You did it! You scored an internship with an awesome online marketing company. Your future is blossoming before your very eyes. The time to push outside of your academic comfort zone has arrived. Now it’s time to get some real-world work experience.
Internships are great for building your resume, but even more importantly, they will help you discover more about yourself. What are your strengths? Your weaknesses? What kind of employee do you want to be? Your boss may control your job, but you control your career.
Make the absolute most of this opportunity by following these seven tips for a meaningful online marketing internship experience:
1. Be enthusiastic – Be Connected. Show up friendly and eager to learn. Be excited about social media, and be connected. What do we mean by connected? Go in with guns blazing and start a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+, and join the community. This should come naturally. If it doesn’t, you may be in the wrong place. The right internship is like the right relationship; it won’t make you someone you’re not. Be yourself.
2. Explore as many departments as possible. An internship is a time for exploration. Seek out opportunities to rotate through different departments and be exposed to various assignments. fishbat's online marketing internship program is a great way for college students to rotate through different departments, including search engine optimization, digital public relations, email marketing, and social media. Even if you are assigned to one specialty area, reach out to others. Invite someone from a different department to have lunch with you or volunteer to assist with a company project that includes several departments. Soak it all in.
3. Ask questions. Learn as much as you can. Ask questions about the company, the tasks you are performing, and your work assignments. Ask why. For example, “Why are we using Facebook in this way for this client?” Show you are interested and want to understand the strategies behind the tactics. Your work will be better as a result. The feedback you gain will also help you improve your skills. Skills like writing, communication, and document creation are transferable, as you can most likely use these in any career you pursue. Start sharpening them now!
4. Listen. You are asking great questions. Now be sure to follow through and listen. The power of listening cannot be stressed enough. Display your listening skills and be open to feedback from your peers and supervisors. Communication skills are valuable in any area, but they are particularly essential in the world of online marketing. You will be valued for showing interest and respected for being attentive. Mistakes are a lot less likely to happen when you listen and understand too.
5. Be a problem solver. Show your boss how you can analyze a situation and offer a valuable solution. By doing so, you are sure to stand out as a leader. Leaders solve problems, they don’t just perform tasks. The online marketing community welcomes ideas and creativity. Taking opportunities to become a problem solver and serve as a leader will make your current experience more meaningful and will also help you grow into your next role.
6. Build relationships. Connect with other thought leaders and industry professionals across social media platforms. We’ve all heard the stories about friends getting job opportunities through people they know. These connections can be valuable to building your career. LinkedIn is harnessing the power of professional networking via the internet and is growing at a rapid speed. Create your own LinkedIn profile to connect with your coworkers and friends. Is there a professional organization in your field? Join it. Attend local networking events. The more you do it, the easier it will become and the better you will get at connecting.
7. Say “thank you.” Be sure to show your gratitude. Send a thank you note following your interview. Thank your coworker for their help on an assignment. Thank your boss for the internship opportunity. People’s time and knowledge are valuable. Let them know you appreciate them by showing how thoughtful you are. Gratitude has an extra bonus too -- it has been linked to boosts in happiness levels!
Were you ever an online marketing intern? Are you currently looking for an internship opportunity? Share your experiences in the comments below and let us know your thoughts!
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