Internships are an attractive and highly sought after way to begin a career in the modern jobs market, both for junior and entry-level graduates looking to gain experience and test the waters of different workplaces, and for employers looking to find their next new talent.
But, as with anything unknown and new in the world of work, internships can sometimes feel somewhat daunting and come with a small amount of trepidation. To prepare you and hopefully remove any of these nervous feelings, here’s a list of what you should expect in any (worthwhile!) digital marketing internship.
- To learn a lot of things – very fast
Due to the ever-changing nature of digital marketing, there is only so much that can be taught in a traditional educational setting that is applied during the average day-to-day tasks. Because of this, regardless of any marketing or advertising degrees you may have, the best way to learn is in-house ‘teaching’ and, subsequently, a lot of ‘doing’. When I first started as an intern at Venture Stream I had no prior experience of Google Analytics or Adwords, of writing ad copy, populating an SEO content sheet, pulling client reports or creating a social media marketing plan, but within a few weeks had managed to get to grips with the basics of each. Depending on what kind of internship it is that you do, the chances are you won’t be an expert in the fields you’re working (and almost definitely not in the way your specific agency goes about doing them), so go in ready to listen, learn and practice. That said, there won’t be any expectations that you will be an expert, so don’t worry if you only basic knowledge when you first start. Just like you’re there to gain experience, the internship employer won’t expect you to know everything either and understand it is their role to impart knowledge and teach you the fundamentals of the industry.
- To work hard
While partaking in the previously mentioned hands-on digital marketing teaching and carrying out tasks, it goes without saying that in order to get the work complete and to begin to properly understand the ins and outs, you must be willing to work hard. Prepare for your days to be busy and for new things to be taught frequently. Hard work will pay off though, and before you know it certain tasks that seemed overwhelming as a total novice will become second nature – and this won’t go unnoticed to your employers!
- To contribute ideas and get stuck in
This might be the oldest internship cliché in the book, but it’s also one of the truest. As intimidating as an office full of professionals with years of experience who have all worked together for some time might seem, one of the best ways to make a good and lasting impression is to let your voice be heard. Speak up in meetings if you feel you have an idea (don’t worry about it ‘not being right’ – you’re not meant to be an expert just yet), if you have questions about the work you’re performing beyond what you immediately have to know – ask! This is a great way to show your eagerness to learn, while subsequently developing your skills and gaining invaluable experience and knowledge. Additionally, being sure to offer your fair share of tea & coffee rounds, or bringing in the occasional packet of biscuits, will always make you extremely popular around the office.
- To Have Fun
There’s a reason so many people want to work in the digital marketing sector – and that’s because it’s a fun industry to work in! Many digital marketing agencies are founded in a creative environment, and the work performed is often a unique blend of creative, design and writing based tasks mixed with analytical, tech and lead generation aspects. The work is hard but rewarding and, in my own opinion, often very fun to complete. The offices themselves are also very rarely a ‘strict’ office environment, and generally are a good laugh. So start your internship knowing you’re going to enjoy it!
If you’re looking to gain experience in a digital marketing agency through an internship, we’re always open to finding the next big talent, so drop us an email here.