Nowadays, most marketing degree programs require students to complete an internship in addition to the standard courses. Internships benefit both students and employers, as students often lack hands-on job experience, and employers may need an extra set of hands or a fresh pair of eyes.
In a successful internship program, a student will walk away with working experience within the industry, and companies will knock a few extra things off their to-do list. It’s a win-win!
The software and tech industries are probably some of the most sought-after or “cool” marketing jobs, so we wanted to see what it’s like being an intern in the world of tech.
Here is what three marketing interns had to say about their experience since working with a technology company.
The Product Marketing Intern
Rachel Pietro is a student Ohio University pursuing a Marketing degree with a minor in Sports Administration. She spent the summer leading into her senior year working as a Product Marketing Intern for MRI Software, a global real-estate company that provides management solutions for both commercial and residential estates.
As a Product Marketing Intern, she assisted in helping team members with a variety of projects and spent time researching the market and the current state of the industry. On a day-to-day basis, she spent time gathering information for presentations and individual projects.
Pietro mentions that MRI Software’s internship program included a group project that they presented to the senior leadership team and CEO Patrick Ghilani and CMO Mandira Mehra. “I’m grateful for this type of experience because I know that many interns don’t get to participate in those types of projects, let alone receive feedback from the CEO and CMO,” Pietro said.
Prior to accepting the position, she had no experience working in the technology industry and recalled her biggest challenge was comprehending the products and solutions the company offers, but credits her co-workers and mentors for guiding her into better understanding the technology industry.
She describes the company’s culture as “friendly and welcoming.” On her first day, a co-worker and Ohio University Alumna in her department put a bobcat on her desk before she started as a warm welcome to joining the team.
She encourages students who are interested in a Marketing Internship with a technology company to be open to feedback and willing to learn more about the industry as it is always advancing. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help or ask questions, everyone was new to the industry at some point,” Pietro said.
The Social Media Intern
Maureen Darrah is a senior Marketing Major at Xavier University who has spent over a year working as a Social Media Intern for ChampionONE, a global supplier of carrier-grade network solutions for the service provider, education, government, healthcare and enterprise sectors.
Her main responsibilities are to monitor all social media accounts, provide market and content research and overlook all social media campaigns.
Darrah ignited all of ChampionONE’s social platforms from the ground up and has since then seen the company grow, which she notes as the most rewarding part of her experience so far. She has also provided LinkedIn optimization training to employees and educated their team on the practice of social selling.
When she first started the position, she remembers being overwhelmed with information on the scope of their products, but relied heavily on her co-workers to teach her so she could properly market the products.
“My favorite part about working at ChampionONE is that they do a great job at cultivating a learning environment,” Darrah said, “because the company is smaller, I always felt like I was more than just a number. My opinion matters, too.”
Darrah notes that she feels getting the hands-on experience paired with the challenge of understanding the tech industry taught her how important it is to be a self-starter in the marketing world.
The Former Marketing Intern-turned-Marketing Specialist
Erin Crist started her career in the Marketing industry as an intern for T-Pro Solutions, a company that provides a suite of artificial intelligence software applications for consumer packaged goods manufacturers to analyze and manage their trade promotion investments.
Prior to her internship, Crist received an undergraduate degree from Youngstown State University in Fashion Merchandising paired with a minor in Marketing. She then went on to pursuit a Master’s of Business Administration and Management degree from Otterbein University.
As an intern, she worked on sparking social media campaigns, market research, development of digital and graphic content and participated in a new product launch marketing campaign.
When her internship ended, she was brought on board as a Marketing Coordinator, and then moved up to a Marketing Specialist, which she notes was her most rewarding moment with T-Pro Solutions.
“I was able to see the company grow from the ground up, and grow with them over the years. It has been a very special experience for me,” Crist said.
With only five people in the office, including the company's founders, Crist describes the team at T-Pro Solutions as an extended family to her. She notes that her co-workers and bosses gave her the hands-on-training to understand the depth of software and b2b marketing in the technology industry.
Crist encourages students who want to get started in the technology industry to do their research and take the time to connect with others in the industry and to never be afraid of reaching out for help.