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Just How Valuable is an Internship?

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!

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