No matter how much education you may attain, the field of marketing is all about who you know. This is why obtaining the right marketing internship is perhaps more important than attaining an internship in another discipline with a more scientific basis. Marketing is the study of monetizing the science of people; therefore, you need to begin your marketing career with people as an intern with a reputable company. Here are a few of the things that you should look for in your marketing internship.
First, make sure that any marketing internship that you take has a great deal of experience building activities in the digital realm.
Social media is the new word-of-mouth. Websites are the new billboards. There is no such thing as learning marketing in the modern business landscape without being introduced to industry standard programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Final Cut and others. Even if you do not plan to be a “graphic designer,” employers will look for your knowledge of these programs in case they need you to wear more than one hat during a an especially difficult campaign, small business owners especially.
There is also no such thing as marketing without knowing social media inside and out. Online marketing is a trend that absolutely refuses to reverse itself. Your new colleagues coming into the workforce with the expendable income that will purchase your products are all looking online for their next advertisement, not on TV or radio. Your internship should reflect this. Be sure that you have the ability to get in touch with someone who has learned how to monetize social media.
Second, you should look for marketing internship that allows you to tackle all aspects of marketing.
Employers in the modern business landscape are looking for highly productive employees. In the field of marketing, this means that you will be able to leverage digital tools as well as your relationships in order to create results quickly. Marketing designs can be done more quickly than ever before. Globalized GPS tools allow for meetings to be held anywhere, even on planes or remotely from home offices. This means that there is no excuse for leaving behind any part of a project.
Your marketing internship should reflect this notion of high productivity by allowing you to learn all aspects of a marketing campaign. If you have to understudy for someone else’s discipline in a future employment opportunity, you will have the ability to do so.
Even if you do not believe that the work that your internship has set forth is especially challenging, take the internship if the work is diverse. You may be surprised at what you will actually learn through the mundane, everyday tasks that everyone else is trying to avoid.
Third, you want to look for marketing internship that gives you the independence to claim at least part of a project as your own.
The best internships are those that give responsibility to the interns. Although you may not understand how to monetize many of your skills, much of marketing is simply doing what the everyday person does automatically with an eye to being results driven. This means that once you have learned how to focus in on results, you should be able to take on at least part of a project within a company as an intern. Give yourself this opportunity by being the first to volunteer for any independent project that an internship may have.
Marketing campaign to integrate themselves with other departments in a business should be especially attractive. In the real world, the efforts of the marketing department are often curbed by the monetary limitations of the financial department or the concerns of the legal department. You must learn how to work around these internal politics in order to get your marketing campaign done. There is much more to being a successful marketer than being the best graphic designer or the most eloquent speaker in a meeting – you must learn how to organize your marketing concepts around a budget and pay attention to legal concerns, among many other things.
Fourth, look for marketing internships that allow you to network.
Many would be business graduates hear the word “networking” many times throughout their college career; however, very few people actually understand what this means. The networking that you should do during an internship is internal as well as external. Marketers are expected to be professional people pleasers. You are expected to make connections outside of your company; this is not a bonus for you. In order to practice this, find an internship that has a project that takes you out into the community at large for at least a portion of it.
Fifth, and finally, look for an internship that focuses on your weaknesses.
As a marketer, you are expected to be a copywriter, a statistician and a public speaker. You are also expected to be a graphic designer, an editor and a mathematician. Do not fully yourself into thinking that you will be able to specialize in your favored disciplines at the beginning of your career. There is a great deal of competition for marketing graduates, and the most diverse personalities with the broader skill set will get the best jobs after graduation.
If you are not good at sticking to a budget or going through data, look for an internship that has this as one of its main projects. If you have never touched Photoshop before, look for an internship that will force you to learn the program. Likewise, if you are a shy person, look for an internship that will give you the opportunity to meet all kinds of people so that you can see that you can make a decent professional connection if you have something to offer.
The right marketing internship is out there; you just have to do some research into the issue. With the right kind of practice during your school tenure, you will be best prepared to present yourself to top marketing employers after graduation.