You’ve officially made it past the exhausting interview process filled with endless questionnaires, personality tests, and tell-me-a-time moments. You have also secured your first internship at a marketing firm in Toronto. Internships are an excellent opportunity to prove yourself as a young emerging professional, but it also gives you the chance to see if this is your true passion. Internships are full of learning opportunities, valuable life lessons, and of course, a failure or two. But fear not – it’s all part of the process. As a recent graduate with multiple marketing internships served throughout agencies all across the GTA, I’ve assembled a cheat sheet of tricks and trips to help you flourish in any marketing internship.
- Ask Questions
And I cannot stress this enough. There were countless times throughout my internships that I would try and guess what was expected of me instead of simply asking. Whether it was intimidation, not wanting to be a bother, or trying to demonstrate I had a better understanding than I did, most of the time that I decided to guess expectations and responsibilities, my work ultimately suffered. So, the moral of the story is to ask questions, and here are a few reasons why.
- It shows that you care and want to get as much information to complete the task confidently and independently. Asking many detailed questions will demonstrate a real investment in your success and the success of the entire team.
- It allows you to work out all the kinks, details, and specifications of the task initially, as opposed to the other way around. You will be much better off understanding the project early on than on something haphazardly in fear that you are doing it all wrong. So at the end of the day, the mantra of “there are no stupid questions” most certainly holds, especially if you’re an intern who has had little to no prior work experience.
- Meet Deadlines
Toronto Marketing firms, in particular, thrive on deadlines, plain and simple. However, you might seem like a tadpole in the organization, your work matters. Your ability to meet deadlines is the one thing your supervisor will notice and appreciate most about you. Think of your internship as a test trial. Your employer brings you on for a couple of months to see how well you adjust to the corporate culture, get along with colleagues, your outlook and attitude, quality of work, etc. So, as these two months effectively your audition for a more secure full-time position, it is imperative that you are held accountable for any deadlines. Meeting deadlines will demonstrate your sense of professionalism and, most importantly, instill trust between you and your supervisor. It is also essential that you don’t bite off more than you can chew. Typically, interns – and this happens time and time again – try to overload themselves with work to impress their supervisor. That is great if you can handle it. However, if you can’t feel it, you must be upfront and transparent about your workload so that you don’t overwork, overwhelm, or over-stress yourself unnecessarily and risk leaving any work unfinished or unsatisfactory.
- Choose a Mentor
As internships are many students’ first exposure to a professional working environment, some become better adjusted than others, which is perfectly normal. While certain things may come naturally, there might be areas of the company, industry, or job requirements that demand more attention or mentorship than others. That is why it is essential to identify a mentor early on and use them to help with any part of the job that you need. While it is best to seek guidance and advice from multiple people, having one person, in particular, you can always turn to is something you want to have in your back pocket. As former newbies themselves, they are still open and welcome to helping new employees, especially interns, acclimate to the new role and workplace to become as successful as possible.
- Evaluate Performance
Evaluating your performance as an intern is arguably one of the biggest things you should be considering for personal growth. Many internships materialize into full-time opportunities, and you must do everything you can during your internship to give yourself the best chance at landing a full-time offer afterwards. To do that, however, you can do a few things during your internship to best set you up for success. Track your progress. While there will inevitably be some software that tracks completion of your tasks, having your copy of completed assignments and contributions is always right. That way, when it comes time to consider you for a full-time position, you have a track record of work ready to go that demonstrates how you’ve been integral thus far. Doing this will give your experience and contribution to the workplace a ton of merit and value, and will increase your chances of securing a full-time position afterwards.
- Master the Processes
Many Top Toronto Marketing firms have different ways of functioning. It would be best if you took the time to learn and integrate with the company’s processes, workflow, culture, software, and so on. Having a sound understanding of how the company conducts day-to-day operations will allow you to integrate much more seamlessly, which will demonstrate investment in the company’s success. An excellent way to do this is by spending some extra time on the server or software. There is plenty of software that companies use to track productivity, manage tasks, CRM, etc. And some are trickier and take more time to get used to than others. So it is vital that you, as an intern, take the initiative to learn the in’s and outs of the software and programs as best as possible. Not only will it allow you to gain more independence, but it will also demonstrate that you care enough to take time on your own to better equip and prepare yourself for your new role.
So there you have it! A complete survival guide to acing your first internship. Following these tips will ensure you not only impress as an intern but also give yourself a great chance to secure a full-time role afterwards.