Graduation. Internships. Jobs. Life. Seems a bit overwhelming right? Like many students, I’ve realized how quickly reaching the end of the road approaches in terms of my acade
mic career. The stresses of exams, studying, and our social lives are easily some of the most critical things that a student can worry about. However, one of the biggest concerns a lot of students have is how to be prepared for the real world. Luckily, many colleges offer programs and opportunities to breach the illustrious advertising and marketing world through an internship at the end of the academic year.
Some of us may have no clue where to start, or how to be prepared for real work. So, in order to better prepare you for your internship, here are three important things that we’ll need to get started.
Design a portfolio
Ok, you say you have great design skills and that you are awesome at using computer programs and that you have all these skills and that…ok but how do you show an employer that? Having a developed, well designed portfolio can possibly be one of the most underrated things that any young professional can do for themselves. I was able to reach out and contact an industry professional who works as a copywriter at one of Canada’s leading independently owned ad agencies, and he said that having a well-developed portfolio can easily set you apart from others you’re competing against. Your portfolio should be filled with some of your best work whether it is design, a mock-campaign, or even just a really good report. Click here to find some tips on designing a great portfolio. These things should be compiled together in a way that is most easy to show case your skills to impress your potential future employer. If you suck at using adobe products, you should learn to get better or get someone to design it for you. Having an outstanding portfolio allows you to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk too. Essentially, it brings all the skills you’ve written on your resume to life and in a visual format making it easier to let potential employers know what you’ve done.
This is another very underrated, yet important aspect of your resume that will help you in your internship/job search. Employers will be looking for those individuals who have been able to show they have been a part of different volunteering initiatives and this can be a way to set yourself apart from others. Personally, since I’ve been a Humber student, I’ve had so many excellent volunteer opportunities. I’ve been given the opportunity to help volunteer at networking events, marketing award ceremonies, and escorting guest speakers to where they are supposed to be. Not only does this provide you with something to add on your resume, but it also gives you the chance to give you first hand networking experience. I have made several really good contacts through volunteering at Humber that have been beneficial to me and my chances of getting a good internship. Ok, but how do I know about all these opportunities? Where should you start? Tracking down volunteer opportunities isn’t easy, but a good place to start would be to talk to your program coordinator and show them that you’re interested. Not only does this give you chances to volunteer, but it also shows your program coordinator that you want to take initiative. It’s a win-win situation.
Attend Networking Events
Get your mingling skills ready. Networking events can be tricky and nerve-racking, but they present a lot of really good opportunities to talk face to face with the right industry professionals. If you are a Humber College Advertising and Marketing Student, there will be a networking event set up by a committee of 2nd year ADMC students with the sole purpose of making contacts for your internship. This night will take place in late February at The Spoke Club in downtown Toronto, and will be an excellent way for students to get engaged with actual marketing professionals. To find out more about this event, click here. This night out caters to the individuals who need assistance trying to find an internship, but don’t really know how to start looking. I was fortunate enough to be able to volunteer at this event last year and it gave me an awesome insight on how even just the smallest interactions between people can create meaningful relationships. Trust me, talking to complete strangers is not always the easiest thing, but this event provides you with the comfort of being with your friends, but also interacting with industry professionals.
So if there are three tips that I can give you to help you land that awesome internship at the end of your ADMC career its these: make a portfolio because it will set you apart, volunteer as much as possible, and attend that networking event! It was made for students, by students, so it could not be any more convenient.
Caution: If you follow these tips, you may see yourself at the hottest new advertising agency in Toronto (or the world, why limit yourself you know?).
Malick Ba is currently an aspiring marketing professional living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick is a senior at Humber College and is looking forward to what he can provide to the marketing world upon graduation. Follow him onTwitter, Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.