Moderator: Josh Reynolds, Oracle
It takes an excellent moderator to set a topic in motion. Josh Reynolds, North American Marketing, at Oracle put our open discussion of working with marketing interns in motion by asking all in attendance to introduce themsleves, and talk briefly about experiences with the topic.
Josh then asked a set of three questions:
What activities should an intern focus on?
He expanded this by asking, if you bring someone in, what is the level of skillset that you start with and then move evolve and grow?
Roger Matos, vice president, Neurala shared: “The person should be able to do something better than people on our staff. I need to see that the person can be trusted. As it moves along, I’ll add more.”
He expanded on some social media ownership questions and concerns by saying, “If social media is in their tasks, then have them find interesting things in news to tweet about. Then, evaluate what they write and provide feedback. Let them in on the overall strategy and let’s see where it goes.”
It was pointed out that good interns will find balance between showing their personal and professional online personalities.
Lauren Chadwick from CashStar shared that she was comfortable letting interns work on some social, some events, and blogging on Wordpress. She appreciated that energy and understand of the platforms and tone of voice.
Your humble bylined blogger (Adam Zand) shared history of part of his history with PR agency interns, and how he made sure they picked up the phone and pitched before they were done with their time there.
Bruce Tannenbaum, MathWorks added that it is important to have them show that they can “Tell a story” about your company. He did this through assigning a video for them to make.
Joe, a current marketing intern who Josh introduced at the start of our session, said that there are a lot of great candidates for your internships and therefore, you need to make sure you give them responsibility and eventually pitch what they did to the rest of the company.
Alison, previous Marketing Intern at MarketMeSuite and now full-time Community Manager, said that cross training is important – “wear different hats” is great way to circulate and learn.
Annika, a current Northeastern U. student said there was incredible value in time spent as an intern with MassChallenge. She feels that a great intern needs to be driven and really care about the company. This is not a busy work role – trust is the key foundation.
Joe, a fellow MassChallenge intern in social marketing media intern, said he chooses a position based on where I’ll be uncomfortable and get new skills. For example, you can be assigned to create content for Twitter, but you should also have your own internal project that the company will evaluate and run with if it makes sense.
Daniel Bingyou, echoed this saying, “I want to be challenged and given the tools to make it happen.”
Josh Reynolds asked his last moderator question of, What do you want to happen after your internship leaves? How do you make that happen.
Lauren at CashStar: said we will grow with the person and make it happen. Her intern is looking at competitive analysis now and was really enjoying it.
Adam (this blogger) asked about length of internships – he appreciated the long-term six months with a Northeastern student that can great build a high-performing, trusting working relationship.
Barb Finer, with the E3 program at Emerson College & TechSandBox said, you can take on a client as a project with professor being involved heavily.
This blogger may be doing this soon in his role at TomTom, Inc. in Concord.
A great session and I know the audience feels charged up about getting value from their current or future marketing interns.
By Adam Zand, President of Social Media Club Boston, and PR Manager at TomTom, Inc