Diary of a Digital Marketing Intern (Part 5 of 5): That’s It, That’s All!
I wasn't kidding! Time flies when you're having fun and I've been having a blast! I can hardly believe my internship is done and I'm packing my bags to head back to Montana.
Admittedly, I'll probably leave one of my bags packed because I'm flying back to Mountain View, CA in a week to attend the Google Student Ambassador Summit. So Excited!
Working with MKG Marketing and living in the heart of San Francisco has made this a most memorable summer.
In my Diary of a Digital Marketing Intern Part 1 and Part 2, I explained how I came to work for MKG, my responsibilities and what I have learned in the process. In Part 3, I showed a glimpse of my mindset, which I believe has helped me make this a successful experience. And in Part 4 I discussed the benefits of working for a small business.
As I look back over the last eight weeks, I couldn't be happier that I chose MKG for my internship. I feel so appreciative of Mike, Kerry and Christian for €˜opening their doors to my having such an outstanding learning experience. While I'm excited to start my next adventure back in Montana, I'm also a bit sad to leave MKG Marketing and San Francisco.
Looking back at some of the highlights:
How I Wound Up At MKG in San Francisco
Six months ago I was in the process of looking for internships and trying to find one that would offer the most overall value as far as 'learning experiences' go. Mario Schulzke, my digital marketing professor, challenged me to not only find an internship where I would learn the most, but he also pushed me to move to a big city and to get out of my comfort zone.
I'm glad I took his advice because working at MKG gave me valuable perspective into the agency side of a career in marketing and San Francisco has quickly become my favorite city to live in.
Doin' the Digital Work!
Typically, interning for a large marketing agency, one may either market on behalf of clients and their brands or on behalf of the agency. One of the benefits of working for a small business is that I got to do both.
For clients, I was responsible for social media outreach and management. What does this mean?
- I managed social media channels like Twitter and Facebook, developed sales copy, followed industry trends/policies and produced bi-weekly analytic reports. </span>
- This involved a lot of hours, a lot of Hootsuite and a lot of hashtags. Love me some hashtags!
The marketing for MKG Marketing was different by nature and always varied in scope. My main role was to assist the CEO and COO in anything they needed additional help with.
Some of my main roles were to assist in business development, content generation, marketing research and media outreach.
Oh...and I was always there to bump the jams in the office!
A Healthy Mindset: Work Hard - Play Hard!
One of the aspects of my summer that I feel really proud of was my mindset. My goal was to make this the best summer of my life.
Our mindset, and how we chose to mentally approach certain objectives, is a key determinant to the success of those goals.
Below are six ideas that helped shape my mindset this summer.
- Positive Attitude - As I said before, I don't crawl out of bed because I 'have' to go to work each day, I jump out of bed because I 'get'to go to work each day. Plus...I love breakfast food?
- Active Learning - Working with the "Bosses" created a steep learning curve. That being the case, It was important for me to be a 'sponge', meaning it was important for me to be coachable, humble and an attentive listener.
- Provide a Service - One of the greatest learning experiences of my summer took place when Kerry urged me to not only do the work assigned to me, but also go above-and-beyond in providing value. This is a powerful idea that is easier said than done. However, this success principle will forever impact the way I look at my responsibilities. Thanks Kerry!
- Be Professional - 'Being' professional is different than to be 'a' professional. For me, being professional means doing my best with a positive attitude. At the end of the day, that's all that matters!
- Personal Pride - My actions and work ethic not only represents me, but it represents those who referred me for the job and the University of Montana as a whole. Doing my best this summer means having no regrets about my work habits.
- Have Fun - I work hard & I play hard! If I look back at all my summer work experiences, this has been the most fun, by far! So in the spirit of 'playing hard', I couldn't think of a better way to leave San Francisco with a 'bang' than by going to the Legends of Summer Jay-Z & Justin Timberlake concert at Candlestick Park with some fellow Southwestern Alumni on the night before I left town.
The Benefits of Working for a Small Business
Looking back at my internship, what stands out to me is that I worked with the CEO and the COO all summer. My boss was €˜the€™ boss.
This being the case, I received more responsibility and more exposure to business acumen than I may have been exposed to if I had taken an internship with a larger marketing agency. Knowing this makes me very happy with my decision to work with MKG, and I am so grateful that Mike and Kerry took me under their wings.
MKG's Contagious Culture
Another benefit of working for a small business is that you have an opportunity to see first hand what the culture of a company is like. MKG€™s culture and values are not limited to a fancy piece of paper framed on the wall but, more importantly, they comprise a set of principles that Mike and Kerry incorporate into every aspect of their company.
Honesty, Integrity and People are three pillars of MKG's values, and it was impressive to see Mike and Kerry holding firmly to their values when faced with tough decisions. After all, that is what a company culture or a set of values is for - to help guide the business when it faces adversity.
A company's culture will be the deciding factor when I choose a future job. I knew this before I started working with MKG, and this idea has been reinforced by my experience this summer. It was a privilege this summer to work amidst MKG€™s contagious positive culture and to be a part of a company which continually focused on moving forward and creating innovative solutions.
So Why Do An Internship?
So what is the big picture? Why is it important to do an internship?
I want to leave you with three reasons whyevery student should do an internship somewhere other than where they live or grew up. Here are my three ideas:
- To Get A Unique Experience - It is vital that you get experience that helps you stand out from the crowd. Every year hundreds of thousands of college students graduate. Guess what? They all have similar work experiences and a similar education. Summer is the largest time period that students have to set themselves apart from the competition. Be strategic. Dedicate your next summer to your future career and go find an internship that will attract exciting job offers.
- <strong">To Get Out of Town</strong> - In this economy, one of the most common questions asked on a job application or in an interview is, €œAre you willing to relocate?€ Choosing an internship in a big city, away from home, family and friends, shows future employers that not only are you willing to relocate, but you have already successfully relocated for another job. It gives you a track record of success that future employers can look at when deciding whether or not to hire you.
- To Get Uncomfortable - Getting uncomfortable means pushing yourself to grow. Personal growth doesn't come from doing what is easy and routine; it comes from doing what is hard and uncomfortable. The decision to move to San Francisco to work with MKG Marketing involved some risks. There were a lot of unknowns as to how everything was going to work out, and and unknowns are uncomfortable. However, that is where the payoff is. All of those unknowns joined forces to create the best summer of my life. If I could give anyone advice, it would be to get out there and get uncomfortable! It will pay off in the end.
Worlds Best PB&J
Now as promised, I'll share the secret to the best PB&J on the planet. After three summers selling books with Southwestern Co, you get pretty good at making sandwiches.
When working 14-hour days 6 days a week selling books door-to-door and eating lunch and dinner from a cooler that you stuffed with sandwiches and waters the night before, the key is to get the sandwich to stay fresh. Nothing is worse than soggy bread!
So here it is: you put peanut or almond butter on one slice of bread, and Nutella on the other. Spread it around so it covers one entire side of each slice of bread. That way, the oil from the nut butters keeps the jelly, which now goes in the middle, from absorbing into the bread. Bam! The best PB&J in the world is born. You are welcome!
Thank you Mike, Kerry and Christian for making this an unforgettable summer! And if you have been reading my blog and following my work, thank you as well. If you have any questions, feedback or if you just want to connect with me, message me on my LinkedIn or at firstname.lastname@example.org