Internships are a rite of passage for most professionals today. These positions play an essential role in many industries, including marketing. At Absolute Marketing Solutions, we view our internship program as an opportunity to shape the next generation of marketers by providing real-world experience to those just beginning their careers. On this National Intern Day, we would like to recognize those hardworking individuals while sharing a bit of our intern philosophy.
Over the years, we have had many interns share past horror stories of their bad experiences. In some examples, the interns were tasked solely with "busy work" that none of the full or part-time employees wanted to do. In other cases, interns were given menial tasks unrelated to their discipline, such as supplying coffee for meetings and picking up dry cleaning. While many businesses, unfortunately, look upon interns as cheap or free labor, this is not what the positions were created for. When properly structured, an internship program can be mutually beneficial to both parties.
Increase Relevance through Fresh Perspectives:
Interns typically start with little to no preconceptions about your industry, clients, or business. While some may view this as a shortcoming, we consider it as an opportunity to gain the benefit of a fresh perspective. In an attempt to learn and quickly adapt to your company, interns ask a lot of questions. These questions can lead to rethinking parts of your business that may only exist because "that's how we've always done it."
Help Shape the Next Generation of Marketing Professionals:
When meeting with other marketing agencies or CMO's, we often hear criticism of recent college graduates. However, when we ask whether or not these companies have an internship program, the answer is almost always no. A well-structured internship program allows businesses to ensure that the skills they desire in potential new hires are clearly defined and explained. In addition to the direct instruction of interns, a formal internship program often helps your business establish a relationship with local colleges and could enable you to provide input into helping shape the curriculum.
Build Strong Resumes:
Internships provide evidence to prospective employers about the experience gained within the industry. Experience can be more valuable to an employer than a GPA because it proves a candidate is comfortable and capable of working in a professional setting. In addition, many jobs require one to two years of experience before hiring employees to ensure that you are adequate for the position. That being the case, an internship is a fantastic asset for students attempting to maintain their full-time/part-time school status because it gives them the experience they need at a time commitment they can handle. In fact, the presence of an internship on a resume significantly increases the likelihood of receiving an interview.
As an intern, you will most likely find yourself learning from professionals around you. You may shadow other employees or work with a mentor to gain knowledge on how the company operates. Whatever your position entails, think of an internship as an interactive classroom!
Explore Career Options:
If you are unsure of what career you would like to pursue, an internship is a great way to test the waters. When selecting an internship, choose an industry that you are passionate about. If you find yourself uninterested in that internship, then you may want to reconsider your career path. All in all, an internship is only temporary, so take advantage of this opportunity while you can.
Develop Professional Skills:
Internships allow inexperienced employees to develop professional skills through hands-on experience. Interns often learn how to communicate, actively listen, manage their time, collaborate with a team, and adapt to unfamiliar circumstances. Regardless of what skills you build, they will assist in both your professional and personal life.
While most internships are unpaid, many will count as class credit. Essentially, it is up to the employer to determine the compensation, which generally considers the level and intricacy of the workload. However, if you are a business looking to hire an intern, we have found that paid interns are often more motivated.
Network with Professionals:
Internships provide networking opportunities that can help you achieve your future career goals. For example, you can use this experience to interact and connect with other employees. These newfound relationships could increase your chances of earning a job at that company or others within the industry.
Regardless of what field of work you are interested in, there are hundreds of internship opportunities available! Try looking on platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed, or Glassdoor for internships within your area. You can also reach out to a company you find admirable to see if they have any open opportunities. Additionally, many universities have academic advisors that can provide resources about internships if you are a college student.
If you have any questions about internships or are interested in interning at Absolute Marketing Solutions, please contact one of our team members for more information.