The word “internship” is thrown around quite often these days. With the upturn in college graduates, it has become harder for recent grads to obtain a job due to the equal playing field of qualified candidates. If the majority have a college degree, what makes you so special? It’s an INTERNSHIP that can set you apart from the competition!
Benefit #1: Internships provides you with a competitive advantage. It’s very common to have a college degree now-a-days, since it is required for a majority of higher paying positions.
I started my internship with 662 Marketing exactly one year ago today, when I was going into my last semester at Ole Miss. Before then, I had only had one other internship position which was only a month long. I was worried that one internship alone would not set me apart enough from other applicants when it came time to join the real-world work force.
So, through the bizarre connections my mom makes in the teller line in ATLANTA, of all places, she meets a man that knows a CEO of a marketing firm in Oxford - What a small world! That CEO is the one and only Mrs. Kate Rosson, ladies and gentlemen *round of applause*.
Starting off, I thought I knew at least a little bit about what it takes to work in a marketing firm. After all, I had been through semester after semester of marketing and business courses in one of the best IMC programs in the nation. So, I should know a lot, right? WRONG!
It wasn’t until I had to put my knowledge into action that I realized I had the concepts down, but not quite the focalized mindset to deal with multiple clients - with very specific needs. I had to learn about each client and their company’s goals and strategies to really be able to make my work up to their standards.
Benefit #2: You have the opportunity to be in a real-world environment and learn soft skills. Future employers will like that fact that students have a new skill set that can’t be taught in the classroom.
“Soft skills”: teamwork, time management, prioritization, attention to detail, etc.
During the first few months of my internship, I was given many different types of assignments including press releases, event flyers, video production, graphic creation, and even brand management. Through those various tasks, I found which areas of marketing I liked better and focused on those as a future career path.
BTW: It’s social media
Benefit #3: Internships are a test drive of a career. Having more than one, or one that has many areas you can work in, helps you narrow down what you do and don’t want to make a career out of.
Before my current position at 662 Marketing, I had the opportunity to take a few interviews with employers and found that they asked a lot about my experience and the internships I did have under my belt. (HINT: YOU WILL BE ASKED ABOUT IT!)
Let’s recap: Aside from the possibility of growth within your mentoring company, it gives you a competitive advantage, you learn a new set of business skills, and you find what you really like and don’t like.
Editor’s Note (ie: Kate, the boss): I have loved offering internships to local Ole Miss students because I genuinely care about how prepared they are for the real world. I think most college students are surprised that I give them actual work, that is presented to clients or consumers, rather than “busy” work stuffing envelopes and what not. Internships are absolutely critical to ones post-grad success. I recommend at least two internships, if not more. Again, its about making you stand out on paper. I’m so proud of what a strong worker Amanda has become and the confidence she has grown over the last year. I know that she has earned a stand out resume in her time with me!