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Diary of a Digital Marketing Intern (Part 3 of 5): A Winning Mindset!

Jamin Daily • July 15, 2013 • 5 minutes to read

Last week in the second part of this five part series, I gave you a snap-shot of my responsibilities here at MKG Marketing and shared some technical learning aspects related to those roles.

I'm glad I wrote that blog last week, because if I had waited until would've been twice as long! In the third part of this series, I'll share my mindset as an intern and how it has helped me make the most of this experience.


Mindset of an Effective Intern

I am going to share six ideas that have helped me be an effective intern. These include:

  1. Positive Attitude
  2. Active Learning
  3. Provide a Service
  4. Be Professional
  5. Take Pride
  6. Have Fun

Let's jump right into my attitude:

1. The Power of a Positive Attitude

Attitude matters! I don't 'have' to go to work each day, I 'get' to go to work each day. The minute you view work as an obligation instead of an opportunity, you need to change your attitude.

Having a positive attitude is a choice; it's a conscious decision we make every day. I learned this while working 3 consecutive summers with the Southwestern Company, where I logged over 3,000 hours of direct sales work and over 10,000 face-to-face cold calls. That experience convinced me that one's attitude towards work, problem solving, relationships and life in general, is the key determinant to his or her success.

Experts say that the attitude you exude in the first ten seconds of your day has a dramatic impact on your attitude for the rest of the day. Working with the Southwestern Company, I developed the habit of jumping out of bed and saying out loud, "It's gonna be a great day!" Yes, I talk to myself. Your attitude, good or bad, is contagious; use that to your advantage.

Pro Tip: Three things to say to yourself in the mirror each morning:

  1. "It's gonna be a great day!" 1. "You good looking thing...don't you ever die on me!" 1. "Good Mornin' Winner!"

2. Be A Sponge

Create the habit of loving to learn.

Working in an office with two marketing professionals like Mike KrassKerry Guard, I am surrounded with years of marketing expertise.

To say that I work amidst a "steep learning curve" is an understatement. That being the case, it is important for me to be humble, coachable, and a great listener. To be a sponge means to listen, ask questions and actively engage in every learning opportunity.

I have only eight weeks to learn all I can about digital marketing. Because my time here is limited, being a sponge, that is, being eager to learn, is especially important.

Pro Tip: There are no stupid questions, only stupid people.

It is better to ask a question and appear stupid, than to not ask a question and be stupid.

3. Service Minded

I constantly ask myself, "What value am I providing for the team?" It is important for me not to confuse activity with productivity. My goal is to always provide value through the work I perform.

Pro Tip: "If you help enough people reach their goals, in the process, you will reach your own."

This quote from the great, Tim Ritzer, District Sales Manager at the Southwestern Company, said to me during my pursuit to be an effective Assistant Organizational Manager while still reaching personal sales goals, has shaped my attitude towards providing a service for others.

4. Be Professional

For me, being professional means the following:

  • Do what I say I will do and honor my word
  • Dress for the job I want, not necessarily the one I have
  • Take pride in effectively communicating and being punctual
  • Do my best with a positive attitude

At the end of the day, doing your best is all that matters; no one will ever doubt your character when you do your best.

Pro Tip: "Being a professional means doing your job regardless of how you feel. Emotions fluctuate; be a master of your emotions and go to work."

5. Personal Pride

Taking pride in all I do is really a culmination of the previous four points. My work effort not only represents me personally as an young professional, but it also represents Mario Schulzke, who referred me for this job, as well as the University of Montana as a whole.

I want MKG to feel so great about their decision to hire their first intern that they hire another. If I do my job right, that intern will hopefully come from the School of Business at the University of Montana. I recognize that doing my best this summer will positively impact others besides me.

Pro Tip: Take pride in every action you perform, the impact is far reaching.

We sow our thoughts, and we reap our actions; we sow our actions, and we reap our habits; we sow our habits, and we reap our characters; we sow our characters, and we reap our destinyWayne S. Peterson

6. Let the Fun Times Roll!

Having a good attitude, loving what I'm learning, providing a service for others and living outside of my comfort zone in San Francisco - all these are the perfect ingredients for a huge glass of pleased-as-punch! I enjoy doin' digital marketing work at my job, but I try not to lose sight of having fun. Being present and grateful for this experience allows me to really enjoy the moment. I take my job seriously, but I try not to take myself too seriously. This means giving high fives to the bosses at work, getting lost in Presidio Park on the weekend, and adventuring to the Santa Cruz Beach with a group of Southwestern Alumni(we're everywhere!).

Throughout my time here, I constantly ask myself the following question:

What kind of summer do you want to create? I know the answer is "the best summer of my life!" That will be a challenge, given my hard-to-beat experience with Southwestern, but I am well on my way.

Pro Tip: In all that you do in life, don't forget to create fun and enjoyment.

Next week in the fourth part of this series I will explain my thoughts on the benefits of working for a small business.

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