Like many young people, I struggle with picking a college major and career field. Let’s face it, many adults struggle with the same thing! It seems strange in some ways that we expect individuals who are just beginning to find their places in the world to know what they would like to do for a living. Informal research shows that I am not alone – most of my friends are undecided about career fields, too.
As soon as I heard about an intern-mentor program offered at my Ellicott City, Maryland, high school, I knew that I wanted to be a part of it. The program consists of work-study over two semesters and includes a research component. My teacher, Dr. Kiehl, believes strongly that real-world experiences are the best way to get a feel for an industry and work-life in general. I agree. There is no better way for high school students to acquire leadership, professional, and interdisciplinary skills. They allow students to “try on” their professions before they commit to them.Marketing is a competitive field where only the best succeed. Click To Tweet
I’ve had an interest in marketing since I was a young child. Something about advertising, especially, but other forms of marketing as well, appealed to me. The nexus of creativity and business seemed exciting and glamourous. So, when the time came to pick an industry for my internship, I requested a marketing firm. Dr. Kiehl found Buzzquake, which, much to my liking, specialized in web design and development, email, analytics and content/SEO.
My Research Project
I have decided to measure the effect of various social media on sales and revenue. To do this, I plan to determine how much traffic social media generate to small business websites. To further my research on the effectiveness of social media, I will also be testing what social medium is the best platform for marketing a small business.
First 60 Days
I must admit that I was a bit nervous going into my internship at Buzzquake. I had never been an intern, so I didn’t know what to expect. As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about. It has been great working with Frank and Lynne. They are always feeding me new information. I love learning this way. It’s much easier to learn concepts via a hands-on approach. And it’s so much fun to learn about something that I’m interested in.
I already see that marketing is a competitive field where only the best succeed. Something about joining a team with a shared vision (business success) tends to promote maturity and independence. My first impression was that I needed to acquire knowledge and experience fast! I also learned that people don’t baby you in the real world. They expect you to be prepared and capable of contributing to an effort. I suspect that this will be great preparation for college where professors will have the same expectations.
Being a student and an intern is hard in terms of time management because I must balance school, homework, multiple extracurricular activities, as well as an internship. Although time management is hard, I love coming into my internship, and have no issue with setting aside time for it.
I’m excited about testing my hypothesis throughout the year, and ultimately seeing if marketing is the field for me. The intern program is a great, low-risk way for high school students who are passionate about their futures to test-drive a profession. I think they should be mandatory for everyone!