Today, we welcome a guest post from Marketing Intern Amanda Whitaker. Amanda’s finishing up her summer-long internship at Whereoware and starts her senior year of college this fall. We’re excited to hear her perspective on interning at a digital agency.
I concentrate in Marketing and IT at the University of Virginia, so I knew I wanted to intern at a marketing agency this summer. I was excited to find Whereoware, a local digital agency. At first glance, Whereoware had an awesome culture and did interesting work with a lot of cool clients. (Upon further inspection, all of these things were true.)
As my internship comes to a close, I’ve been reflecting on my great experience working here. I learned so much about email marketing. (I didn’t realize emails had to be coded in HTML and CSS before I started, so you could say I’ve come a long way.)
To any students on the fence, I definitely recommend getting an internship in your field. It’s truly been an eye-opening experience. Overall, here are the top three things I learned interning at a digital agency.
1. Internships provide diverse, hands-on learning experiences
This summer, I had the privilege of working on emails and helping with projects for at least 10 clients. Through these hands-on projects, I learned email design and deliverability best practices, and how to apply them to different clients.
I gained valuable skills in email coding, the IBM Marketing Cloud, Google Analytics, and Excel. I also got experience working with a diverse team of creative and talented people, and I’m grateful to have learned from so many of them.
When you’re looking into internships, I recommend asking whether you’ll be getting your hands dirty on real projects. If I’d only been taking coffee orders all summer, I wouldn’t have gained the real-life skills or insights into agency life that’ll give me an advantage when I’m job searching in the future.
2. Tap into free resources to update your skills, regardless of your experience level
Before this summer, I had no knowledge of HTML or CSS. While I learned a lot from colleagues, I also found free tools that helped me when I was starting out.
SoloLearn provides a great basic overview of several coding languages, including HTML and CSS. The great thing about SoloLearn is it can be accessed online or through a mobile app, so you can learn to code from anywhere. I also used W3 Schools as a quick reference for looking up HTML symbols.
Another crucial area of knowledge I lacked was Google Analytics. Did you know Google Analytics Academy offers free videos on the basics? These videos combined with hands-on projects helped me understand how to navigate Google Analytics.
If you’re struggling to land an internship or find a new job, use free resources to expand your skill set. Understanding HTML and analytics are transferable skills in most industries and will help you stand out from the competition.
3. Work culture makes a huge difference
I saw firsthand how an awesome culture affects employees and the overall organization.
When work is flexible and casual, yet efficient, people are happy, work hard, and have fun doing it. Whereoware has events every month, free snacks and drinks, and a rooftop area with WiFi where you can work and socialize. There are whiteboards all over the office to brainstorm, stuffed animals everywhere, and a variety of different work spaces to change it up from the classic cubicle.
When I graduate college, I’ll look for my first employer to have the same focus on culture. I learned at Whereoware how culture influences your workday happiness and attracts helpful, hardworking, and fun employees.
Thinking of interning? Do it!
For college students interested in marketing, web development, mobile development, or related fields, I recommend interning at a digital agency. Not only will you learn about marketing in general, but you’ll also gain technical skills invaluable to so many career paths. As a bonus, digital agencies are fun, fast-paced, and exciting to work for! It’s a great way to spend your summer.
Interested in joining Whereoware’s team? Check out our current job openings.