Tales of an Agency Intern

“We’re going to do a quick activity.” Those seven scary little words were said by my future co-worker in my first digital marketing internship interview. As you can imagine, I was terrified. Could I properly showcase my skills and critical thinking on the spot and impress them? Did I have enough knowledge to at least somewhat demonstrate that I knew something about digital marketing to deserve to work there? Before I knew it, I was drawing an advertisement for a product (which wasn’t pretty at all) and writing theoretical marketing plans.

Apparently, I did something right, because I landed the job! But now what? My experience from school, research about digital marketing, and coursework with Google could only take me so far. I knew I was in for a fun ride of learning, trial and error, and lots of mistakes that would help me grow as a digital marketer. But let me give you a little bit of background about life before becoming an agency intern.

I’m currently a senior at the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis, studying Marketing and International Studies. I love marketing, but it wasn’t until Fall 2016 that I developed a greater interest in digital marketing. As part of my degree, we are required to take marketing electives of our choosing. I decided to take digital marketing, because I heard good things about the course, and knew that digital marketing is becoming more prominent as it is obvious that many people use the internet to learn more about best product and services that will fit their needs.

The digital marketing course was taught by Chad Pollitt, former VP of Audience and Co-Founder of Relevance. Before taking this class, I never knew there was so much to learn in this field! I didn’t expect the class to affect me as much as it did, and it has easily been one of the more transformational courses I have taken during my time at the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis. Having Chad as our teacher definitely made the coursework more relevant, as he had experience directly in this field. His passion for digital marketing inspired me to be more passionate, and want more experience in the area.

Following the class, I started doing more research on how I can learn more. There are endless certifications that you can earn related to digital marketing. During the class, we completed a Google analytics practicum, which got us to dive into Google and learn more about what the numbers mean on the Google Search Engine. So, I decided to start with Google coursework, and completed the Google Adwords Certification and Search Certification. But certifications could only do so much, and I knew I would need real experience in the field to dive deeper into the digital marketing world. I began looking for internships, and before I knew it, I was hired by StrataBlue as a Digital Advertising Intern!

My time at StrataBlue has taught me so much and allowed me to put what I learned in class to practice. I work with multiple clients on social media content, Facebook ads, website updates, SEO, and whatever other projects come my way! I’ve had some learning curves, as any normal new employee would experience. But if you’re interested in working in digital marketing or new to the field, here are three tips I have for you from my personal experience!

  1. Ask Questions

Don’t know how to do something? Don’t know what something means? Ask! I guarantee whoever you are working with would LOVE to share their knowledge with you to help you understand. I ask way too many questions, but it’s better to ask and do something correctly than have to go back and fix an error.

  1. Learn, learn, and learn some more!

Take the time to do research on popular digital marketing influencers and resources that will expand your knowledge on digital marketing. I signed up for multiple newsletters, followed popular accounts on social media, and get daily emails from digital marketing companies with news. To get you started, you can even sign up for StrataBlue’s weekly newsletter that features current digital marketing news and tips. Some other blogs I like to follow include HubSpot, Social Media Examiner, Blitz Agency, Recode, and Simply Measured! To get you started on social, try following @DigitalTrends, @SMExaminer, @StrataBlue, and @ChadPollitt (yes, I’m shamelessly plugging my favorite marketing professor because he posts awesome, relevant stuff).

  1. Stay positive and be open to criticism.

Odds are at some point, someone won’t like your idea or what you’ve created, and that’s ok! We all think differently and have different visions for projects. Be open to others ideas, as sometimes they may work out better than yours. Don’t let criticism get you down, though. Keep kickin’ ass, and you’ll get better over time and with practice.

The past two months at StrataBlue have opened my eyes even more to the world of digital marketing. It truly is a prominent need for companies in this digital age. Like any new position in an unfamiliar field, I have had my struggles and will continue to face challenges. The key is to persevere and work each day at being better.

Have questions about agency life? Comment below!