How to be the World’s Greatest Marketing Intern

marketing intern

by Phoebe Spooner, {grow} Community Member

From one {grow}-ling to another, I’m here to share what I’ve learned in the past five months as a young professional in the cut-throat internship world. My name is Phoebe and I am Mark’ Schaefer’s intern. Mark offered me this opportunity after my sophomore year at the University of Tennessee. I was young, inexperienced, and believe it or not, studying in an entirely different field of communication. Mark saw my content marketing potential buried below my creative advertising shell, and thus I became Phoebe, the Amazing Intern (His Words, Not Mine).

Now, I know there’s a huge community of young professionals that follow {grow}. I thought it would be cool to share a few tips on how to walk away the most employable intern you can possibly be.

1. Hit the ground running

It may take some time finding your place in the food chain, but the best way to start is to dive in.

The first few weeks can be intimidating because you aren’t sure what’s expected of you. The best way to overcome this is to exceed their expectations, or at least try. For me, I had to spend some quality time getting acquainted with Excel, but Mark was kind enough to sit down and go over the basics for me. Just a few months later, I’m crafting the finest tables in my advanced courses at school.

2. Reach out to predecessors

At Mark’s suggestion, I contacted Mark’s previous intern, and she has been a goldmine for suggestions and support–especially when I was just getting started. After one reply, Brittany’s email reassured me that I was in the right place, and with hard work, this team would help me grow and keep growing.

3. Be 100% transparent

Whatever you do, don’t lie about your abilities. Do you know why? Because they can’t teach you until they know what to teach. The goal is to communicate at every step of the way. Your concerns, road bumps, and even the little victories. You’ll get more out of your time, and your company will get more out of you.

4. Cultivate an arsenal of new skills (besides getting coffee)

At the University of Tennessee, they encourage students to only pursue internships that will challenge you in your field of study. That means unless your field is the coffee industry, you should be doing more than making coffee runs.

You should walk away from your experience with an arsenal of new skills that will help you stand out. If your internship isn’t providing you chances to learn and grow, you should fight for more exposure to the skills you’ll need in your next phase.

5. Don’t beat yourself up.

This one hits home for me. I’m still learning that I’ve got a lot more mistakes to make before I’m the best intern I can be. Mistakes can be hard to face, but you’re surrounded by people who are invested in your progress and success. Don’t take it too hard when they’re honest with you.

6. Represent your company at all times.

Maybe it’s just the industry, but I’m very conscientious of how powerful making a good impression can be. Because you’re an extension of your team, you’ve got to maintain a level of professionalism on and off the clock. Whether I’m joining Mark on a client call, or I’m touching base with remote team members, I try to remember that I’m a part of the company dynamics. I’m a part of the success puzzle.

Do you have any other tips for a successful internship? Share them in the comments below!

phoebe-spoonerPhoebe Spooner is a blossoming creative advertiser and blogger with a passion for digital marketing. She is currently studying at the Univeristy of Tennessee and working as Mark Schaefer’s intern. After graduation, she aspires to be an art director, copywriter, or director of content ignition.