Finding an internship can be tough, even for accomplished, career driven students getting masters degrees. And beyond finding an internship, finding the right internship that gives you the experiences and skills you’re looking for is comparable to coming across a four-leaf clover. You’ve got to spend a lot of time searching and weeding out the duds that don’t fit your qualifications.
However, unlike four-leaf clovers that are perfectly crafted by nature and unalterable, the right internships can be molded to fit your learning style, goals, and objectives. In essence, internships are what you make of them.
I have been fortunate enough to find my own four-leaf internship at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California as a social media marketer. Together, with the rest of the marketing division, I was responsible for increasing aquarium brand awareness, attendance, and ticket sales. My specific responsibilities included creating and analyzing Google, Facebook, and Twitter advertisements as well as creating new relationships with established bloggers whose content fit the Aquarium’s brand image.
The introductory marketing course I took at the Rady School taught by Professor Ken Wilberbecame an invaluable asset to me in this position. Ken’s lessons on customer target segments and maintaining brand consistency were directly applicable to my job, and his Harvard case studies gave me lots of practice focusing on the big picture, which is important when working within a large company. Managerial Leadership taught by Professor Chris Oveis and Advanced Communications taught by Professor Tod Salovey were also helpful in coaching me how to work with others in a corporate environment. Having come to the Rady School immediately after receiving my undergraduate degree, I lacked the work experience many of my classmates had. Chris’ and Tod’s classes gave me crucial pointers on how to get the most out of office relationships and be efficient in the work place. Finally, Organizational Strategy taught by Professors Rottenstreich and Sprenger gave me the tools necessary to think like a customer and design effective advertisements.
Thanks to these educational resources last year, I was able to make a significant impact on the success of the Aquarium’s social media marketing! In fact, by the end of my two-month internship, the Aquarium was able to increase brand recognition, event awareness, and sales while simultaneously decreasing all costs on Google compared to the previous period. Below are the final results of the Google advertising campaigns I oversaw.
The Aquarium’s other advertising efforts are doing swimmingly as well. Luckily my coworkers valued my contributions enough to ask me to continue working with them part time from San Diego as I start my second year at the Rady School! Their teamwork and comradery made my internship the wonderful learning experience it was and I am truly looking forward to continuing my work with them this fall.
Now, I’m thinking of making social media marketing my full time career after I graduate. If not for the Rady School’s amazing faculty and staff, I would have never gotten this internship, let alone excelled at it. They go above and beyond for their students and I am lucky enough to benefit from their efforts. I guess you could say they are a four-leaf clover of their own.
Kimberly Gossard (’16) is a second year MBA student and a student ambassador at the Rady School of Management. Originally from Orange County, California with a degree in Marine Biology from Rollins College in Florida, Kimberly has a keen interest in oceanic conservation and hopes to find full time employment at an environmentally conscientious company when she graduates. She would ultimately like to protect our earth and leave the world a better place than she found it.