Classroom to Career: My Experience Interning for a Marketing Agency
Feb | 15BY venta
Learning in the classroom and the conference room
During my time as an intern at Venta Marketing, the most trusted digital marketing agency, I have learned many valuable skills through my projects, clients, and supervisors. Each day is a new assignment and I am tasked with finding strategic solutions as the Project Management Intern. While balancing my courses at the University of Missouri, I spend at least 20 hours a week learning from the experts in digital marketing and responsive website design. Spending my time at Venta has allowed me to put my studies into practice and gain valuable life experience. Interning at a marketing agency has provided me with the tools and experiences that will advance my career path and my skills as a Project Manager.
What’s Better Than A Teacher? A Mentor!
To become a Project Manager you must start in the classroom. Your college courses should include a variety of marketing, business, and technology classes but this doesn’t mean that you’ll learn everything in a lecture hall. While a degree is necessary, the most valuable lessons are taught by great mentors. Your classroom material will cover the basics of creating project schedules, marketing plans, brand guidelines, social media campaigns, and more but your agency is where you can implement the real strategy. Much of what I have learned has been on the job and learning from experienced Project Managers has allowed me to know how to identify strategic solutions for clients.
Finding a great mentor outside of the classroom may take a few tries but I recommend finding someone that pushes you outside your comfort zone. That’s where the real growth happens and solving the most complex problems with my mentor helps me do a better job for my future clients.
My mentor is our Website Design & Development Project Manager, Catt. I receive all of my projects, assignments, and feedback from her each week and I often shadow her to see how she’s managing projects. One of her strongest traits is the ability to create To-Do lists and make sure each task is following the project guidelines. Catt constantly emphasizes how important it is to communicate with each client and reassure them that their project is going to be a success. She is always ready to answer my questions and teach me the necessary skills to complete my own tasks while balancing the needs of every client. Catt makes it possible for Venta to pride itself on giving quality results and she pushes each team member to give their all.
It’s Going To Be Hard Sometimes.
I’d be lying to you if I told you that every day of your internship is rainbows and sunshine. Project Managers deal with managing people, projects, and the process so there are a million opportunities for everything to wrong at all times. The most important lesson I’ve learned at Venta is learning how to develop a thorough process so every project can be a success. Will there be hiccups? Oh yes. Will there be delays? I guarantee it! But it’s about how you and your process react to those moments of uncertainty. A great process will allow you to recover from anything and even save your project before it needs help.
To stay positive during the challenging times, I find joy in the projects that are running smoothly. One of our most successful projects was creating a website for Uranus, Missouri, a quirky tourist destination located in the central part of our state. The site included a variety of dynamic elements, such as animations in their blog posts and even a rocket ship that follows users around the screen. While facilitating our client’s business needs, I helped manage our designers who created a retro-Americana website theme that lends itself to the pop-art inspired calls to action. On the technical side, the website required numerous page formats to facilitate specific on-page content. It required heavy content migration, editing the events calendar, maneuvering blog posts to display in chronological order, and displaying videos and pictures in their designated location. The project was one of my favorites because it was fun to make each page a surprise. The most valuable experience I’ve had was learning the importance of making sure each project meets or exceeds the client’s expectations.
Refining My Agency’s Process
My main focus for the semester was a project that required me to sort out our shared Google Drive. Over the years, agency documents had been copied, misplaced, and unfinished. It was organized chaos and the lack of organization in the system took extra time for our team to find their needed documents. Over several weeks, I reviewed and removed useless folders and documents, archived unfinished and old files, and sorted everything by clients, use case, and department. It was a lengthy process but my actions cleared a path for our employees to find their files faster and work more efficiently. Now that the Google Drive is much more organized we have set a new precedent for all future files and elevated the level of efficiency. Even if it’s saving our team a few seconds each day, I can tell that my contribution has made a significant difference across all departments.
I Learned More Than I Thought I Would
Working for Venta has been such an incredible experience. I have learned more than I ever could have imagined and I am thankful for the people I work with. Each member of our team brings a special skill to the project and together, we ensure that the client’s vision will become a reality. I am lucky to have a group of wonderful people that encourage me and I love celebrating our accomplishments together. I look forward to starting my day at the agency, knowing I will gain more knowledge and feel that I am adding value to the company. Venta always says that we want to be the most trusted digital agency and I am reminded of that every day.
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