This post was written by a Past Seer Intern.
In September 2019, I was a senior marketing major at my university, itching to spread my wings into a digital marketing career.
If you are a senior right now, you’ll understand; finding internships is all that anyone’s talking about right now. The convo usually goes:
“You need at least one internship to get your foot in the door”
“One internship isn’t enough, you need at least 2!”
“Well, my cousin’s wife’s dog’s pizza delivery guy had 5 internships and still couldn’t find a job. Maybe if he had a 6th internship…”
Well, I couldn’t fall behind the competition. So, I set out to find myself a marketing internship. I did what all of you did 15 minutes ago: I typed in “marketing internships near me” in Google.
I got a thousand results and applied for the one with the highest hourly pay. I was soon interviewed by the company and I walked out of the interview feeling like a rockstar. I was hired on the spot. In fact, training could start in two days.
So easy, I thought, I’m gonna be SEOing and PPCing in no time.
I could not be more wrong.
10 minutes into training, I knew something was wrong. They were teaching me how to make cold calls to sell some junk software that NO ONE wanted. AND, I had to make an unachievable number of successful calls if I wanted to make the advertised hourly pay. I got out of there within a week. I was back to square one, Googling “marketing internships near me” again.
I soon interviewed for another “marketing internship” but this time, they wanted me to sell knives door-to-door. Another one wanted me to learn how to use the fax machine so I could presumably communicate with people living in 1968.
That’s when I realized that marketing is plagued with these scammy gigs that will only hinder you from beginning your career. Right now, things are even worse with our economy. Many organizations are cutting back on hiring, and there seem to be even more fishy, “marketing” positions.
I’m sharing my rocky start to a career in marketing because I want to help others interested in a marketing career find the right opportunity for them to grow.
Fast forward to September 2020, I was hired for Seer as a digital marketing intern. After bumping around so many weird gigs, it felt so good to be a part of a company that’s genuinely interested and investing in my growth.
Below, I’ll tell you the steps I took to #GetHired:
By July 2020, I was in full PANIC mode. I was two months away from graduating and I had absolutely 0 real experience with digital marketing. Economists were saying that the current job market was turning out to be worse than in 2008.
I was worrying constantly and couldn’t sleep at night. My stress levels were through the roof and I was grasping at straws by accepting these scammy marketing positions.
If all of this sounds too familiar to you, I want to say that I’m sorry and that I feel for ya. And let me follow up on that with a big DON’T WORRY. You’re going to be ok! Take a breather and do not go for that suspicious internship that’s likely not being upfront with the actual specifications of the role.
The next step you need to take is to change the way you are searching for internships. This is a piece of advice I got from a professor who knew I was struggling with finding legitimate marketing internships.
Instead of typing in very broad terms like “marketing internship” into Google Search, be more specific according to YOUR needs. Even searching “digital marketing internship” will yield better results for you. You can expand on that by searching “copywriting internship,” “PPC internship,” or “paid search internship” for better results.
Why is this method so effective at sifting out the weird job posts? First, the term “marketing” is very broad and often used by scammy companies to lure recent college graduates. However, these companies will not be able to describe themselves as digital marketing companies or PPC agencies as they have nothing to do with that.
Also, you can think about it this way: if I’m a business in need of naïve students to sell junk door-to-door, I’m going to want to reach as broad of an audience as possible to cover up my super-high turnover rate.
In other words, if I were a junk vendor, I would be targeting “marketing internships near me” due to its higher Monthly Search Volume, as shown below:
So, experiment and see which “marketing” terms will result in less junk on your SERP. Refine your search to fit what you’re looking for. Searching for “SEO internships” or “email marketing internships” will result in better positions that fit your needs.
Research & Reach Companies Directly
Now, it’s time to put your new Googling skills to work. Yes, you are now seeing some legitimate internship positions. But, do you really want to be sitting there, waiting for google to update you on positions that 150 other students have already applied for?
Be active and find companies you’d like to work for. Are you interested in a career in PPC? Find a PPC agency near you and look through their website. What’s their culture like? Do they have any open positions? Do they have a blog where their interns brag about how awesome their internship has been so far?
I found Seer Interactive through their blog posts. Specifically this one. At the time, Seer wasn’t hiring any interns due to Covid-19. However, I followed them on the Seer LinkedIn page anyways because I knew, from reading their blogs, that I would like to work for them. I did this with several digital marketing agencies and constantly watched for openings.
Choose a Company that Invests in Interns
By following the above steps, I ended up interviewing for and being offered several great remote internship positions. In the end, however, I chose Seer as my next step for my professional growth.
Looking back, I am so glad that I did.
At Seer, EVERYONE wants you to succeed as an intern. On Day 1 of my internship, I was introduced to my client team that I would be doing actual work with. I sat in on every client-facing weekly meeting as a “Junior Associate” and I was not once asked to do meaningless menial tasks that no one else wanted to do.
Seer invested in me by training me for the first two weeks. I was trained by industry-leading experts in PPC, SEO, and Analytics in small, intimate settings. As if that wasn’t enough, I was also paired with a mentor who pings me to shadow him when he’s “doing something cool.”
So choose a company where the people are genuinely interested in interns’ professional growth. During the interview, ask about their onboarding process for interns. Who will be training you? Will they give you actual client work? Ask if that company has a history of hiring intern graduates as full-time employees.
If you can find a place like that, I guarantee that you will have a successful internship that leads to a full-fledged career in digital marketing.
Get the new toolkit for emerging digital marketers or check out Seer’s Internship Program: