Thursday, September 22, 2016

11 Ways to Stand Out In Your Marketing Internship

By Linda Permenter, Class of 2017

The Marketing Fellows have returned to campus, fresh from exciting internships in various industries around the country including CPG, tech, retail, financial services and automotive. Internships are a unique opportunity to learn what it's really like to work for a certain company, but to many first year business school students, it might seem overwhelming. One day in May, you're dropped in to a new company and given just 12 weeks to learn your way around the office, impress executives and make an impact with your projects. You might wonder, "How can I be successful in my marketing internship and land a full-time offer?"

The Fellows successfully completed their internships and now feel a duty to pass on some of their collective wisdom to first years taking the plunge next summer. Here are 11 Ways To Stand Out In Your Marketing Internship:

Communicate your project and objectives for the summer to everyone you meet at the company, regardless of function or team. Some of the strongest additions to my strategy came from side conversations with colleagues about challenges I was facing with my project. Remember that your colleagues are seeing the whole picture, while you are only seeing the 12 week picture, so their past learnings can prevent you from making similar mistakes. Kavita Rangaswamy, Marketing Communications at Microsoft

While it’s important to crush your project, don’t forget to participate in extracurricular office activities. It’s important to make both a professional, and human impression on the people at your company. Ultimately, they are not only deciding on whether or not they want you to work FOR them, they are also deciding whether or not they want to work WITH you. Andoni Dieguez, Brand Management at Kellogg's

When you work in cross-functional context, be thoughtful about what each team, segment, and business cares and what is important for them. Make them be your advocates by phrasing your project in their terminology, presenting in their perspectives, and showing how your project add values to them. Yeony Bae, Business Process Transformation at Dell

Managers are evaluating your ability to “own” your project. This means both how well you take responsibility for your work and how usable it is to your team at the end of the day. As much as possible, “manage up” by aligning with your manager on expectations for your deliverable, providing regular status updates, and, when you run into challenges, recommending potential solutions. Samantha Toth, Summer Consultant at The Boston Consulting Group

If you make a rather bold recommendation in your presentation to the company, deliver it tactfully. There are people in the room who have worked there for 10 or 20 years and worked hard to get the company/department to where it is today. Before laying out "opportunities for growth," take time to recognize the things that are going well today and the people executing them. Linda Permenter, Marketing at Dimensional Fund Advisors

In a large company like Dell, make sure you talk to 1 or 2 new people everyday. Get to know more about everything happening with the organization as a whole. This will make sure that you don't stay pigeon holed within your own project and that you develop relationships with other people. This can come in handy during your internship and especially later for full-time prospects within that company. Tariq Rakhange, Product Management and Strategy at Dell

Framing is key. A helpful piece of advice I received during my internship regarding my final presentation delivery was to "Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you just told them." While it may seem repetitive to the presenter, this framework ensures that the audience, who has likely never heard the presentation before, captures the key message and recommendation. Monideepa Chakravorty, Snapple Brand Marketing at Dr Pepper Snapple Group

Set up a standing weekly meeting with your direct supervisor to review your progress. Come prepared with a checklist of questions and items you want to discuss. Your managers are super busy so they will greatly appreciate you being as efficient with their time as possible. Caroline Luby, Jeep Brand Intern at Fiat Chrysler

Reverse engineer your internship. Think about the STAR stories and resume items you would like to take away from the experience. Then consider steps that would connect desired outcomes to the present or your start date. Your goals and game plan may evolve. Even so, this framework will still help you evaluate opportunities and tradeoffs as they arise. Josh Miller, Content Strategy at Apple

Be proactive and take the first step, then ask if that is the right step. Brett Chikowski, Marketing at Dimensional Fund Advisors

Fit with the company culture is number one.  If the team that's hiring you enjoys you and can truly see themselves having a blast while working with you, they're more likely to pick you over someone that has the technical skills you lack. Have fun in the recruiting process. Have fun working this summer.  Show that you enjoy your work and that will be reciprocated by your boss and your team. Andrew Hodge, Product Marketing at Salesforce