The time has finally come! College graduation is right around the corner. Or you may want a head start as a younger college student. You have decided on an exciting and fulfilling future in marketing, but do you set yourself apart from the sea of other business majors?
It should be no surprise that a future in marketing and business generally is all about experience and a rich network. How should you get that experience and build your network? The best way is to complete an internship at a company.
We have put together everything you need to know about applying, what to expect from a marketing internship, and which internships will give you the most valuable experience as a future marketer.
What are Marketing Internships Like?
Every internship is different, and marketing is no exception. Depending on the company, interns typically work directly under the marketing director’s or another senior member’s direction, but that is not always the case. It is required that the intern learns about how the company runs and how businesses tend to operate.
An internship may last as long as a year or as short as a few weeks. To learn the schedule of working for a company, most internships require the intern to for 40 hours per week, five days a week, over the length of the internship. This is a great experience for getting your schedule down and will get you used to the day-to-day of a marketing associate.
More menial tasks are often assigned to interns when they first start, including recordkeeping or running errands for the senior members. Some expected errands are contributing to and sending out company campaign emails to potential and existing customers, communicating between other departments, and helping organize project materials for the senior marketing team member. However, as the intern becomes more experienced, more opportunities for rewarding tasks become available.
Each day you can expect to have a list of tasks to complete by the end of the shift, the week, or the internship. Your tasks will revolve around contributing to the development of different types of marketing campaigns and researching trends to try to appeal to customers. This leads into getting involved in analysis of what kinds of marketing appeals most to the company’s targeted demographic.
Because the business world is becoming increasingly digitized, you will most likely be involved in helping with social media platforms for the company. This may include presenting new social media campaigns, monitoring and receiving feedback from news on social media, and promoting the business on its existing social media platforms.
Do not be discouraged if you are doing only grunt work at the beginning of your internship. As you continue to show your competency as an intern, your autonomy within your position will grow.
What Can You Gain from a Marketing Internship?
Much like anything, you take away what you put into a marketing internship. If you are motivated and proactive, your senior marketing manager will take notice and will likely give you more tasks to learn from. Each internship has different experiences to offer, but almost every marketing internship has these things to gain from it.
Forming Relationships and Professionalism
Marketing is all about relationships formed with customers, analyzing what they need, and fulfilling those needs. A marketing internship will present opportunities to practice forming relationships daily. You will also learn the nuances of professionalism and how to present yourself when representing a company. By the end of your internship, you will be able to meet clients and coworkers and build rapport with them in a professional manner.
Building Communication Skills
Like forming relationships, a marketing internship will put you in an environment to communicate with others. Throughout the internship, take as many opportunities as possible to observe senior staff members interacting with clients or get involved with clients yourselves. You will be able to practice how you speak to customers and interpret their needs throughout the internship.
Building a Network within the Company
I will not delve too deeply into why a deep network is important for your professional future. Just understand that building a network will benefit you in finding opportunities in the future. You may even be offered a job by the company you are interning at after you finish college!
Learning the Daily Schedule of a Person in Business
This is valuable because working in the professional world differs from learning theory in a classroom. You will learn what information is important from class and what you use sparingly, but should still understand how the theories relates to and should be applied in your role as a marketer.
Applying What you Learn in the Classroom in Real Life
This will help you understand why it’s important and how to use your knowledge from the classroom. Theories will begin to make sense as you use them during your internship. The experience of working in a real business will always teach you better than studying a book, but both are needed in order to succeed. Remember this and value your time during the internship.
By now, you should understand why getting an internship will benefit you, and if you are available to take one, you should always take it. You will be able to make mistakes during this internship that have fewer repercussions than if you made them as an employee. Take advantage of this and be proactive during your internship.
3 Best Internships for Sales and Marketing Students
Marketing is an umbrella term with many different departments included within it. So, what type of internship should you pursue? We believe three marketing internships will provide the most beneficial experiences. Included are companies that offer each type of internship and are all paid internships! Be sure to start applying as soon as possible to stay ahead of the curve.
When going into marketing, the most valuable skill is the ability to sell. A sales internship will expose you to different strategies for selling to potential customers.
But what is meant by the term “Sales”? It refers to the transaction between a customer and seller, exchanging a product for money. Products can include goods or services.
Do not mistake what makes a good salesperson. Often people think of sales as trying everything possible to convince someone to buy a product. Instead, think of sales as trying to solve the client’s problems by providing your goods or services.
Once you understand how to sell and become proficient at it, your value as a marketing employee will increase, and you will have valuable skills for any company.
Marketing Analytics Internship
If you are more interested in data and statistics, a marketing analytics internship might be a good fit. It is also a great opportunity to learn about business and marketing analytics if it is one of your weaker skills.
Analytics is about research and science behind what works with marketing and how to market to customers effectively. You will gain experience in which marketing tools work and which don’t.
You will most likely be studying trends and predicting the most effective strategies for marketing to new customers backed by data from previous years. You will be researching these trends to help your company’s efficiency. If it interests you, this internship is a great opportunity for training in a more scientific marketing approach.
For all the creative and artistic minds in business, an advertising internship will be a great opportunity to flex those muscles. Advertising is all about forming creative campaigns and advertisements that are most appealing to potential customers.
Photoshop and similar tools are the backbones of advertising. You will learn what makes a good ad campaign and what users respond to best. You may also gain experience building a website or assist with advertising online through social media.
Photoshop editing is a great tool, and creating advertising campaigns is a great skill set you can develop through an advertising internship. Advertising is a crucial part of the marketing umbrella and might be your best internship if it interests you.
How to Get Your Marketing Internships?
You are probably thinking, “Wow! A marketing internship sounds great! Where do I sign up?” The most common way to find internships, if your school does not have them already available, is to apply for them.
You can use websites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, or Glassdoor. We recommend you use one or more of these websites, as you will find them useful in the future as you grow as a businessperson. They are useful tools to build your network or find a job.
After setting up your account on these websites, you can apply to positions that fit your interests and schedule. If you are only available for the summer, search for keywords like “Marketing Summer Internship Positions” and look through the different opportunities.
When you find an internship you like, it’s time to set up that resume. By now, you probably don’t have much experience to include, but that’s okay, especially if you are a student. Remember to include that you are still in school and try to fill in your application with any experiences that have developed your marketing skills. This can include skills you learned from a part-time job in high school, extracurriculars you are involved in, or even relevant coursework completed.
Also, include a cover letter with all of your applications, even if they are not required for the position. Writing one will be a great way to set yourself apart from the rest of the applicants and is great practice as an emerging businessperson.
5 Tips to Get the Most of Your Internship
In the business world, you must take charge of opportunities that fall before you or create your opportunities. If you can practice this by contributing your ideas or asking for additional tasks, it will help you learn more than if you only do what your senior tells you.
You must clarify or ask questions about things you don’t understand. You lack experience, and the company understands that, so take this internship as a time to learn from those who are more experienced.
Get to Know Your Coworkers
Knowing who you’re working with, whether it is other interns or associates within the company, will make the internship much smoother. It is also a way to build your network and practice those skills. Only good can come from forming positive relationships with others at the company.
Manage Your Time
You will most likely have a set of tasks that must be completed each day. It is important to get your work done daily to build competency. Managing your time is a skill you must constantly be perfect in all aspects of business and life.
Get Feedback and Stay Positive
This is when you can make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. You should always be asking for feedback from your seniors and asking them where you can improve and what you have done well. Do not be discouraged by constructive criticism. You are in a very entry-level position and are here to hone your skills.
Wrapping Things Up: Which Internship is Best for Marketing Students?
There is much to gain from a marketing internship, and getting one is a great way to gain valuable knowledge and experience in a lower-risk situation. There is much to gain from the large variety of marketing internships, and we believe the sales, marketing analytics, and advertising internships will provide great ways to learn.
Be sure to start applying ahead of time and be professional. Remember to be proactive, ask questions, get to know your coworkers, manage your time well, and get feedback once you start your internship. Your future internship is a great opportunity to network as well.
This internship is what you make of it, so make the most of your time there.
Want to read more about internships? We’ve got a range of articles that may interest you.