A marketing internship program can be helpful to your brand in many ways. Not only can it help you connect with future top talent, but it can help your busy marketing department achieve all its goals.
Interns can also bring a fresh perspective on the latest skills to help your team stay on today’s cutting edge. However, running a successful marketing internship program— especially one that runs during the school semester—requires strategic planning. Here is how to make your spring internship program a resounding success.
Offer exciting projects. The days of interns bringing managers coffee and making photocopies are over. Today’s most promising talent will be enticed to work with your brand when they are offered the chance to work on interesting projects that grow their skills and résumé. This doesn’t mean putting your most critical projects in the hands of an intern, but it does mean evaluating what experience you can offer. For example, an intern position might involve a significant portion of marketing administration—but also provide exposure to social media management or writing blog articles.
Assign a capable manager. An important facet of the intern’s experience is the quality of the manager they work with. Choose a manager who can get along with different personalities and can also provide structure, career advice, and hands-on feedback for the intern’s work. The manager you choose will make a lasting impact on the intern’s future career more than you think.
Consider training opportunities. While you don’t necessarily want to invest heavily in intense training, offering learning opportunities can significantly sweeten the deal and offer your intern a better experience. For example, do you have access to digital resources that could be part of their experience? Or, can you provide opportunities for lunch with executives, talks about the industry from your team, and other real-time engagement? Training opportunities can not only contribute to a positive overall internship experience, but they also take your intern’s skills to the next level.
Focus on capstone projects. One way to make an internship more valuable is to have a showcase or capstone project that each intern works on. In other words, give an intern a specific opportunity or project to work on, which they will be able to point to you on their résumé or add to their portfolio. This might include published articles on your blog, a product strategy they contribute to, or even a presentation deck they create. A tangible work product adds significant value to the internship experience—let your junior team members walk away with tangible output of what their time with your company created.
A successful spring marketing internship program is a win-win for both your intern and your business. By planning ahead, you can provide real learning experiences your intern can take with him or her into the future, and in return, receive fresh insights directly from today’s up-and-coming consumers and future high-quality talent.