Not Just Another Internship

Signal Group

SIGNAL’s internship prioritizes professional development—and free food.

Authored by intern-=turned-staff member Diana Muggeridge

As a soon-to-be-graduate, I heard those words time and again during my search for a communications job. Though it was discouraging at first to seek internships as many of my peers had already accepted jobs in industries like consulting and finance, I came to embrace the opportunity to learn more about the communications agency life by working within it.

After finding Signal Group through a chain of networking conversations, I quickly learned it was the best fit for me to kick-start my career. Initially drawn by the company’s reputation, impressive client-base, and overwhelming appreciation for free food, the opportunities for learning and professional development were what ultimately set SIGNAL apart.

My responsibilities as an intern did not consist of making copies or buying coffee. Instead, I attended team meetings to discuss client messaging strategies, helped produce op-eds and media advisories, and pitched reporters right alongside permanent employees.

Not only was I given these high-impact opportunities early-on, but I was also receiving thoughtful and articulate feedback on them throughout the course of my experience. The internship program truly reflects the flat structure SIGNAL thrives on, and employees’ attention to my work and progress played a large role in making my time here so valuable.

Along with these key work opportunities, SIGNAL also runs a Professional Development Series (PDS) designed to educate both interns and staff on different areas within the communications and advocacy fields.

These sessions created an environment where interns could closely interact with the firm’s leadership, and provided a setting where DC’s top lobbyists could share insights on the legislative process or where an executive with years of agency experience could offer tips to ace your next interview.

These experiences led me to value my internship at Signal Group, and made the choice to eventually accept their permanent job offer simple.

Though there’s no shortage of experts who can offer you career advice, my proximity to the job-search process qualifies me to share guidance as well. To that end, I’ll finish with a few tips that I believe were most integral to my experience landing this great job in communications:

  • Talk to everyone who will talk to you—you never know how someone can help you in the future.
  • Be wary of being annoying or aggressive, but try to communicate your desire for a position early. Once you convey your goals, people may be more apt to give you responsibilities or feedback on how to improve.
  • Take initiative. Introduce yourself to people and invite them out for coffee. If you have free time, inquire about how you can be more helpful to your teams. These small gestures not only help you stand out from more passive individuals, but they can also bolster your reputation as being motivated and always seeking to add value.

If you’re like I was and are looking for a fun environment to grow your career and learn, I hope you will check out our internship page and consider applying to join our team.