We spoke to former intern, Sam Hull, who was keen to tell us all about what he learnt while undertaking two different internships in Marketing and Digital Marketing. Sam told us about the projects he undertook and what he thought was the best thing about interning and getting work experience.

Tell us a little about your internships, what were the main tasks you were trusted with?

SH: I've done two internships. I worked for the PR team at Disney, but just for one week. My main responsibility was concentrating on research for the company. I'd look through all the newspapers, magazines and online resources and look at the coverage the company had over the week. This would allow the programmes to be scheduled. While I was there in July, Disney were looking to get things in order for the Christmas programme. This was for their Christmas Specials and other seasonal offers, with my role researching when this would gain the most expose.

My main internship was at iProspect, working in Digital Marketing. I did three months there and had a lot more time to experience the sector. During my time there I was constructing weekly and monthly campaign reports for clients. I did Affiliate Marketing which is Marketing through client sites and leading generation for emails. I would take the campaign of one of our affiliate sites and watch it, then report back on how it has done and how it can be improved.

The Lead generation that I was involved in was over email. This required me getting one department to design a creative for the company. For example if BMW wanted to sell more Minis, we'd produce an email creative advertising the opportunity to test drive a Mini if you register your email address. Once you've got them signed up they are sent the link to organise the test drive and you have their details to market future ideas to them. I would then track its progress, noting sign ups, clicks, where they are clicking and compile that into a presentation to send to the client with my comments and advice.

What was the most beneficial thing you took away with you?

SH: I think Digital Marketing is a relatively new part of Marketing. I hadn't been taught anything about Digital Marketing when I was at university, so I went there with an open mind. A lot of the work involves reporting in a customer facing role. What I most took away from my Digital Marketing internship was just soaking everything up. The exposure and the levels of experience you gain from being in a professional environment was incredible.

In terms of Digital Marketing you've just got to immerse yourself in it and you will soon pick things up. You'll gain priceless and lifelong skills if you approach it in this way.

How would you advise students and graduates to prepare for an internship?

SH: CV and covering letters are obviously an important place to start. In these it is really important to convey to the company what interests you about Digital Marketing. For me I am particularly interested in Social Media and Social Media Marketing. Although this wasn't a part of the placement that I did, but if you have a real passion it will come across. Most companies I've come across are keen to take on people interested in Digital Marketing.

How has your Marketing Internship changed your opinion of the industry and your direction?

SH: My internship has definitely reinforced my passion for Digital Marketing. It is definitely something I want to do, specifically in the Digital Marketing sphere. It was working in that professional environment and having the opportunity to interact and contribute to such a fast growing business like that was such a buzz. I gained priceless skills and learning other things like a professional way to interact with clients.

What was the biggest difficulty you faced during your two internships?

SH: After finally getting through the CV and Covering Letter process and I got into the company. The team were very helpful and accepting, so it was really easy to ask them whenever I had an issue or was faced with something I didn't understand. I think on a lot of internships they are not expecting you to be a marketing genius straightaway, the main thing they want to see is that you are willing to learn and have a great attitude.

With me, I am sometimes a relatively shy person and sometimes I can get stuck with a task and I wouldn't know what advice to pass on to a client because I didn't have too much experience. I'd get stuck and wouldn't want to ask anyone because I wouldn't want to waste anyone's time, but it was really good at iProspect because they were really friendly and they were easy to interact with and would help me out when I did get stuck.

Have you got any tips for getting an internship in Digital Marketing?

SH: It is really down to having an excellent covering letter and CV. It is about using your covering letter to show you're interested in Digital Marketing and you really want to get into it and showing them it is your passion. And when you're in you have to just try and make as many contacts as you can. Don't be shy, be friendly, maintain your contacts and make use of any contacts that you might already have.

In your view, how important are Internships?

SH: I think they are really important. Not only because they look good on your CV but it gives you that edge when you get into a job and puts you ahead of the game. You've got the skills and experience that you've taken from your internship and you also have the confidence to perform. You understand the aspects of the role you're there to do.

Personally, it gave me more insight into how Digital Marketing and Marketing works as a profession. It has given me the confidence in areas that I hadn't studied at university, like giving presentations, interacting with clients, advising clients and suggesting how to improve campaigns. When I eventually graduate, It will give me a big head start I when and might even put me ahead of other applicants for the position.