If you’re a student or graduate looking to gain practical work experience and understand a bit more about the industry, completing an internship should be at the top of your To-Do list. While internship programs are usually formal and run for a fixed period of time for example during a university semester or summer vacation, some businesses, like the AMI also offer unpaid vocational placements on a voluntary basis, write Jordan Mirels, AMI Marketing Assistant Intern.
There are countless benefits to individuals who wish to undertake an internship. After completing my own 3 month internship at AMI, I found five key benefits to consider:
- Practical work experience
When I graduated university at the end of 2018 with a Commerce degree, it was time to start looking for a permanent job. As I began applying for entry-level marketing roles, I noticed that many employers were searching for candidates who already had “relevant” work experience. It was a considerable roadblock for someone who had no previous marketing experience. I asked my mentor at the time “how can I gain experience if no one is willing to give me the experience in the first place?”. She suggested that I undertake an internship, even if unpaid, in order to kickstart my career. It was solid advice and I took the idea onboard. Having subsequently attained an internship at the AMI, I was afforded the opportunity to get practical work experience.
Completing an internship at the AMI has been highly beneficial for me on a professional level. The internship gave me the chance to learn beyond a textbook and get exposure to real-life situations.
- Improving skill set
Internships are a major driver of professional development for students and graduates. Having been given responsibility from day one of the internship allowed me to broaden my skill set. Taking on a range of tasks that I had never done before meant I was able to add new skills to my arsenal. For example, I had the opportunity to work with systems like Hootsuite and Mailchimp for the first time.
It is additionally beneficial to receive constructive feedback from supervisors. It is important for young professionals, like myself, to receive constructive feedback in order to improve and become a more effective marketer. My manager at the AMI recommended that I complete the Google AdWords certification in order to gain a better understanding of search engine marketing.
- Building a professional community
Being actively involved in the workforce presents the opportunity to build a professional community. Being exposed to different stakeholders during the internship allowed me to connect and network with other people. It included forming a professional relationship with both internal stakeholders like colleagues and external stakeholders like business partners.
Obtaining an internship can also result in finding a mentor. It was highly beneficial working at the AMI because of the wisdom shared with me by highly experienced colleagues. Having guidance from those in senior positions can be useful for young professionals in ensuring that we are on the right track to prosper in our careers.
- Increased job potential
Students and graduates with previous work experience are generally more appealing to employers than those without it. Having a background of relevant work experience provides potential employers with the assurance the individual is competent. For example, a hiring manager may feel more confident in my capabilities now that I have completed an internship.
An alternative way young professionals, like myself, can attempt to get a permanent job is through networking with stakeholders from previous internships. A business partner for example may be searching for a junior marketer and by already having that established relationship it can act as a advantage during the application process.
- Financial compensation
Many internships around the globe are unpaid but there are businesses out there who are willing to offer interns compensation. It can be advantageous for both the business and individual when financial compensation is involved. Although gaining experience is the main priority, it is definitely a bonus to receive financial compensation. For the business, compensation will attract the top talent in the labour market to apply. Compensation is also beneficial for individuals because it is a return for the time and effort invested into the business.
Want to take your marketing career to the next level?
Go beyond the internship or entry-level position. Become a mentee in the AMI Emerging Marketers Mentoring Program. Thee Emerging Marketers Mentoring Program gives aspiring marketers an opportunity to connect with industry professionals while gaining valuable insight into the Marketing Industry and career goals. By taking part in the program mentees gain insight into marketing professionalism, up and coming industry trends, cross industry and culture networking.
About the author
Jordan Mirels is a qualified junior marketer with versatile experience in digital and traditional media. Jordan is a recent graduate from Macquarie University having completed a Bachelor of Commerce with Majors in Accounting and Marketing. He recently completed a 3 month internship at the Australian Marketing Institute.