Of all the applications we receive, the only type that exceeds those seeking employment are those seeking internships. Both types arise from youthful exuberance about the work we display on our website and the eagerness to participate in their dream career.
Marketing is probably one of the most popular job options, especially since it can represent so many avenues of creativity and personal challenge, not to mention financial reward. For a young person grappling with the responsibilities of meeting college requirements and focusing on a lifelong career, it’s not hard to understand why a marketing internship sounds so appealing. However, with visions of Hollywood glamor dancing in their heads, few students find the optimal internship experience they are looking for.
The ideal internship is not only few and far between, but it is now more common to find that it now rarely offers payment for the efforts of today’s students. In fact, with the unemployment rate within this age group hovering around 20%, it has become increasingly common for some internships to require students to pay a fee to apply and, if selected, to pay even more to participate. . Additionally, while a good number of internships offer positions but no compensation, another variety of internships are described as “virtual,” meaning that students participate from their own location, bypassing the usual need to travel halfway around the world to the truly coveted. mundane experience.
From the company’s point of view, internships can be a waste of corporate time, creative effort, and production disruption, but they are offered as a way to reinforce positive public relations and company benevolence. After all, the conscientious business environment that welcomes fellows into its hallowed bastions of concept and creation would hardly want to leave a sour taste in the mouths of these hungry babies, hoping that they will return home with stories of contentment and fervor, delivering the company’s preferred message to the intended audience target market.
However, that’s not the only reason why some companies encourage internships. For some, it’s a way to capitalize on youthful energy to satisfy the need to fill a position for little or no money. Often these are the programs that give internships a bad rap. Students’ accounts of time spent running vapid errands or acting as staff “hunters” do little to instill confidence in the hearts of diligent candidates and, by extension, paying parents.
That brings us to our program, which turns out to be a virtual internship, neither paid for by the student nor free, but of significant substance and desirable reputation. Although once offered free of charge due to the generosity of our entrepreneurial spirit, unfortunately a lack of available time changed our policy. While applying students must meet rigorous standards of academic performance and ability, the range of possibilities for the internship focus is virtually limitless, as the student can choose from any number of marketing assignments, involving visual applications or textual, they can be autogenerated or dictated. by our company, and we offer focused, individual attention from an experienced and successful expert in the field. Candidates must be able to communicate via email on a professional level with our company’s internship advisor, submitting completed work for review at specifically scheduled intervals. To qualify for school credit and completion of the internship, our company must also report the student’s progress to the school advisor with a full overall performance evaluation to conclude the experience.
The first student to apply was in his junior year at the University of California at Berkeley. Of Asian descent with English as a second language, he stated that although he could apply for school credits, he was not interested in that aspect of the internship. Rather, he wanted to study marketing with a professional who could help prepare him for his ultimate goal: the development of an innovative product to benefit humanity in third world countries where clean drinking water was in short supply and a critical issue for survival. His invention was a bottle that purified all contaminants from any water source, including seawater, through a series of filters and could be easily transported, reused multiple times, and affordable for the poverty-stricken masses who could use it. . His plan after graduation was to start a family- and investor-financed company, manufacture in South America, and ship to Africa and Asia, where he would market the product and organize a donation program through various global organizations such as La Cruz Red. With maturity and demeanor of the highest caliber, this student was clearly out of the ordinary, dutifully fulfilling all of our requests on time and with evident diligence. However, with a full course load, he delivered internship projects once a week, developing with our guidance the product name, logo and tagline, along with a billboard for outdoor and web use. Since you ultimately needed to present your concept to the investment community, we recommended the preparation of a business plan in which you would present your product, its benefits, its construction, and its scientific documentation and proof of authenticity, as well as research all costs. projected start-up periods, followed by revenue projections for the initial periods of operation. During these exercises, it became increasingly apparent that his “invention” already existed and was actively marketed by major corporate entities on a global scale, revealing the enormous expense involved in bringing a product like this to market, and making this internship more of a learning experience than an actual precursor to a lifetime career path. Disappointed but never discouraged, he opted to end the internship after five months of concerted effort by informing us that he had been accepted into a new program on the site where he could follow his evolving interest. In a recent email, he wrote:
“I have not been able to launch my vision due to similar products on the market, but my internship with you has led me to become interested in environmental economics and public health. I will be working this summer for an organization that installs solar panels inside rural villages in the Philippines I just wanted to thank you for your mentorship which has certainly played a big part in getting me here.”
The second student who applied was a junior at the State University of New York at Albany, the daughter of a client, interested in marketing. Although such a scenario might suggest preferential treatment, nothing could be further from the truth. Given her school’s meticulous internship standards and her father’s career goals for her, we knew our most disciplined and uncompromising effort would be expected. But unlike our first student, she needed to be told exactly what was expected of her, from the content of the program to the strict deadline. As a communications major, she opted to apply her writing skills to a series of six lengthy articles on a variety of topics that we proposed. Somewhat disillusioned with their lack of command of the English language, to say the least, we spent six weeks of arduous editing, instructions for rewrites, explanations of errors and correct usage, additional editing, and the need for more rewrites, concluding each episode as a “community experience.” learning” with the goal of honing their efforts on the next topic. For a student to subject herself to such relentless criticism within a free internship that would net her nothing more than a few school credits for which she probably had no monetary appreciation since her father was obviously footing her college bill, she deserved. much credit for maintaining its composition. , pleasant disposition and a polite and grateful attitude at all times. In fact, when we finally finished the final article, which was certainly an improvement over the others, but was still riddled with the same previously fixed bugs, we were forced to report the entire less-than-perfect experience to his school counselor. like her father when she asked him. Shocked to learn from both sources that this student has a severe learning disability, they told us they viewed the internship as a great success. Since we had never been told of this condition, we wondered if we had been too harsh on her, but by consensus of opinion, we believed that we had acted professionally and succeeded in raising her performance to a higher level than everyone thought possible. . The last thank you note from her touched our hearts.
“Your feedback to my advisor was very sweet and I appreciate your kind words. I am truly grateful for all your efforts on my behalf. Thank you for helping me become a better writer.”
So who benefits more, intern or company? Of the two student internships reviewed above, I think we delivered something valuable for which we were rightly commended. But from our point of view, there is no greater honor than seeing the fruits of our efforts contributing to the development of a young mind for whom the future is so promising.