Career Talk 06.07.17

5 keys to success on a marketing internship

Anybody can get it, the hard part is keeping it. These keys to success will ensure your position on a marketing internship.
Alex Ekong
Alex Ekong

If you’re reading this, congratulations. You’ve just secured yourself a marketing internship – one of the most coveted positions for millennials out there (or so LinkedIn would have you believe).

Marketing is fun for people from all walks of life. It’s the best of both worlds – coming up with creative campaigns and off-the-wall ideas, all the while geeking out over numbers and statistics. But the question is, how do you hit the ground running? In this fast-paced industry, there a few keys to success that you should remember. And here they are:

Start with the end in mind

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Before you even start your marketing internship, be aware of this vital pre-game tip. What are you actually going in there to get? A permanent position? Valuable experience? Career perspective? New skills?

Figure it out first and then, when you get there, let it shape your work accordingly. Your manager will likely want to know what your endgame is while working with them. Showing you know your goals and having careers ambitions will show that you’re serious about the position – that you can be trusted.

Be transparent about your skills

marketing internship skills

The temptation when you start a marketing internship is to act like you’re more advanced than you actually are. STOP! It’s okay to not know everything.

Even if you did a marketing degree at university, you aren’t necessarily going to be as familiar with things like Google Analytics and SEO. That’s what mentorship is for! Be honest about what you know and don’t know. The aim of the internship for your managers is to develop you to a point where you can help them. They’ll be happy to show you the ropes.

Be honest about what you know and don’t know. The aim of the internship for your managers is to develop you to a point where you can help them. They’ll be happy to show you the ropes.

Seek knowledge as much as possible

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In a profession like marketing, where there are almost infinite ways to achieve the desired result, it’s important that you don’t rest on your laurels. Seek knowledge as often as you can.

If you find yourself at loose end, observe your manager. Ask them what they’re working on and why it’s important to the business at large. For added gold stars, seek out a former intern and ask them what they learned. You might glean some information you didn’t have before.

Don’t beat yourself up

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IMPORTANT PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: you’re going to make mistakes. That mistake might come sooner rather than later. I myself went a long time without making any mistakes that were too catastrophic. When the slip-up finally came, I was horrified.

But then,  I realised something important. Life goes on. Things move quickly, especially on a marketing internship. Everyone messes up once in a while, but you only really need to worry if you don’t learn from it. And as soon as the next work day starts, you get a clean slate.


marketing internship skills

Your managers will thank you for this. The job of the marketer is not just to get others to believe in the product, but to believe in the product themselves. That’s why you should be sure to spread the word. Post on social media and prep your 30-second elevator pitch. That kind of enthusiasm is what’s gonna take you from marketing internship to permanent position quicker than you can say “A/B Testing”.

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