus on correcting the mistake and trying to avoid it in the future. Practice letting it go.

3) Triple-check your media lists.
There will be times when you put the wrong contacts on the wrong lists, and more often than not it’s because you weren’t doing your best. Slow down. Take the time to confirm that each person on your list is a fit for your pitch and still works for that publication. You will eventually come to enjoy compiling media lists. I promise!

Enjoy your time as an intern — before you know what it feels like to have a full bandwidth (and before you know what the word bandwidth means).

All the best,


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