Advice to Summer Marketing Interns

Congratulations! You’ve landed your first internship at a marketing/PR/advertising firm. Now what?

I’ve been an intern at AFFIRM for roughly 3 months, and I’ve learned A LOT (too much for one blog post). Before I return to school, I want to give a few pieces of advice to future summer marketing interns:

1. Set Intentions

When it comes to learning and development, I like setting intentions instead of goals. “Goals” are about the thing you want to achieve, while “intentions” focus on the person you want to be. For example, you might set the goal to “write as many blog posts as possible,” but what you really want (your intention) is to become a stronger writer.

In that spirit, think about the person you want to be at the end of your internship. Do you want to have more industry knowledge? Do you want stronger self-awareness? Having clear intentions will keep you motivated and focused as you move through the summer.

2. Try Everything

As a public relations student at a full-service marketing agency, I got some assignments that expanded outside my area of study. I did some traditional PR work, like writing press releases and researching media contacts, but I also worked on copywriting and social media projects.

It can be daunting to try new things, but that’s what an internship is all about! You can’t expect yourself to learn and grow as a young professional if you don’t step out of your comfort zone.

I truly loved my non-PR work! It’s fun to try new things and challenge yourself. More importantly, I know that those new experiences made me a stronger marketing professional.

3. Don’t Forget Your Notebook

There are quite a few reasons why your notebook and pen should be glued to your hand. Here’s three:  

  1. Someone could have a job for you, and you WILL forget about it if it’s not written down somewhere.
  2. Detailed notes are an important part of good client communication.
  3. Your supervisors and coworkers will give you lessons, advice, and examples of proper workplace and industry practices. Don’t forget them – jot them down!

4. Don’t Be Afraid

This is perhaps my biggest piece of advice. Internships can be intimidating; you’re in a new environment doing new things for real clients with real consequences. As a type-A perfectionist, I was scared of the unknown and I was even more scared of making mistakes.

DO NOT let those fears define your internship. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to mess up. You’re human; you WILL make mistakes (so stay humble). After all, the point of an internship is to learn, and learning sometimes involves screwing up- but you have the safety net of the people around you who are watching for this and can help you work through it.

So, to future marketing interns: learn, make mistakes, try new things, speak up, grow, and don’t forget to be grateful!

And to non-interns who have marketing concerns: I’m sure you’ll love working with the AFFIRM team as much as I did. Contact us to get started.

Let’s talk!

Contact our President, Danny Mager to learn how we can deliver results for your organization. No matter where you're at in your decision-making process, we can help you get the ball rolling.


Danny Mager