Are marketing internships what they claim to be?
Over the years, we’ve come across many instances where the internship is portrayed under the limelight of good intentions, but it ultimately boils down to running random errands for their superiors. While the title ‘intern’ holds no weight, the role of an intern in an organisation is swiftly evolving, wherein on many occasions, interns find themselves managing a small team and even working alongside higher officials.
From the context of marketing, it is crucial to understand where you fit into the system, which areas you are required to cover as a marketing intern, and how important it is to enter into the field with the right mindset. Building the right foundation with your marketing internship enables you to succeed in future marketing jobs that require all the more zest and creativity.
What is a marketing intern?
A marketing intern is a trainee in the field of marketing who has signed on with an organisation for a brief period. As a marketing intern, your goal is to obtain work experience and gain a sense of marketing operations pertaining to the industry you’re interning in.
There are both paid and unpaid options for marketing internships. They can also span across the world as in-person opportunities, be completely remote, or a mix of both, known as ‘hybrid’. There has been a steady increase in the number of paid internship opportunities in the field of marketing, which is good news, and the trend is also inclining towards more remote opportunities.
Most international marketing internships and their local counterparts tend to have an engagement period ranging from a couple of weeks up to two years. If the internship is long-term, there is a higher chance for compensation, which may include a monthly wage, and other allowances in some cases, such as accommodation, gym membership, and travel/food allowance.
It’s also not uncommon to receive a full-time offer upon completion of your marketing internship with a company. According to an article by The Economic Times, 70% of employers are likely to source the current interns to find and hire for full-time roles.
Where can you intern for marketing jobs?
The world is your oyster, as paid marketing internships are not confined to any particular region. Fancy working for a digital marketing agency in London or learning about incorporating marketing under an NGO in New York or Singapore? Consider interning abroad!
An international internship can help give you a competitive edge in today’s saturated job market. Even better, an international internship is a fantastic way to help you build a global career and network. We can certainly help you on this front; start here!
If doing international marketing internships doesn’t sound like you, you still have the vast ocean of remote marketing internships awaiting you. Remote marketing internships serve the best of both worlds as you’re able to intern with a global company in comfort in your own home. Though you may not physically be abroad, there are still numerous benefits to interning remotely, even gaining a global perspective.
In addition to this, as stated earlier the amount of remote marketing internship opportunities available is more than ever. As a result of this, you choose where and who you intern with.
What are the job responsibilities of a marketing intern?
So what does a marketing intern do exactly? That depends on the industry in question and the kind of internship you’ve signed up for. The demands may vary from job shadowing to extensive assistance in market research depending on the company.
But let’s not forget, an intern is primarily a support role – at least in the beginning. When you join up, your main job is to grasp the operations, with any amount of assistance, learning and growth necessary. Once you’ve got a sense of things, you’ll be expected to pull your own weight.
Here’s a general overview of the work you can expect to do as a marketing intern:
Contribute to the marketing efforts!
It is highly unlikely that you will be tasked with spearheading a critical project right off the bat. The very start of your marketing internship could look like corporate baby steps, such as simply trying to learn how the company works, and seeing where all the colleagues fit into the company, and what problems they solve.
Apart from job shadowing, you can take a look at all the marketing operations, from research to social media, and align them with your job description. With that you’ll eventually get to a place where you can lead yourself.
Here are some day-to-day intern roles and their responsibilities:
- Managing social media and emails: You may be asked to assist with the company’s social media management, draft emails to customers, talk to clients on the phone, and similar duties. Your day may even include designing social media posts, scheduling them and creating a general strategy for your posts.
- Marketing data collection and analysis: As a professional in marketing, it is important to gather data, both quantitative and qualitative, from various marketing campaigns and interpret them. In essence, see what works and what didn’t regarding each campaign, and fine-tune the next one accordingly.
- Event handling: Marketing interns are often asked to oversee the scheduling of important events. You may be asked to help get everything prepared for an upcoming event, starting from fixing the venue to organising the resources of the event like key speakers, etc.
- Market research: While marketing is a creative field, it still holds much importance towards the statistics side of things, where key factors and differentiators come into play.
It is important to be on top of industry trends and engage in various studies around the market to understand what sells and what doesn’t. With research, your involvement as a marketing intern could be collaborating on a new project and providing recommendations on project execution.
Gain practical work experience
Since the main objective remains to be learning and growth in the area of marketing, your activities and tasks will revolve around a lot of trial and error, and place emphasis on moulding skills to take back with you for the rest of your career journey.
This goes into two main areas.
Formation of hard skills
Hard skills are the technical skills you need to carry out your internship responsibilities, and eventually job duties, successfully. In marketing, examples could be social media marketing, copywriting, SEO optimization, or more.
Sharpening your soft skills
Soft skills are all about your ability to relate to people and build mutually-beneficial relationships, which makes it just as important as hard skills. They are mostly universal across different industries, like having emotional intelligence, exemplary communication, people skills, organisation, and active listening.
Soft skills are not just essential to merge well with the internal company, but also to build yourself in a better position with the customers and other people of interest.
Oftentimes, this is the first course of action with any intern, not just marketing. It is because they are new to a system that requires a lot of learning for complete comprehension.
Hence as the name suggests, the practice involves “shadowing” someone as they perform their daily duties, observing their activities, and learning what the role entails via indirect experience.
The best way most companies carry this out is by assigning a designated mentor to each intern. These mentors help the interns form their foundations rock solid, by giving interns the opportunity to shadow them, see how they function, and provide enough space for interns to connect with other people within the company.
They are in effect the guiding light for these interns, as everything from their performance to their questions are encouraged and resolved by their mentor. Job shadowing is an excellent way to get a deeper understanding of what it will be like to work in the marketing industry on an everyday basis.
Build up on the job responsibilities
As you progress and work your way up the ladder, you will eventually have the capacity and confidence to carry out more tasks efficiently. Based on your performance during your initial weeks, your team members, particularly your mentor, will judge your current skill set and reliability and hand in more tasks accordingly. The better you perform, the more responsibilities you’ll be given.
This is an excellent opportunity to build your reputation with your employer. Also it does not promise one, it also solidifies your statement if you’re looking to pursue a full-time position with the same company after your internship tenure.
While this is the case in general, you need not ever take more than you can chew, as what is of crucial importance is displaying you’be able to function efficiently with whatever workload you are assigned with.
Marketing is an industry where you need to be amidst the thick of things, grasping every recent trend within a particular industry. Building a professional network can help you beyond securing more job opportunities in the future, by connecting with many other people within the same industry and see how they are doing their work.
There is much to take inspiration from, and many others that can definitely help you improve your marketing skills.
Here are a few examples of the kind of networking marketing interns do.
Finding an influencer
Being in any social media, influencers can really be influential (duh) to understand how the tone and content of messaging could vary within different categories, and how to strategise selling without directly approaching for a sale.
Forming a peer support group
Other marketing interns, and professionals who have progressed from their internship phase can be of great help, to gain other perspectives of the profession as a whole, right from the expectations to other prospects.
Getting in with bosses and coworkers
Maybe one of the easier ways to build up your network could be right from your own company, especially if everyone is helpful and considerate. You can speak with other members within the marketing team to learn their career trajectory, their way of handling the plethora of issues faced in the marketing department, and more.
Sample Marketing Internship Job Description
- Active data collection and interpretation for various marketing campaigns across social media and other formats
- Collaborate with the marketing team in social media management; curating posts under various content pillars in regular frequency, measuring engagement rates and improving performance based on statistics
- Support the team in event organisation and presentations, both internally and externally, using the help of marketing materials.
- Maintain brand voice and messaging by adhering to content guidelines, brand themes and colours, etc.
- Update organisational database and company content assets like website, money pages, culture deck, etc.
- Preferably a recent graduate or final year university student along the fields of Marketing, Journalism or English Literature
- Willingness to active learning and growth, and passion to pursue a career in the marketing industry
- Strong foundational understanding of marketing basics, like copywriting, marketing strategies and techniques
- Well-versed in the usage of various marketing tools, primarily MS Office, GSuite, etc.
- Basic knowledge of CRM tools, and paid ad mediums such as Google Adwords
A marketing internship is hands-down the best setup you can ask for when you want an effective entrance into pursuing this as a career. It encloses a compact package of giving you a sneak peek of what it’s like to work as a marketing professional, while not having to go through the whole nine yards of training and responsibilities of a full-time role.
It also gives you an advantage over people who are fresh off the university oven, directly looking for full-time jobs since they still lack some of the tricks of the trade that are learnt on the job.
If you are considering a paid marketing internship, Capital Placement can step in to help you secure a memorable and valuable internship opportunity, remotely or within major titan cities such as New York, London and Singapore. Book a call with us to learn more!