Advice and Insight from Joni Bodden.
Hi everyone! My name is Joni Bodden and I’ve just completed my first year at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada studying Marketing Management.
Except, not really.
I spent my first year taking core classes for my Bachelor of Commerce, which included introductory financial accounting, quantitative methods, and principles of micro and macroeconomics.
After a full year of looking at graphs, solving excel sheets, and balancing liability and equity to equal assets, I can pretty confidently rule out being an accountant, mathematician, or economist for my future career.
I finished my classes in April, and was looking forward to a 4 month long summer (thanks to the Canadian school system) for a very much needed break. I knew that before the summer ended, I wanted to intern for a marketing agency on island to get hands-on experience in the field, something that classes at school can’t offer me. It’s so important for me to love what I do in the future, and the only way to really know what I want to do is to get as much experience as possible while I can, find what I love, and pursue it.
Internships, of any type, can offer you endless benefits throughout your entire professional career. Besides gaining valuable work experience, you also learn how to carry yourself in a professional setting, how to properly communicate with clients, how to productively collaborate with fellow colleagues, and network with professionals in your field. Developing and refining these skills is something you can only gain by experience, and can determine your success in the pursuit of your future career.
How to Get an Internship, and Make the Most of Your Experience
I knew about Tower and their (amazing) portfolio of work and devoted team, so it was always a strong interest of mine to do an internship with the team. However, it’s important to research different firms and see how your interests, goals, and values align. Once you’ve chosen the firms you wish to contact, you have to begin your research. Learn about their work, their clientele, their team, and any other information you can gather through the wonderfully free tool that is Google.
Through Tower’s website, I saw they had a page specifically designated to potential interns and how Tower provide “hands-on experience, knowledge, and real insight into the inner workings of a communications agency”. I knew that if they allowed me to intern for them, my time there would be educational, productive, and worthwhile.
So I decided to contact them via email, tell them my story and why I want to join the team, and attached my resume. A few days later, I was called to do an interview with an Account Manager so they could learn more about me and what value I could bring to the internship.
Because of my previous work experience, I knew to come prepared to the interview. I had already done my research, but an in-person interview can really make or break your internship opportunity.
Once the interview process is over, it’s always important to ask when you’ll hear back, and any other questions you have about your potential position. I heard back from the team a few days later, and by the following week, I had officially joined #TeamTower.
My Marketing Internship Experience
As this was my first marketing firm internship, I had no clue what to expect. Luckily, I was welcomed with open arms and enthusiasm by the whole office. After getting settled in, my supervisor immediately got me introduced to the work she was doing, and got me to help on some of the firm’s biggest projects and clients.
I got to work on a range of projects including a controversial crisis communications plan, new business proposals, event activations for RUBiS Cayman, post event tasks for Taste of Cayman, press releases, and much more in between.
I was worried I’d have no clue what to do, but having multiple supervisors overseeing my work and guiding me through definitely eased the process. Learning more about being a successful marketer and working in the industry was my biggest takeaway from the internship and lucky for me, everyone I worked with ensured I understood the importance of the work I was doing and provided valuable feedback and ways of improvement.
What I Learned from My Marketing Internship Experience
My biggest takeaway from this whole experience has taught me to be open-minded, this can lead you down a path you thought was never possible. Be open to new projects, meeting new people, and anything that is out of your regular comfort zone.
From an educational perspective, I’ve pretty much already out-learned my degree. I’ve learned how to create content calendars for clients, produce monthly reports on social media statistics, research and understand target audiences and what best marketing practices will increase engagement and exposure for clients. I also had the opportunity to produce key messaging documents and brand guidelines, content marketing and so much more.
I can confidently say I’ve taken full advantage of my internship experience which has benefited my future career exponentially. It’s been a privilege to join and learn from everyone at #TeamTower and I can’t thank them enough for giving me the opportunity to intern this summer.