Posted by Lindsey Dempsey on August 14, 2017
If you’re wondering if an internship is right for you, the answer is yes. Before I began my marketing internship, I honestly had no idea what to expect and felt pretty inexperienced. Now, my internship is coming to an end, and I’ve learned that caffeine is my new best friend, corporate offices can be fun and meetings can be as unconventional as writing random ideas on sticky notes. Of all the things I’ve learned as a marketing intern, here are the four most important:
1. I did more than fetch coffee.
We’ve all heard of the stereotypical intern experience: going on coffee runs, scanning mountains of documents and being consumed by busy work. My internship experience has pleasantly surprised me; I’ve never been asked to get coffee or scan a single page (yet). I collaborated with creative minds, wrote blog posts, managed social media platforms, drafted a press release and much more. I was encouraged to share my own ideas with my coworkers which surprised me—why would corporate marketing professionals want to hear my amateur ideas? Not only have my ideas been heard, but they’ve been appreciated. I have actually worked on tasks that I enjoy that are relevant to the career path I want to follow.
2. An internship is better than a typical summer job.
In my experience, an internship is much better than a typical summer job and not just because of the classic “it’s good for your resume” answer (although that’s a huge help). It’s better because it has prepared me for the workforce by provided me an opportunity to build my experience, and it served as a launching pad for my career. I have gained real life experience, made connections and built a strong resume. Not only am I earning while I’m learning, but my internship has shown me why I’m majoring in marketing—and assured me that it’s the major that best suits my talents and career goals.
3. Marketing is more complex than you’d think
What surprised me the most is how many divisions of marketing there are. Huh, so marketing isn’t just the cookie-cutter definition of promoting products? Apparently not; in fact, it’s far more complex. The department in which I’m working has multiple teams: content, operations, digital marketing, digital production and proposal. Although each of them falls under the same category of marketing, they each do something completely different but equally beneficial. Each team consists of people who specialize in certain aspects of marketing and are experts in their field. Seeing every team work together and the thought process that goes into coming up with new strategies has taught me how a marketing department functions.
4. I learned things I could not learn in a classroom.
In a college class, I could methodically memorize marketing terminology, but I would most likely be bored to death doing so. Instead of staring at a textbook reading about marketing strategy, I’m actually experiencing it firsthand. Being hands-on within a fully operational marketing department, gaining real-life professional experience, has taught me more than even the best classroom ever could. Not only am I learning, but I’m applying what I have learned. I’ve absorbed knowledge from completing tasks, sitting in on meetings or just having simple conversations with coworkers. Being immersed in such a creative environment has made me open to more ideas and has challenged me to think outside of my comfort zone.