Do Marketing Degree Programs Require Internships?

Doing a marketing internship is a great way to gain some valuable experience before you enter the job market.

Far too many college students graduate with a bachelor’s degree and think that qualifies them for entry-level positions, but you should keep in mind that there are thousands of other students graduating and competing for those same jobs every year.

Though colleges very rarely require that students do an internship, there are a few big reasons why you should sign up for at least one.

Why Do an Internship in Marketing?

Marketing experts have a strong understanding of why customers buy certain products and how advertising campaigns can make products more appealing to consumers. While you can learn a lot from your professors and classes, you can learn even more with the experience you get in the field. You’ll have the chance to work for marketing departments or for advertising agencies that work with both smaller and larger companies.

When you do a good job and wow your supervisors, you may even turn your internship into a full-time job. Interns also make professional connections that can help them get recommendations for future jobs too.

Is an Internship a Requirement?

When you enroll in college and declare a major in marketing, look through the course catalog to see if the college requires that you do an internship. Most colleges give students the option of doing an internship but will not require that they do one.

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You may do an independent study project in lieu of an internship. With an independent study project, you have the chance to select a marketing topic that you enjoy like selling products to kids or whether subliminal messaging actually works. You can do your own research and create a final project at the end of the semester about that topic.

Applying for an Internship

Always check with the career development office of your college for internships designed for marketing and business students. Colleges often have alumni who offer internship programs for interested students and can help you secure an internship with a local company too. You usually need to submit a cover letter that gives the employer an overview of your experiences and education as well as a separate resume. If the employer decides you are a qualified applicant, you will need to go through one or more interviews. Your career development office can help you customize your cover letter and resume and provide you with some valuable interview skills.

Landing an Internship

You might send out dozens of resumes and go through multiple interviews without landing a marketing internship. Forbes recommends customizing your resume to show what experience you have and checking over your resume carefully for spelling mistakes and grammar errors. Use any experience you have to show why you deserve that internship, including volunteer positions you held and clubs or organizations that you ran in school. If you keep sending off resumes without getting a call back, check your most recent copies for mistakes like writing your phone number down or listing an unprofessional email address.

With thousands of marketing students entering the job market every year, you will face some stiff competition for available jobs. Doing a marketing internship can help you land a good job because it provides with valuable skills and professional connections.