Everyone’s experience as a marketing intern for a company can go one of two ways; either all you’re asked to do is fetch coffee or, your employer sees your value and works with you to develop your skills. For me, it was the latter. Being an intern and mentored by Erica, I was able to improve and expand my skill sets. How? Through four pivotal ways. One, by continuously learning; Two, managing my time; Three, meeting the un-comfort zone, and lastly Four, being self-aware.
For those of you reading this, it leads me to think you’re considering applying for a marketing internship. Fantastic (that means our keyword analysis and SEO execution is working)! In that case, read on to discover what insights I’ve gained over the last six months of being an intern for picnic.
1. Be open to learning
In the world of marketing… and life, there is a constant need to learn and adapt. The landscape is always changing, new features are added to social platforms, adjustments to algorithms occur all the time, and client needs and expectations can flip over-night.
Brent Hoberman, the founder of LastMinute.com in the UK said it perfectly, in that internet years are comparable to those of a dog. They move so fast that you’ll struggle if you can’t keep up!
Staying on your toes takes a whole new meaning.
To be a contender, you need to educate yourself regularly. Whether you’re looking to work in marketing or elsewhere, this statement holds value wherever. Listen to your mentor but at the same time, take initiative to read articles and research topics on your own. Find strong tools and resources to keep you up to date and remain sharp. Always keep an open mind as new ideas are always readily available when you self-educate.
Some tools I use to keep up to date for my role are:
2. Manage Your Time
Diamonds can form under pressure but masterpieces take time and care. As a marketing intern, I have seen how many projects and moving pieces there are. Meetings are required, deadlines are a thing, and small projects do pop up.
I’ve learned how to make a plan and not deviate from it. And, when needed, make adjustments to accommodate. As my favorite quote goes from Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” and I couldn’t say it better myself.
Some online tools I recommend to plan out your internship schedule besides the trusty paperback planners are:
- Wunderlist – a free Microsoft app for both your phone and computer where you can plan out your tasks for the day and week.
- ToodleDo – another free tool, but unlike Wunderlist, ToodleDo offers many more features such as spaces to write long notes for ideas or thoughts, checklists for your tasks, an area to manage and track habits, AND you’re able to collaborate with your colleagues, friends, and family on it.
- GoogleKeep – A free, integrated app with your Google account to manage your tasks, take notes, and add reminders and alerts.
3. Step into the Uncomfort Zone
With every opportunity to grow, you meet the discomfort zone. What does this mean as a marketing intern? To leave your ego behind and take a chance forward. Try new things that are outside of your comfort zone and you may surprise yourself, just like I did. As an example, I am someone who can be overly critical of my work. And when it comes to doing new tasks, I’ve learned, and this internship reinforced that, to literally, JUST DO IT.
But I’ve also learned that it doesn’t just apply to what you may be uncomfortable with:
- It can be as simple as a routine you’ve gotten yourself into for comfortable projects. Test against normality and be creative. You never know what can go viral.
- And when you’re done with that, try new roles. Yes, it’s fantastic to become great at one thing, but why not try another? I’ve learned that when you take on new things and try, you may find a passion for something entirely different, but still related to your work.
- Be sure to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for guidance, tips, tricks, hints, and advice. There are no bad questions. The only bad ones are the ones that you ignore, so speak up and engage.
- Make connections and network with the people you meet. Power and opportunity come with the relationships you make with your boss, co-workers, clients, and industry professionals. Make a good impression to be seen.
4. Become Self-Aware
What does it mean to be self-aware?
- Know why you applied to become a marketing intern
Why did you want to enter this profession and why does it excite you? What are the opportunities you want to make for yourself and where do you see your vocational path leading? Knowing this makes waking up in the morning a lot easier.
- Understand your strengths and manage your gaps
It’s important to know where you stand, not only for growth but for having an accurate perspective of what you have to offer and valuing that.
- Ask questions and be open to critique
As an intern, you don’t have all the answers, but people with more experience may just have them for you. Let go of your ego, ask those questions, and absorb as much information as you can. Be a sponge.
- Learn, and continually improve
You won’t be perfect right away, but with time and knowing these four things, good things will follow for you.
In the past six months working for picnic, it’s safe to say that I’ve accomplished a heck of a lot. From creating content calendars for clients, creating ads and creatives, drastically improving my writing capabilities, and developing strategy, it all became second nature. Moving from here, I’ve seen and learned the importance of marketing for small businesses and that’s where this path and passion is leading me. Whether local in Vancouver or international, the internet has no borders, and I’m excited to see where the beginning of my career will go.
If you’re interested in applying for an internship here at picnic social strategies, send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org and give us a run-down of why digital marketing interests YOU!