Who’s Hiring Interns? Top Internships for Marketing Students

As a college student, you should always looking for the next step up on the ladder of success. Spending time in college should be seen as your ‘minor-league’ training for the big leagues. Do your diligence now, get involved, make the right plays, and soon, you’ll have opportunities at the majors. Or in your case, a great marketing internship!

Here are the five critical things you should be doing now to get a shot at a great internship:

  • Work Your Online Persona: To land your dream internship, a potential employer has to be able to click to one site and get your full background in a few seconds. Do you have a resume and achievement oriented site up at http//(YourName).com? If not, then start to do this with all the web tools available for creating free – try Do You Buzz for starters.
  • Show Volunteerism: Does your resume portray a college student off the grid? Are you a student wholly consumer with your studies, friends and nothing official on campus? Then 2013′s a new time to get involved. Involvement shows initiative, and every employer loves to see initiative.
  • Make Better Grades: Are you excelling in your studies? If not, what’s keeping you from fulfilling your grade potential. Meet a counselor. Talk about your desire for internships. The counselor should be able to point toward the best marketing resources to help you in your emerging career.
  • Ramp up Your Networking: Are you going to social events that are part of your professional aspirations? Can you get involved in alumni groups? That’s usually the best way to have direct contact with student who are now working in marketing,
  • Be Visible Online: You should be connected on social networks with your friends and family, but with organizations, professional groups and businesses to learn about possible insights to marketing internships.

Below is a sampling of marketing internships found at job search engines across the US in the last few weeks. With a little aggressive enthusiasm, one of these marketing internships can be yours!

Marketing and Program Support Internship, National Press Foundation, Washington, DC – If you’re interested in marketing, communication, online media and working with our national thinkers in the press, this great internship should be of interest. Stipend and commitment come together in one great opportunity.

  • Field Marketing Interns: National openings – National brand SanDisk (maker of disk drives, SD cards and more) needs interns to work in retail marketing internships around the country. Ideal applicants would work throughout summer 2013 with paid training in its California offices. If you want to get involved in technology from a retail marketing channel point of contact, this is a great opportunity.
  • Interactive Marketing/Communications Internship: (New York, NY) Reporting to the National Director of Marketing/Communications, this internship must be a junior or senior in college, with good social media skills and office based computer products.
  • Sports Marketing Events Internship: (San Diego, CA) If living in one of the most beautiful US cities and working in sports event marketing is your thing, then this internship for one of American Cancer Society’s initiatives for runners could be an exciting opportunity.
  • Communications Intern: (Baltimore, MD) This internship brings a marketing intern to work with Wide Angle Youth Media, a Baltimore non-profit that helps inner-city youth tell stories using media tools and become engaged in their communities.

Every college student in marketing classes should be looking at internships to further their academic career and income opportunities for a summer and beyond. As you learn in the classroom, there are many opportunities to get ‘real world’ experience, as long as you put in the effort to broaden your profile and your horizons. Good luck!

Marketing Interview: Owen Nitka of MarketingLab

We had the opportunity to interview Owen Nitka, Senior Account Executive at MarketingLab, a Minneapolis-based marketing agency. Owen is a 2007 graduate of University of Minnesota, and brings a unique perspective on the agency (marketing) careers and tips for the marketing student. Check out this all-encompassing and insightful marketing interview here:

How did you know that the agency side is right for you?

Every work environment has its own culture, and for marketers there’s probably nowhere that difference is more pronounced than between agency and client-side work. My first work experience was an internship with a Fortune 500 company during college.  In that time, I was able to see how marketers deal with all the environmental factors affecting one brand.  The experience was valuable, but the highly disciplined structure of a large corporation just did not fit my personality. 

Prior to graduation, I had an internship at MarketingLab, a shopper marketing and consumer engagement agency and was immediately met with a rush of excitement from the big ideas that filled the office. Working on a range of brands and a multitude of projects meant I never had a dull day. The best part of working at an agency is that creative solutions are king!  I was motivated to focus on the fun part of marketing – developing engaging and innovative ways for our clients to sell more stuff.   There is no clear cookie-cutter answer for client vs. agency and obviously the answer depends on the marketer’s personality, talents, interests and in particular their motivations.

How creative can you get with your job? What excites you the most about creating new campaign ideas?

Agencies thrive on creative thinking, so you always have a chance to stretch your creative muscle. Working in a smaller office, everyone has a hand in the strategic and creative development. Although we have a full creative department, it takes an entire team to deliver the best thinking.  MarketingLab started 12 years ago with one key objective; help clients sell more of their products and services by changing shopper behavior.  Whether it’s a relatively small project or huge campaign, its all starts with an actionable insight.  Our job as an agency partner is to turn those insights into impactful and profitable programs.  It’s exciting to carry an idea all the way through from concept through activation and see the measurable impact is has on our clients’ businesses.

What tasks do you do on a daily basis, and how or how didn’t college prepare you for them? 

As a Senior Account Executive, I am responsible for account management and developing new business opportunities. The commonality between both of these is the building of strong relationships with clients by leveraging knowledge of their business. For my current clients, I’m the day-to-day contact who manages all elements of a program from concept to activation to recap.  Providing exceptional account service can mean different things depending on the client or project, but often includes: strategic development of marketing solutions, managing a team of project managers and external vendors and ensuring appropriate financial management of projects.

What was the turning point for you when you decided to pursue a degree in Marketing? 

Throughout high school, I was interested in business, but didn’t have a particular area of focus. It was important for me to choose a university that had a quality program with strong ties to a vibrant and dynamic business community like Minneapolis.  From the University of Minnesota, it’s easy to get connected to different opportunities. The school is friends and neighbors to Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurial start-ups, and non-profits, meaning that mentorship, internships and job opportunities abound. After taking the ‘general’ business courses my sophomore year, I found the creative, strategic and competitive elements of marketing to be more fun and engaging than anything else. From there, I went beyond the marketing degree to enroll in a self-designed curriculum that integrated marketing and strategic communications through the journalism school. 

What advice could you give recent college graduates who are looking to enter the world of marketing?

  • Whichever part of marketing you’re interested in, it all moves pretty fast. Chances are, whatever your professors taught you your freshman year of college no longer applies. Need an answer to a pressing marketing problem? You won’t find it textbooks. Effective marketing isn’t about looking up the answer, it’s about creating the solution. For example, nobody taught professional marketers already in the business how to “do social media”; they had to figure it out on their own. That’s your future: figuring out marketing. Forever.
  • There’s more to the marketing world than big brands and agencies. Yes, you can work at a marketing agency, big or small. And yes, you could work for a big brand like Target, BMW or Coca-Cola. But there are SO many more options. What about working in-house at a cool tech company? A small business? A hospital? Just because your professors only talk about the campaigns big brands have executed, doesn’t mean those are the only marketing jobs out there.
  • Network like crazy with everyone.  I know every graduate has heard this, but I’d challenge recent grads to always be looking for opportunities to increase the value of your network.  Whether you live in a big market or small one, the network in your chosen industry is going to be extremely tight knit – everybody knows somebody.  Don’t wait for job postings to go up, set your own interviews.  I never turn away a request I get for an informational interview.  You can learn more about a potential career in 30 minutes across the table from working professional than hours of online research.  Point is, you never know who could end up helping you out the future. Get to know as many people as you can.
  • Your career will be the best campaign you ever work on.  Prove your skills by marketing yourself. Don’t wait for someone else to give you the opportunity. Invest time in building your social media reach, and leverage LinkedIn to connect with other marketing professionals. Demonstrate your passion for marketing by properly marketing yourself. If you can’t market yourself, how will you market for others?

[Check out more marketing interviews here...]

Marketing Career Lessons from Mad Men

Whether you’re a first year marketing student or you’re preparing for graduation, odds are you’re familiar with the wildly successful TV show “Mad Men.” Not only does this show make working for ad agencies look appealing, it’s a great source for career lessons. Following are the top five career tips we’ve picked up by watching the show:

1. Dress for Success

The clothes on “Mad Men” are, in essence, another character, and just like the show, how you dress has a direct impact on how others see you. To make the best impression, show up for work in clean and pressed clothes that are appropriate for the office environment. If everyone is wearing collared shirts and ties, be sure to follow suit (yeah, that’s a pun). If the dress code is a little more relaxed, dress it down a notch, but don’t misinterpret business casual for ratty jean day. Strive for a timeless fashion, not this season’s hottest trends.

2. Wield the Power of Silence

One of the most powerful communication tools you have is silence. Just like Don Draper, don’t share more than you need. Keep your personal life and juicy office gossip tidbits out of your repertoire. Stick to the work facts and you can’t go wrong. Think about it this way – who would you rather spend your lunch hour with: the copywriter who is talking about his advertising strategy for the company’s newest multi-billion dollar account or the account executive who is lamenting about his divorce? Don’t be the lonely hearts divorce dude and keep your mouth shut when it comes to your private life.

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3. Don’t Canoodle the Boss

While it may have worked for Jane, sleeping with the boss rarely – if ever – results in a marriage proposal. Sleeping with the boss has several serious implications including perceived favoritism and sexual harassment. And no matter how nice your coworkers may be to your face, it will always be in the back of their minds that you’re sleeping with the boss. As the old adage says, “Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.”

4. Don’t Mix Business with Pleasure

While the idea of getting past the 2:00 productivity slump with a dirty martini sounds like a great idea, don’t do it. Most organizations today have strict rules about drinking during the day. Mix a cocktail and you may find yourself in the unemployment line.

In a similar vein, we understand that having a few drinks with coworkers after a long day seems like a harmless idea, but it’s not. Be careful about how cozy you get with your coworkers. Pulling from Don’s playbook, don’t lose your position of power by giving away much about yourself. Be diligent about how you present yourself to others in your company.

5. Make Work about Work

This can be a hard one to master. No matter how nice they are to you, your coworkers are not your friends. Don’t look at augmenting your social life by making friends at work. Take notes from Don, who clearly cares more about his position than the people on his team. You don’t have to be a callus ass about it, just keep your primary task in mind – to produce quality work and become successful.

Author Bio: This article was written by a guest author. Dwayne Thomas is a marketer and staff writer for cabletv.com.  He welcomes your feedback on Twitter @DwayneThomas15.