My name is Lily, and I am a current member of the TEAM LEWIS RISE Academy. This is my first time working in digital marketing or public relations, and my first experience at an agency. In this blog, I’m going to tell you about how I personally came to marketing, and what it’s like to do a marketing agency internship.
Working for a marketing agency? Not what I thought I would be doing. I wasn’t a marketing major or selling social media advice or online content as a college student. I studied physics at a small liberal arts school and spent virtually no time thinking about my future career. After I graduated (which was still during the pandemic), I tried out every odd job I could think of. In my first year, I was a summer camp counselor, a babysitter, a restaurant server, a freelance caterer and a production assistant (twice). While I went from job to job, I started to ask myself: What type of people do I like being around? What skills do I want to learn? What are the most important values that I want to see my workplace reflect?
When it came down to it, none of those jobs suited me that well. I went back to researching career paths, this time with more answers to the questions above, and quickly stumbled on marketing. At a marketing agency, I would be able to be around other people who value creativity and variety. I would work with writing, data and art to help brands succeed. At a marketing agency, my communication skills would be valued, and I would always be engaged with cutting-edge technology and modern culture. I started talking to people from my college who had gone on to do marketing and learned about the job types that were out there. A lot of people had first worked unpaid internships or summer internships while in college. Some had gotten an extra degree in marketing. Finally, I found TEAM LEWIS’ RISE Academy internship program. The RISE Academy didn’t require any previous marketing experience or training, or even a college degree at all. I jumped on the internship opportunity, writing a cover letter and reaching out to a couple of people on LinkedIn who worked at the company.
Related: 5 Tips for Navigating Career Mobility, From the Recruiter That’s Been Through It
I’ve been in the RISE internship program for about 5 months now. Being a marketing intern is a mix of training sessions, meetings, client work, and check-ins with people at the company. We started with 6 weeks of training and mock assignments, like pitching to reporters about recent news, or writing different types of social media posts. We learned about the various elements of marketing, including things we would start work on right away, like social media marketing and content marketing, as well as elements of the business we could do more of down the line, such as marketing strategy and business development. Then we got added to actual clients. Each client has an account manager and a marketing team. Each intern is on two teams, one for digital marketing and one for public relations. For my digital marketing client, I write copy for the client’s social media platforms and review the latest news for an updated report. For my public relations client, I compile lists of reporters and write pitches to them about stories that feature my client, in the hopes that a reporter will publish a story about them in their news outlet. My PR client is travel-related, so we are always looking to write stories on travel trends or pop culture news. On both teams, I attend internal team meetings, where I take notes and we discuss projects for the clients. I also go to external meetings where we talk to the client about what we are delivering to them. During those, I usually just sit back and try to absorb what is happening. “Be a sponge” is something that everyone will tell you as a RISE intern. Sometimes I help with the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) team, and I’m excited to get more involved with them. SEO is a super important skill, both for working in agencies, and for writing anything for the internet. In the RISE Academy, you can pursue what you like or want to develop a skill in. I’ve gotten involved with content creation and writing blogs for the internal marketing team (such as this one), while other interns I know help with graphic design or with data analysis.
One incredible thing I have been able to do during my time at TEAM LEWIS is nominating a cause I worked for over the summer to receive a $1,000 grant from the agency, as well as company advice and support. Both the representative from my cause and I were invited to the TEAM LEWIS event in San Diego, to celebrate all causes that TEAM LEWIS works with. There are often company events that TEAM LEWIS sponsors, from team happy hours and boat rides to a virtual monthly art club and fantasy football league (this one is not my cup of tea). And if I ever feel unsure about something, I have close relationships with my line managers who always clear things up for me and meet with me weekly to check in. The past interns who still work at the agency are also helpful in giving us advice.
The RISE marketing internship opportunity has been a great experience for me to get my foot in the door of marketing. The best part is learning more about how the internet works, and the ways it affects our systems of communication. I’m excited to continue writing effective content and building relationships with other people who do the same. TEAM LEWIS offers a pretty unique opportunity in the marketing world to extend the internship to people with non-traditional backgrounds. If you’re interested in joining the TEAM, click here to learn more!