What Are the Components of a Good Marketing Internship?

If you’re like many people who are seeking out the rewards of a career in marketing — strong pay and a healthy hiring trend — you’re probably thinking about doing an internship in the field to gain real-world experience. Internships can come in a variety of different packages — some interns work with top brass, others at the base of the company to get a view from the ground up. But what an internship ideally should provide is a sense of what a career will offer you. And for that reason, knowing what you want out of a career will help you decide which internship is right for you.

Getting an In-Depth View of the Field

With marketing, the toughest part of the job is usually applying what you know to a pragmatic approach that involves seeing what clients actually want, not just reading about what they want. This is one place where an internship can come in handy: At little risk to the company, as they won’t need to go through the process of paying top-dollar for your services, you’ll get to see what actually happens to get deals done. Think of it as a way to counterbalance the hypotheticals you’ll learn from the ivory tower of academia with the more intensive style of client services.

Finding a Company that Matches Your Values

Perhaps there are certain industries that have caught your attention in the past — you’ve seen how computers brought an entire school up to date, or saw how bringing medicine to a region improved the lives of residents there — and you want to apply your interest to your internship. In this sense, knowing who the company’s clients are, and how much they match who you’d like to work with in the future, is a great way to get a foot in the door in an area of marketing that shares your passion. It’s just one way to make you really thrive in your career — and that job satisfaction can start now rather than later.

Find a Mentor

Is there a particular firm you have your eyes on? Maybe you’ve read a profile of a local business leader in marketing that made you think, I’d really like to work with that person. An internship is a great way to learn from someone whose work you admire — and that’s just one way to do an incredible job. After all, if you can’t wait to get to work in the morning to see what you’re going to learn today, you’ve already managed to make working fun. And for many people, that’s a sign that they will have job satisfaction throughout their career.

So if a marketing internship is for you, know that the benefits are out there — and that with the right mentality you might just find a way to love what you do. For many people, marketing is a way to capitalize on their communication skills, and their ability to get their ideas across to others. And an internship can be the first step on a path to success.