The workforce is becoming increasingly hard to enter if you don’t have some form of experience in your chosen field. Job descriptions all over the country outline entry-level positions that require at least one year of experience—and some require more.
How can you possibly acquire this experience when you haven’t even graduated from college yet? An internship!
The experience you get from an internship you can’t get anywhere else at any other time in your life. This is especially true for the field of marketing, and even more so when you’re looking at digital marketing. Let’s review some points to explain why.
- You Can Network
Especially in the field of digital marketing, you might not encounter many executives in person. Chances are both of you are sitting behind a computer. The value of seeing a face daily, and putting a work ethic to that face is that it becomes more memorable. When the executive friend of your cooperating employer asks if she knows someone looking for a job, who will be the first to come to her mind – the person working hard every day, or the one she’s only read about online?
Remember, every person you work with also has a web of friends, relatives, and colleagues. Any one of those people could lead to your dream position.
It’s important to remember that every move you make during your internship is an opportunity to impress or disappoint. Be as professional as you can, and only take charge when asked to do so. Your time to shine will come, but this is a time to learn from those with experience.
- You Can Practice
Learn the skills to will help you adapt to the ever-changing world of digital media, instead of learning just what is happening in digital media now like you would in a college classroom. This is a time for you to watch and see how a business adapts. Take note! This is where real learning takes place. It’s an opportunity to see how professionals develop strategies and carry out marketing plans, and hopefully, they will give you a chance to add some input too. Wouldn’t “I’ve done that,” sound great at a job interview?
- You Can Question
An internship is the perfect time to ask questions. You don’t have to be the expert; you’re not even supposed to know it all yet. Nothing turns off an executive or business manager more than a new person who does not feel there is anything left to learn. Anyone starting a new position will be expected to be worth the money being paid. Businesses realize, however, that when they are taking on an intern, they are providing a teaching service. An intern can ask about what he sees happening in the real world, instead of what could be written in a textbook.
- You Can Learn Teamwork
Working on a team to achieve a business goal is much different from working with a classmate. It’s an opportunity to listen. Not everyone needs to contribute equally. Each team member brings something different to the table. Watch how each team member collaborates on projects to get an idea of the role you would like to play when you enter the field.
This could be a good time to sit back and watch others. Find someone who appears to be knowledgeable and successful, someone respected by his peers. This could be a mentor to help you be successful too.
- You Can Experiment with Troubleshooting
Anyone who has ever had a job of any sort can tell you that it’s never the same thing day after day. Problems that weren’t in the job description are bound to arise all the time. If a job didn’t have problems to solve, it wouldn’t be a job. Even a day of sorting mail can run into a snag here or there. With time as an intern, you will see what problems are common in the field, as well as watch how a professional solves it.
Our very own 2020 summer intern
‘This summer’s digital marketing intern with JRS Marketing Communications, Max Weiss, had a few words to share about internships for students. When asked about the importance of finding an internship as a student, Weiss responded in saying, “Internships during these unusual times are far and few between. If you are lucky enough to find one in a competitive field like marketing, it is really important to make the most out of the experience and treat every day on the job like it’s your first. In other words, you want to try your best to soak up as much information as possible and find new ways to test the waters or innovate on projects you are assigned to work on. There are a lot of outlets within the field of marketing, so internships are a terrific way to explore new opportunities and discover your niche.” ‘
Not every field offers such a rich opportunity as an internship. The experience that can be gained could be immeasurable for your future career. Gain those skills, file those contacts, and learn everything you can in the one class that you won’t find on a college campus.