Tricks of the trade: what I learned as a marketing intern

Although senior year is in full-swing (and trust me, it is as busy as ever), I couldn’t help but reflect on my time working at Sagefrog Marketing Group in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. My internship at Sagefrog was unlike any other; in fact, I’d consider it a culmination of my previous experiences and skills.

For 10 weeks, at 40 hours per week, I was fortunate to have the opportunity of immersing myself into all facets of the marketing and communications industries, including, but not limited to: branding, digital marketing, public relations, social media, traditional marketing and integrated marketing. Of course, I also learned skills relating to administration and business operations, which have allowed me to further develop as a professional.

My time at Sagefrog not only helped me realize what it’s like to work in the professional media industry, but also confirmed the type of career I want to pursue after graduation. With that, here are my five takeaways after working at a marketing agency:

  1. All types of communication (especially verbal) are key: In other words, being extroverted goes a long way when you’re working in the communications industry. Yes, this means you have to get over your fear of speaking on the telephone, but it also means learning to interact with employees and clients in the industry language. Be proactive and seek clarification when needed.
  2. Chaos is a good thing: As a journalist, I can tell you chaos is just the beginning of a long day. At Sagefrog, it is a fact that interns always have work to do whether it is researching a prospective client, gathering social media analytics or proofreading documents. You are constantly moving and there is not a time when the phone is not ringing. In the midst of it all, you prioritize work that needs to get done. For this reason, I have learned, time management comes in handy…and it is never too late to begin prioritizing.
  3. Nothing is ever busy work: I repeat…nothing is ever busy work. From day one, I realized the work I completed and the tasks I were assigned were steps to creating bigger projects. Even minuscule tasks, such as the organization of media lists, helped move along a public relations project and press release. In the end, the team carried out the project much more efficiently and within a timely manner.
  4. Journalists have a different perspective: Yes, working in a marketing agency is not the first place people think of when you say you are a journalism major. But, journalism is a multi-dimensional degree that teaches a variety of skills and prepares media professionals to work in all aspects of the industry. I believe my skills as a journalist, specifically as a storyteller, contributes well to the marketing communications industry since I am working with clients who hope to brand a strategy that tells the story of their company.
  5. Work outside your comfort zone: A few projects I worked on involved data extraction and website analyzation, which definitely are not my strongest areas. Although I have experience with website analytics, I still had much to learn and Sagefrog entrusted me to do just that. I explored Google Analytics and other data-retrieving websites to get the necessary data. I am glad to have expanded my knowledge in Excel (especially with pivot tables!), as well as HubSpot, as digital marketing is a rising industry today.
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