The best way to approach your internship in marketing
Are you starting your search for an industry internship? Maybe you’ve already secured an internship but aren’t sure what to expect. Or maybe you are reading this in the future (and I’m your boss haha) and about to start your journey with Young Folks and are after a bit of insight before you get started. Whatever the reason, this is an internship breakdown from the perspective of an intern, so buckle up and take some notes newbies.
I am currently completing my internship with the amazing team here at Young Folks. I was taken in under the digital marketing team (affectionately known as the Marketing Mavericks crew) and had the pleasure of working with some extremely talented professionals within the creative and marketing space. I am currently a 3rd year Communications: Digital Media student at Deakin University.
I’ve learnt so many valuable lessons throughout this placement period at Young Folks, most of which would surprise you. I know I was definitely not expecting them. I have built on not only my professional skills for the industry such as understanding SEO, Google Ads and social media ads, but also things like how to productively function within a collaborative office space (which was a huge change for me coming from a warehousing and retail background).
Obviously an internship’s main purpose is to learn more about your chosen field in a hands-on industry standard environment. (duh)
However, it is important to not forget about the learning that comes from the day to day. Being genuinely inquisitive and invested in the business that is smart enough to take you on will work wonders in terms of professional skill building, communication methods and hidden tricks of the trade that can be dropped by your supervisor without them even realising.
I have been primarily working under our Digital Marketing Strategist, Taylah, who is ridiculously knowledgeable in what she does and has been patient and comprehensive with her guidance. Being in an environment where questions are encouraged and initiative is acknowledged is the perfect space for confidence development.
Mindset and approach
I have found that the way in which you approach an internship will make all the difference to how valuable the experience will be for an individual. I have been as open minded as possible from the start, despite not being put in the content focused area I always imagined myself being in. This opportunity to branch out and experience other avenues of the industry has been hugely influential in how I see my career path going in the future, as I have actually found myself thoroughly enjoying the analytical nature of marketing and the diversity and satisfaction of completing tasks within my day.
As I constantly tell our founder, Erin, I think it is important to experience and understand all aspects of a business or company that you work for in order to complete your chosen job to the best of your abilities, in a way that benefits not only yourself, but the business as a whole. In simple terms, experience the basic work of all areas in your business to have the greatest impact from your chosen role.
Erin and the Young Folks crew have been amazing at facilitating this, as despite spending most of my time working under the marketing team, I do one day a week with the content team and have plans to work under the operations side of the business in the coming months. This approach has helped me gain a wide foundation of knowledge to ensure the position I settle into is going to be one I am suited to and thoroughly enjoy.
Remember, it’s an internship, you aren’t locked into anything! So don’t be afraid to branch into fields you never thought of trying just to test the water, you never know what you might think!
Chase what you want
You will never be totally satisfied with what you are doing or the progress that you make if you are in the wrong place, you will not hold the value you deserve or have the potential to hold if you are surrounded by people who don’t understand you or your mindset.
My advice to avoid this, as cringe as it might sound, is to chase what you want or think you deserve. I literally landed this internship by pestering my way into the space, I sent emails, resumes, portfolios, LinkedIn messages and finally just decided to knock on the office door and ask if I could intern here.
This hard work paid off and ended up being the exact reason I was awarded the opportunity to work with this company that aligns so perfectly with my own values and personality. I feel understood and welcome, and am always learning even if it’s subconsciously.
Now, I’m not saying be a stalker or take things too far, but if you put yourself in the right place and push yourself outside your comfort zone for something you strongly believe in, there is every chance that the right employer will recognise that and reward it.
Initiative goes a long way in the world of business. So take the steps to stand out from the crowd and show your passion and the real reason for wanting to conduct an internship or work in a specific position.
The wrap up
Overall my experience so far with Young Folks has been so incredibly helpful in transitioning into the workforce and entering a space I was pretty unfamiliar with. The team is lovely, accepting and a lot of fun to be around! (which is what you want when you spend this much time with them)
Here are a few things to remember about going into an internship, wherever that may be.
Good opportunities require hard work and dedication. Don’t be afraid to put in the hard yards to intern at a place you feel fits your personal brand.
Be open minded. You will take so much more away from the experience if you are open to new ideas and environments .
Ask questions. you aren’t expected to know everything, your employer understands this is the reason you are interning!
Dive in the deep end. Just give it a crack, whatever it may be, whether it’s finding the internship, completing an unfamiliar task or stepping out of your comfort zone to start networking. The deep end is where we learn the most.
Don’t fear failure. Failure is the foundation for growth, learn from your mistakes and do better next time until you get it right!
Hope this helps some people with their internship journey, and I’m excited to continue my own journey with this group of talented creatives and can’t wait to see what’s to come!