Internships are vital in a career path and can cut both ways for prospective marketers in 2018, meaning the interning experience could either be disastrous or career affirming and inspirational. First impressions are everything in this world and if an intern forgets their boss’ name or fails to impress with their work on Day 1, it can set off a chain of events that may lead their marketing dream’s demise as they lose confidence in themselves.
Thus, the result of any internship is highly dependent on the character and work ethic of an intern, and contrastingly upon the employee’s ability to nurture and share. Obviously, the internship is more imperative for the young marketer as they leave the relative safe university and join the ‘rat race’, yet it can be classified as a symbiotic relationship and must be fostered if both parties wish to benefit from the internship.
What’s the Best Way to Intern?
This leaves the question of how can one succeed as a marketing intern? Marketing differs from other occupations in a variety of ways, but most notably is the need to think ‘outside-the-box’ and be creative. Thus, marketing interns should not heed all of the standard recommendations and advice given to young professionals.
Some may say to stay out of the way, focus on NOT becoming a hindrance rather than participating and contributing. Yet the marketing world waits for no-one, bidding your time will not work. You must ‘rock-the-boat’ and be disruptive. Be a self-starter, get involved in discussions, ask questions and make yourself memorable for all the right reasons. Make mistakes while you still can, this will guarantee you get the most out of the internship and make splash when you graduate.
What Can You Expect to Gain from a Marketing Internship?
Despite the aforementioned possibility of one ‘falling out of love’ with marketing due to a bad internship, there are an overwhelming number of positives to be gained from a marketing internship. The first and foremost is active experience in your chosen field of work. This knowledge of the expectations of marketing firms around the world will differ from whatever university degrees are taken.
Observing the internal processes which result in influential campaigns and the skills associated are universal for all marketers. Simply seeing ‘how the magic is done’ will allow interns a greater insight into the field of marketing than they would otherwise gain. For this reason alone, university graduates are implored to seek out an internship before committing to the profession.
A secondary benefit to be garnered from an internship in marketing is the chance to work in an office space. Many occupations require cubical work to be completed in their respective city. Even if an intern decides marketing isn’t for them, working in a team with a creative edge will provide vital skills for many other jobs.
Interns can learn a lot from other marketers- revelling in different personalities and perspectives. This will give more life experience and potentially expand your way of thinking. Even merely getting used to the early commute for a ‘9-to-5’ job is an important component of an internship, which some people simply cannot cope with. Consequently, there are a myriad of benefits to be gained from taking an internship in marketing, and you may even discover your passion and purpose.
My Experience as a Marketing Intern
I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss my own personal experience as a marketing intern. I’ve recently come to the end of my internship at the Marketing Eye, but as all stories I must start at the beginning. Walking into the office, I was assaulted by the one of the best views of the Sydney harbour I’d ever seen.
Following, I was introduced to the awe-inspiring founder Mellissah Smith, whose name I unfortunately misspelt rather than the previously mentioned trap of forgetting her name. Yet she quickly forgave me and got me started on some interesting marketing clients. I walked into the office with the expectation that I would be merely a ‘cog in the machine’, working on menial, organisational tasks.
Yet I was pleasantly surprised with the opportunity to prove my marketing ability by heavily contributing to the marketing research and strategy of real-world businesses. Marketing interns are given the freedom to innovate creatively, applying their natural talents and education to client’s individual complications. After many hours of researching for clients, writing blogs and devising social media calendars among other tasks, I was given the ‘keys to the kingdom’.
I was afforded the incredible opportunity to work with state-of-the-art technology. I have good reason to believe that Artificial Intelligence will play a major role in the future of marketing, and to contribute to it at such an early stage in my career is a major blessing.
My internship allowed me to contribute in meaningful ways, much more than I could have ever hoped for. I learnt a great deal whilst ‘on the job’, how marketing should be done, how to conduct myself in an office environment and how to succeed in the self-proclaimed greatest profession. My career is eternally grateful for my internship experience, and I would deeply recommend a marketing internship if you are convinced it is the field for you or even if you are undecided, the skills you learn will aid you for a lifetime.
If you want more career focused Marketing.com.au articles, check out these previous posts:
- 7 Ways to Land Your Dream Job in Digital Marketing
- Five Reasons Why Marketing Could Be Your Dream Career
- How to Use LinkedIn: A Beginners Guide