A sales and marketing internship, whether required or not, will give you a chance to test-drive a career you’re interested in. Sales and marketing grads have a plethora of career paths to choose from, and it can be difficult to narrow down all the options. Of course, you don’t need to know exactly what you want to do after graduation, but landing an internship will help you highlight or cross out one of those career choices. Finding a 2018 sales and marketing internship in which the following goals are met will have the most significant effect on your decision.
1) Furthering education and certifications
Adding to your knowledge bank is a clear goal for any intern, but sometimes you’re educated in all other aspects apart from your actual industry. A positive sales and marketing internship experience will not only include interpersonal elements, but will offer industry insight that you will be able to use in the future.
Depending on what aspect of sales and marketing you’re interested in, you may find yourself at a company that uses a CRM (customer relationship manager) or similar system. Getting to work towards and gain certifications for these systems for free is a major perk for a sales and marketing intern. Special certifications on your resume give you one major step ahead of other grads.
2) Making professional connections
The opportunity to expand your professional network is normally inherent to sales and marketing internships - it should happen no matter what. However, it’s up to you to nurture those professional relationships into positive references you can contact later on. Keeping in touch with past supervisors or coworkers can be as easy as giving them a follow on LinkedIn or an email here and there.
If creating professional relationships is at the top of your list for your sales and marketing career path, try joining a group of young professionals who meet for coffee or drinks. Another exceptional way to network is by volunteering your time to local organizations, which also looks great on a resume.
3) Fostering a mentor/mentee relationship
Creating relationships with other young professionals is a strong goal, but another considerable goal for your 2018 sales and marketing internship is to gain a mentor/mentee connection. These types of relationships can happen naturally in a business setting, but also take some nurturing on both sides. A mentor/mentee relationship should be beneficial for both parties: as a mentee, you should gain insight and advice, and your mentor should gain a fresh perspective on their career path. This relationship - if reciprocal - can transcend the length of your internship, and will provide you with an honest reference.
4) Communication with leadership
Whether you intern at a huge corporation or a small local business, you should make it a goal to have effective communication with your supervisor(s). Nothing good can come from discussing leadership’s strategies without the intention of addressing someone actually on the leadership team. An honest line of communication between you and your supervisor will make for a positive sales and marketing internship.
5) Experiencing a positive work environment
You should have this goal at the front of your mind when searching for the right sales and marketing internship. You’ve heard horror stories from classmates about their terrible internship experiences, and you want to make sure yours doesn’t make the same turn. One way to find out about a company’s work environment is to search for them on Glassdoor.
If you’re called back for an interview, make sure asking about the work environment is at the top of your list. Additionally, if you’re able to tour the office you would be working in, there could be clues that hint at a fun and professional work environment.
6) Having freedom and flexibility
It’s your summer and you don’t want to give up family time or your part-time job. There’s almost always going to be time that you will need flexibility in your work schedule. Finding a sales and marketing internship that will give you the freedom and flexibility to be human should be a top priority. Also, a company that understands emergencies and family affairs come up will likely have the type of work environment you’re looking for.
Searching for your 2018 sales and marketing internship can seem overwhelming at first, but with a few goals at the top of your mind, you should be able to narrow it down. Remember, your internship is a test-drive and will help you ultimately choose what career path suits you best.