The Do’s and Don’ts of Being a Marketing Intern

Posted by on July 9, 2015

This week’s guest post comes from Marketwave’s integrated marketing intern, Caroline Knight. Caroline is a student at Texas Christian University majoring in strategic communication with an emphasis in public relations and advertising.

Marketwave's summer intern, Caroline Knight.

Marketwave’s summer intern, Caroline Knight.

Last semester, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Florence, Italy. Though I had the time of my life, reality kicked in when I realized I needed to find a summer internship. Because I was thousands of miles from home, landing an internship was not an easy task. Before I had my Skype and phone interviews, I would walk around my little Italian apartment trying to find the slightest bit of Wi-Fi. Oh and the time difference…do not even get me started.

Thankfully, my hard work paid off when I became the integrated marketing intern at Marketwave.

Right when I thought the hard part was over, I realized that it had just begun. I was chosen out of a pool of applicants, and I didn’t want to disappoint my employer. I wanted the Marketwave team to know they chose the right person.

Reflecting on my first month here at the agency, I have come up with a list of do’s and don’ts for marketing interns.

Do:

Be flexible:
Being flexible with a positive, can-do attitude can help you stand out as an intern. If you’re given an assignment that strays from your expertise, don’t be scared! Take it as a learning experience, which is what an internship is all about. As an intern at Marketwave, I’ve learned the importance of this: in order to keep up with deadlines and projects, being flexible has helped me adapt and respond to change quickly.

Add value:
Being an intern doesn’t mean you do not have valuable ideas to contribute. In fact, it could mean that you have fresh and new ideas to add to the table. At Marketwave, I have been exposed to a team with intelligent and creative individuals who truly value others’ ideas. Yes, it is important to execute projects in a timely manner and to your best ability, but it is also important to make an impact and leave a lasting impression.

Take advantage of every opportunity:
Remember that an internship is a time to gain real-world experience. It’s unlike any class you will take or any exam that you will study for. Don’t get me wrong; TCU has provided me with extensive knowledge, but Marketwave has provided me with so much more. In my first month, I have already been exposed to multiple types of projects and assignments. Learning more about them has helped me expand my skillset and steer myself toward my many career aspirations.

Don’t:

Be shy:
By no means am I a shy person—in fact, I would consider myself very outgoing. However, during my first week at Marketwave, I was so focused on completing my work that I forgot how important it is to build relationships with your colleagues. Even though taking care of your work should be your first priority, bonding with fellow employees is a great way to understand the company on a deeper level. 

Rush:
For me, there’s no better feeling than crossing something off of my to-do list. Seeing that list shrink brings me a sense of accomplishment. However, there are some days when I feel like it becomes a race and each completed project brings me closer to the finish line. No matter how swamped you might be, understand that the time it takes to complete a task is not nearly as important as the effort put forth. Remember: quality over quantity.  

Be afraid to ask questions:
I am constantly raising questions and asking for advice when I am unfamiliar with something. Asking questions will not only prevent mistakes, but it also shows that you genuinely want to produce exceptional work and are eager to learn.

That said, don’t forget to have fun! An internship is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and provides opportunities that can get your career started in the right direction. Enjoy it while you can!

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