Mike Cushing / Digital Marketing / August 22nd, 2013

What I Learned as a Digital Marketing Intern

Last week, we said goodbye to an exceptional summer intern class. One of those interns, Holly Matthews, asked to share some parting thoughts about 352’s digital marketing internship. Check them out, and keep an eye out for Holly in the future.

“To discover and experience digital marketing, adapt and embrace the ever changing trends, and to better the end user experience for the client.”

That was my response on Day 1 as a 352 intern when Erin Everhart, 352’s director of marketing, asked me and my fellow interns: “What are we doing? Why are we doing it?”

I’m still surprised by how much I’ve learned since that first day.

Not bad for a summer's work.
Not bad for a summer’s work.

It’s humbling to look back and realize that I had no idea what these acronyms and terms meant. Now, I can use these skills and feel confident when asked to explain them to others. Prior to the internship, I didn’t really know any of these things existed, much less how to apply them. Now I’m checking Domain Authority like a champ.

And yet, I still haven’t scratched the surface. Because of its constant evolution and progression, it’s hard to measure where one stands on the scale from “newb” and “expert.”  But that’s why I’m drawn to this industry – it’s never stale or boring, and it provides constant challenges and room for improvement.

352’s internship reflected that. I became a sponge. We were included in projects and discussion. They asked our opinions. They invited us to brainstorming. We became part of the team. It’s amazing what hands-on learning can teach you beyond what we’re taught in a marketing classroom.

There were 6 interns, and we were involved with assignments that actually benefited the two 352 marketing teams. There’s the stereotype of the coffee-fetching intern, but we were able to get real-life work experience – along with some good old-fashioned ribbing from employees.

Since our intern team was modeled after the marketing team structure, interns bounced ideas off each other throughout the day. It was a new experience to meet new friends who had a similar interest in the industry and who taught me tons of things over the time we spent in the intern den together.

And that wasn’t even what really set 352 apart.

The company’s culture – our culture –  was the single thing that stood out to me the most. We got a behind-the-scenes look at the hard work that went into the launch of the new site and re-branding efforts of the company. That was experience I never would have gotten in any classroom.

352 promotes collaboration, discussion, encouragement and communication. They discourage selfishness and monotony. From the three months spent at the Gainesville office, I tasted the solidarity, relaxed atmosphere and pure innovation and talent 352 has to offer. It’s honestly hard to picture working in an office environment that doesn’t value these things.

I’ve been thinking about those questions that Erin first asked us, and I have a slightly different approach to it now:

“Do what you love – in this particular case, being involved in an industry that is evolving and is constantly transforming itself for the better. The results of this should be apparent to the client, the company, and yourself.”

  • Don Wedington

    Great read and best of luck to Holly and the rest of the interns as they carve out their own niche in the years to come. 🙂