As a student, you know that actual hands-on experience in your chosen industry is going to set you apart when it comes to getting that all-important first job.
Therefore, we now run a digital marketing internship for a small selection of UK/US based students. The position is voluntary, but you’ll learn all about the digital marketing sector and get actual real-world experience.
This is for any student who has discipline, as you’ll be working remotely, and who also has an interest of making digital marketing into a career.
That’s totally up to you, and this can be worked around your other commitments – the minimum we would expect would be 5 hours a week but, the more you work, the more you learn.
We are flexible, but we do expect that, if we are helping you learn, you should put in as much effort and time as you can manage without this affecting your studies in any way.
Contact us with your CV, giving links to your past work which particularly showcase your passion for the digital marketing world.
Just as a couple of examples, one of our students has secured a full-time job at the BBC and another is now doing a Masters degree at Bradford University.
Are you a college or university student? Or are you looking for a change of career direction? An internship is a great way to get experience and gain significance in your chosen industry. You’ll learn skills which will help you in your future career, and meet people who can guide you – and may end up as future colleagues!
So, how do you get an internship? And how can you get the most out of your experience? Here are 15 ways to find, secure, and complete an internship successfully.
#1 Start looking early
If you’re a student looking for a summer internship, don’t leave it to the last minute to arrange. Some companies advertise internships as early as November so if you wait too long, your options will be limited. Even if you’re not a student, it pays to look for internships as soon as possible so you have plenty of time to make applications and arrangements.
#2 Look online
There are many places you can find internships online. You could try websites such as StudentJobs, TargetJobs, or InternWise to look for internships in your chosen area. Some companies advertise internships on their own websites, so try searching for key phrases such as “digital marketing agency internship UK” and seeing what results come up. If you have a particular company in mind, look on their website for any information about internship or work experience opportunities.
#3 Do your research
Before you apply, make sure that this is the right opportunity for you. Look at the company website to see what they’re doing right now and what they’ve done in the past, research their history, and read the profiles of staff you may be working with or under. This will help you to decide if they are the best fit for you and help you to personalise your application to them (more on this later).
If you can, find out what you might be doing as part of the internship. While a big company may appeal to you, a smaller company might give you more practical, hands-on experience.
#4 Be cheeky!
If you have your heart set on a particular company but they’re not advertising internships, be prepared to take a risk. Contact them directly to ask if there are any opportunities, and make it clear exactly why you are keen to work with them. It might even pay to go to the boss directly, either by e-mail or through a social media profile such as LinkedIn or Twitter. The worst that can happen is they’ll say no, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
#5 Get the application right
What happens once you’ve found the right internship for you? Well, the next step is to check how to apply. If the company asks for a cover letter and CV or has a specific application form but you send in just your CV, they won’t read it. It only takes a minute to check how to apply, but it could save you from a one-way ticket to the rejection pile.
#6 Send a great application
Your application is more than just a list of qualifications and experience – it’s a chance for you to tell the company why you want to gain experience in the field, and why you’re applying to them. Talk about why you’re interested in the industry, and let your passion sing out through the application. If you’re applying to more than one company, tell each one what it is about their work that excites you.
If you’re applying to a field that isn’t obviously relevant to your background, talk about why you have chosen to pursue an internship in a different area. As long as you justify your choice and express your enthusiasm, this shouldn’t be a problem. You may even have transferable skills the company is looking for.
One last point about applications – proofread, proofread, and proofread again! Mistakes look unprofessional, and could mean your application is rejected straight away. Make everything error-free, including any e-mails you send.
#7 Take the interview seriously
This may not be a permanent post, but that doesn’t mean you can afford to be casual about the interview. Treat it as you would any job interview. Go over your company research and note down any questions you could ask about their current work – this shows you are interested in what they’re doing and how you can contribute. Present yourself well and show your confident side. Don’t just say what you think they want to hear, be honest and authentic. Tell them how you can add value to their company. Most of all, show them that you are passionate about the field and determined to succeed.
#8 Be prepared
You’ve found your dream internship, sent in a great application and aced the interview – well done! Now don’t just forget all about it until your start date, as it pays to do some preparation. Keep checking what the company is doing and find out about current trends in the industry. Contact your future supervisor to find out if there is any extra reading or other preparatory work you can do before your internship starts. This will make it easier for you to hit the ground running, and also communicates to your supervisor that you are keen and committed – so they might give you more interesting work to do along with more responsibility.
#9 Be clear about your role
If possible, discuss what you will be doing before the internship starts and get it in writing. Be clear about what you’re expecting from the internship, but respect the company’s expectations too. If you have a say in the role you will be playing, ask to be allocated to a defined project rather than doing odd jobs – this will give you experience where you can prove how you added value to the company and will look good on your CV. If you can get a specific job title, even better!
#10 Ask questions
It is far better to ask lots of questions at the start of your internship so that you know what you’re doing rather than ending up learning from your mistakes! Your supervisor will expect there to be a learning curve, so don’t be embarrassed to ask questions. Obviously you don’t want to be your supervisor’s shadow – they have their own work to do too – but finding out as much as you can early on will help you to work independently for much of your internship.
#11 Act like a model employee
Don’t approach your internship with the mentality of ‘the work experience kid’. The company will be giving you real work, so behave like a real employee – and the best one you can be! Dress appropriately, be punctual, familiarise yourself with expected behaviour and stick to it. Be friendly and respectful with your colleagues – build a rapport but don’t get drawn into gossip or talk too much about your personal life. Don’t grumble about the tasks you’re given, always produce high quality work and offer to help if you’re quiet.
#12 Learn, learn and learn some more
If you’re new to the world of work, an internship is a great opportunity to learn transferable skills such as time management, teamwork, communication, and taking direction. Observe your colleagues and be like a sponge, taking in what they do and learning from it. Don’t be afraid to push yourself by asking for work outside your job description – this will give you additional experience and show your supervisor that you are keen to get stuck in. It’s also important to keep a record of everything you’re learning and doing, as this will help with future job applications.
#13 Get networking
An internship can open doors for you, so take every opportunity to network. If you’re in a larger organisation, get to know people in other departments. Ask your supervisor if there are any meetings or business events you can attend. When attending business events, take business cards to hand out to anyone you get talking to, get their details, and follow up with a quick e-mail. You never know who you might end up working with in future, or who might help you find a permanent role.
#14 Make the most of mentors
Your supervisor is there to guide you, so meet with them regularly to discuss how the internship is going. Prepare for these meetings by making a note of any points you want to raise or questions you’d like to ask. Ask for honest, constructive feedback as this will help you to learn and improve.
Your supervisor isn’t your only mentor though – any colleague who is happy to help you learn the ropes will be invaluable to you, both during and after your internship. Look out for colleagues who you feel comfortable asking for advice and build a good relationship with them. They may be willing to continue their advice long after you have finished your internship.
#15 End on a high note
You’ve made it to the end of your internship but, before you finish, make sure you get a letter of recommendation. Don’t burn your bridges – maintain a strong rapport with your supervisor and any other mentors, so you can keep communication lines open. Not only will this make it easier when you approach them for a reference, but they may also be able to point you towards great opportunities in future.
By following these tips, you can find the internship that’s right for you and use it as a springboard to your next career move by learning, gaining experience, and building relationships that serve you well in the industry. Good luck!