Internship experience is often vital in securing a job after college graduation. Especially in marketing, many agencies and organizations expect candidates to have at least a basic skill set and understanding of many paid media platforms. Therefore, it’s essential to seek out an internship because it will teach you sought-after skills that you don’t learn in school and pave the way for your career in digital marketing.
It can be difficult to find the right type of internship, define the marketing internship goals you’d like to pursue, and determine what kind of agency or role can open more doors for your future. Although knowing all of this is nearly impossible before starting, here are six factors to consider when deciding what to look for in an internship.
1. The areas of marketing you can learn about
Using skills you’ve already learned is important for growth. What’s more important is learning marketing skills you aren’t taught in a classroom, which a marketing internship provides. Consider relevant skills that you want to pursue, and look for an internship that will give you the experience.
Digital marketing is a growing field with many opportunities and critical skills. If you’re searching for a role in digital marketing, for example, look for a position that will give you the opportunity to dive into Google Analytics, paid social advertisements, or SEO. If you want to learn how to get social media marketing experience, there’s no better way than through a hands-on internship. The more skills you can master through your internship, the more valuable you’ll be as you navigate through your career search after graduation.
2. Networking opportunities
Securing a job is often less about what you know and more about who you know, especially in marketing. When looking for an internship, seek out opportunities to network inside and outside of the company you’re applying to. If you’re looking for how to get marketing experience in college, an internship is the best opportunity to do this, while also meeting as many people in the field as possible. Use your resources to your advantage in the present so they can benefit you in the future.
3. A strong work culture
If you want to find out if an internship is good, look at the company’s culture. Who you work with and the culture they create can make or break your happiness at work. An internship is a time to explore what cultures resonate with you and allow you to do your best work. When looking for an internship, search for companies that you believe best fit your character. Through an internship, you will learn what environment works or doesn’t work for you and use this knowledge when looking for future career opportunities.
At WebMechanix, I was lucky to have found a culture that perfectly aligns with my values. It has a strong mission to go above and beyond client expectations. With that comes hard work and perseverance. Equally, their mission is to foster employee satisfaction. From weekly training to events outside the office, the company is always looking for ways to improve its employees and nourish a family-like community.
4. An opportunity to figure out what kind of marketing career you want
Try something new! It’s better to figure out what aspects of marketing you like during a three-month internship than at the start of your career. Whether it’s going into a field of marketing that you’ve never tried before or working for a company that is different from what you’re familiar with, any extra experience you gain will help you discover what you want to do in the future.
5. The chance to work with a mentor
Handling multiple tasks, especially in an unfamiliar industry, can be intimidating. Having a mentor you can directly report to and learn from helps guide your growth. Above all, learning from an industry veteran gives you valuable insights into the field that you can apply on the job.
6. Hands-on experience that makes an impact
What does a good internship look like? Well, we know what it doesn’t look like. One thing’s for sure: No one gains vital marketing knowledge through serving coffee (that’s why WebMechanix calls them apprenticeships instead—because you do more than just run trivial errands for suits). Hands-on experience is critical to growth in marketing. Look for a position that lets you get your hands dirty. Research what intern expectations are and what will you get out of the internship.
It’s important that each marketing internship you have help you grow as an individual, as a coworker, and as an employee.
My time at WebMechanix has been invaluable. Over the past 11 months, I’ve had the opportunity to work under experienced leadership while also learning essential digital marketing skills. On the very first day of the job, I was thrown right in and given real, client-facing tasks. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to grow as a digital marketer at WebMechanix. As graduation approaches, I know that I can count on the knowledge and skills that I have gained from WebMechanix to help me navigate through my post-grad career pursuits.
Now that you know what to look for in a marketing internship, which of these tips was most useful to you?