What I Learned While Interning in Digital Marketing and Communications

communicationsBachelor’s degree? Check. Enthusiastic Personality? Check. Mid-twenties maturity? Check. Career in digital marketing and communications? Pending.

Some might say I’m a little late to the game as an intern. But I respectfully disagree. Figuring out a career direction isn’t easy! You have to weigh the pros and cons, determine what you need out of the work you do to feel satisfied, and assess the viability of finding work in that field.

Then you have to commit. Commit to school, commit to being entry-level (sometimes, again!), and commit to proving yourself for the years to come.

Mine was a classic story: I had proven myself in high school: honour roll, valedictorian, heavily involved in extracurricular activities. And then university came…

I accepted an offer at the University of Guelph to major in psychology. Although I really did enjoy studying psychology, I hadn’t put much thought into what a university degree would mean for me once I had completed my four years. Because of my strong self-direction and confidence, my instructors didn’t ask me the big question, “why psychology?”.

From Psych 101 to Digital Marketing and Communications

After I graduated, I was lost. The mental health industry didn’t hold my attention, so I worked for awhile—long enough to realize I had to seriously reconsider going back to school. I did my research, thought about what I really enjoyed and where my talents lay, and enrolled in Georgian College’s post-graduate program for Public Relations and Corporate Communications. I had finally found a good fit for me and my future!

When it came time to find an internship, I was offered a spot with Spodek & Co. Here’s where I insert a caveat: my professor Adrienne also works on the team here at Spodek & Co., and opened the doors for the initial interview.
From the start, what made this internship so exciting and unique was working for an entirely virtual business. As a person who thrives in social settings, I was curious as to how I would develop concrete and meaningful relationships with virtual co-workers.

But after a week of video conferencing with the team, learning about what they do at Spodek & Co., how they got there, and a bit about their lives outside of work too, it turns out developing connections in a virtual workspace is pretty dang easy.

The Fast-Paced Agency Life – Here’s What You Need to Know

In a matter of a few months, I’ve already been exposed to numerous growth and development opportunities, as well as made valuable personal connections for my career moving forward.

If you’re a young professional entering the world of digital marketing and communications, here is what you can expect in an agency:

Things move quickly: Agency work means multiple clients. And yes, some require more hand-holding than others. Also, their needs can change at the drop of a hat. As an active member of the team, you need to be able to react accordingly. I find this to be particularly exciting. A fast-paced work environment is definitely right up my alley.
Social media is much more complicated than you think: I’ve never worked on the backend of social media until my internship with Spodek & Co. As it turns out, it’s extremely complex, with ever-changing algorithms and platform updates, monthly measurement, and client social media ad campaigns. Learning the ins and outs of social media marketing seems to be on-going in this industry, but nevertheless, it’s also extremely informative and interesting.

There are NO dumb questions! Your colleagues can’t read your mind so be sure to ask as many questions as possible. If you need clarity, seek it. Want to join a project that interests you? Then reach out and offer support. Looking to learn more about a particular aspect of the business or industry? Just ask! Trust me, enthusiasm, willingness to learn, and an “all hands on deck” attitude are invaluable assets to have.

Did I Mention Virtual Workspaces are AWESOME…?

If you’re a deadline driven self-starter who doesn’t struggle with staying motivated, I highly suggest considering a virtual workspace. First, there is no commute time. You get extra time for morning coffee, and miss transit hassles and headaches on the way home! And you would be surprised just how much MORE work you get done without office chatter and other distractions to chew up your workday.

I couldn’t have asked for a better agency and team to be placed with for my post-graduate internship. Eden welcomed me into her business and provided strong and supportive mentorship. And I quickly learned that I was working alongside a team of talented individuals who were more than willing to help me learn the ropes.
Overall, this has been a remarkable experience and I’m so excited to bring my new refined skill set into the workforce with confidence.

How about you? Have you had interns on staff? Were the results positive? Or are you someone considering an internship in digital marketing and communications? I would love to hear more below!

Line drawn peony from Spodek & Co Digital marketing site