As the ripple effects of COVID-19 continued to unfold, my likelihood of landing a digital marketing internship was beginning to look slim. I was now heading toward the tail end of my Marketing and Public Relations degree and was hungry to get some real experience. Let’s face it, for many of us our stomachs churn thinking about graduating. Where did those three years go? Do I have any work experience? Do I even know anything?
By some miracle, I had the exciting opportunity to intern at Vision6 in the digital marketing space. I was over the moon to say the least. Vision6 is Australia’s most trusted SMS and email marketing software, so you can only imagine my excitement.
On my first day my supervisor, and Vision6 Campaign Manager, Kath introduced me to everyone in the Vision6 team, and then it was time to get down to business. I went through some data and security inductions and training and began my process of learning the Vision6 platform. Although I found it a bit challenging, the Vision6 training videos and online customer support team were super helpful in guiding me.
So here’s my first tip. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
It can be daunting to reach out for help because you don’t want to annoy your busy supervisors. But don’t forget, as an intern you are there to learn and build your skills. You’re not expected to know the ins and outs of everything. Vision6 is an SMS and email marketing software with a user-friendly interface, endless email templates, SMS functions and easy to navigate menus. However, I found myself asking questions about different features and processes. What’s the difference between a list and folder? How can I edit field types? Did that email actually send? Why did the email bounce? I always had questions and that’s completely normal. If you don’t ask, you’re never going to know. Lucky for me, I had Kath and Maddy in the marketing team who were super supportive and always took the time to answer my questions.
2. Learn as much as possible
My second piece of advice is to learn as much as possible. As an intern, you are there to learn and absorb as much information as possible. I had the opportunity to learn new software tools, programs and how a business really operates. For example, I became familiar with the work systems, procedures and tools Vision6 uses every day.
I even learned a lot by sitting in on meetings. It gave me insight into how businesses collaborated on events, negotiated deals, pitched ideas and communicated professionally. I was also mind-blown when I sat in on an internal Project Design meeting and saw the behind the scenes process for adding a new Vision6 feature. I did not realise how much extensive brainstorming, planning and back and forth discussion was required before implementation.
Not only did I learn about how a business operates, I learnt how to use different social media marketing tools. Marketing is always evolving and new apps and trends are taking off every day. Marketers use many tools to track new trends, their competitors and own company. During my time at Vision6, I had a sneak peak into marketing tools such as SEMrush, Awario, Hootsuite and LeadsRx. It is truly amazing (and also creepy) seeing what marketers are able to track these days. However, understanding your audience, how they found your brand, what they’re saying and how interacting with your brand can give companies a competitive edge and help their customers by solving their problems.
3. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
Learning a bunch of new things at once while settling into a new environment can feel overwhelming. My third tip is get comfortable with being uncomfortable. At the beginning of my internship I felt overwhelmed trying to understand marketing reports, marketing campaigns, email campaigns and work systems and tools. For example, I had trouble managing the contact lists and implementing an automation for an email campaign. I watched all the Vision6 support videos and read the resources but I couldn’t put my finger on what had gone wrong. I felt defeated, I had no idea where I was going wrong. But I continued to tackle the problem and solved it. It was such a great feeling and I gave myself a little pat on the back. You have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable because that is when you truly grow and learn.
Reflecting on my time at Vision6, I am grateful to have interned at a fantastic company. This experience has pushed me out of my comfort zone. I developed my practical marketing skills through conducting social media audits, learning different marketing tools, conducting competitor research and strengthened my presentation skills. Not only this but I also gained insight into how marketing teams operate and the daily activities marketing professionals undertake. It made me realise I definitely want a career in marketing because the industry is always evolving and there’s always something to learn.
I would highly recommend any student in the third or last year to undertake an internship. The experience is invaluable as you build your skills, develop industry connections, gain confidence and is overall a great learning experience. It is the best opportunity to get a glimpse into what may be your future career.
So, if you are lucky enough to get some work experience, embrace the learning journey. Be a sponge, soak in everything and ask questions. You can never truly be prepared for what is coming ahead, so enjoy the process while you can. Good luck to upcoming graduates and students who are seeking internships and opportunities. You’ve got this!