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Internships for GenZ

Millennials have outnumbered the Baby Boomer generation, and GenZ is entering the labor force. It is time to not only read about GenZ’s habits, but to get to know them personally via internships.

According to the Washington Post, “[GenZ is] known to value compromise […], a byproduct of their diversity and comfort with working with peers from different backgrounds. They are also in line to be an ‘adaptive’ generation. These cohorts tend to come right after disruptive generations that change society in significant ways, such as millennials. When adaptive groups come of age, they take the problems that were brought to light by their predecessors and try to work them out.”

What does this mean for businesses?

Attractive internships for the GenZ generation will have to provide a high level of autonomy. They want to learn about the big picture, but their attention span is historically short. Engage with them on a frequent basis and focus on where they feel most comfortable: the digital realm.

Providing meaningful work and engaged mentoring are necessary if you plan to hire interns. GenZ is a generation of doers. The more they get involved with the key operations of your business, and how they fit into their ideological world view, the more likely they are to stay.

There is even a new kind of mentoring you may want to consider: reverse mentoring. GenZ are digital natives who want to change the world. They have a unique way of looking at the world which is an asset for management and beyond. Confront your intern with a challenge the business is currently facing, and ask her to come up with a plan by doing research, interviewing employees, etc. Let them share new trends and innovative solutions. Let them mentor management whenever appropriate.

We at Media Link have been enjoying insights from our interns for many years. We take time getting to know our interns from the start, so we can create an individualized bundle of responsibilities and tasks to improve the skills necessary for their future careers. Some of our interns like to focus on creative tasks such as copy writing and social media; others prefer the data driven nature of market research and tracking campaign success – our goal is to create a good fit. Interns meet with our internship coordinator on a regular basis to talk about their progress and to adjust tasks where needed.

Around 10 students run though our internship program each year.  We are so proud to see their growth and see where their path after graduation takes them.  Over the last few years, we have extended our mentoring into a part-time position for those interns who have exhibited a special passion for our field. This ensures they can continue to grow both personally and professionally to help them better prepare to be our next generation of marketing professionals.

Welcome, Haley!

Haley Ruch has joined the Media Link family as a Marketing Assistant. She is currently working towards her bachelor’s degree in International Business, Marketing, Economics and French at Augustana College. Haley has been involved with numerous Augustana campus organizations:

• Advertising Development Club
• Greek Life
• Active Minds
• Entrepreneurial Center (EDGE)
• Varsity Softball team

When she’s not on the softball field, she enjoys playing guitar and travelling to foreign countries. Learn more about Haley here.

An Intern’s Perspective (Blake)

Before this internship, I had next to nothing in experience in the world of marketing and advertising, so I never realized how much work went into advertising for companies. When I first stepped into this internship role, it all just seemed very overwhelming between all the projects from social media to having to create proposals for every single place where we wanted to advertise. My co-workers made it very easy to figure everything out, because they all were more than willing to help out whenever I had questions.

I felt like a big part of the company, because I was able to help with projects such as creating proposals and creating advertising campaigns. Experiencing the unique challenges helped me tremendously when it comes to overcoming hurdles and advancing personally and professionally.

I know I will not forget this experience, because of how accommodating everyone was in order for me to get the most out of this time. I am extremely grateful for Natalie on taking a chance on me and for the rest of the team for helping me out whenever I needed it, even with the probably excessive questioning.

Internship Experience – Ny Ny Le

Before starting this marketing internship, I did not have any specific expectation, because I did not have much experience in the marketing and advertising industry. I came in the first day with an open mind and eagerness to learn as much as possible. Looking back, I am now surprised by how much I have grown, not only intellectually, but also personally after the internship.

In terms of knowledge and skills, I have been acquainted with many technical terms in the industry, especially in media buying such as avails, need rates, GRP, CPM, etc. I handled tasks that were essentially important to the company such as generating proposals, checking media buy affidavits, proposing social media copy, etc. Therefore, I feel that I am a part of the team and I have something significant to contribute to the company’s development. During the internship, I worked almost everyday with Media Link Software® (MLS), Media Link’s proprietary media buying software, and I really enjoyed it. MLS made things so much easier, because everything was put in one place. I could import avails, vendor information, generate proposals and check affidavits on one platform instead of using tons of spreadsheets.

In addition to gaining significant skills and knowledge of the marketing industry, I have also achieved personal growth after the internship. By having hands-on experiences, I get to know what I enjoy doing and what I do not like. In other words, I am more aware of myself and my passion, thus it will help me make better choices for my future career. I am also more confident in myself, not only because I’ve gained new skills, but also because I have been encouraged to ask questions, to raise my opinions about given tasks, and to recommend changes for improvement.

Everyone was so helpful and tried their best to accommodate my wish for learning new things. I know I will miss my supervisors and my colleagues who have helped me to become who I am today. I am genuinely grateful for the opportunity to have had this internship experience.

Internship Experience – Bri Hanes

If you told me I would be helping with market research for national organizations, generating proposals, or attending a network premiere event, I never would have believed you. I did not know what to expect on my first day as a marketing intern for Media Link, Inc., but I knew I wanted to do more than just run errands, file papers, or make coffee. Media Link, Inc. was that opportunity for me; the opportunity to gain hands on knowledge about the marketing and advertising industry.

Through my internship experience, I was able to work on a variety of projects that were genuinely important to the company and the clients. I was tasked with invoices, proposals, affidavits, social media posts, research, and other vital parts to the overall process. With the projects I was trusted with, I felt essential and like I was a part of a team. I am still amazed by the knowledge I have gained in just one summer.

I am grateful I was able to expand my marketing vocabulary and learn the everyday terms used in this field. This experience has familiarized me with a wide range of marketing terms and strategies, from writing blog posts and social media content to learning about SEO and attracting a target demographic. My supervisor and everyone else in the office established a comfortable environment right away, so I was never apprehensive about asking questions and learning new information. I looked forward to coming into the office each week.

My time with Media Link, Inc. prepared me for life after graduation and opened up more opportunities for success. This was my first real life experience with the marketing industry–outside of textbooks and academic clubs on campus. I feel I am better equipped for a career in this field and thank Media Link, Inc. for giving me the tools to be successful.

The Media Link Internship Program

We recognize the mutual benefits of a strong and structured internship program. Interns have the opportunity to discover both an industry and a company which enables them to further narrow down their future professional path. They gain valuable insights, and by doing so, provide new perspectives to businesses. Having a diverse base of interns also stimulates intergenerational and multicultural exchange necessary for innovation and growth.

Find more about the benefits of internship programs here:

Media Link’s internship program consists of 144 hours per internship. We take time getting to know our interns from the start, so we can create an individualized bundle of responsibilities and tasks to improve the skills necessary for their future careers. Some of our interns like to focus on creative tasks such as copy writing and social media; others prefer the data driven nature of market research and tracking campaign success – our goal is to create a good fit.  Although, we do believe everybody should experience each task at least once to gain a fully rounded internship experience.  Interns meet with our internship coordinator on a regular basis to talk about their progress and to adjust tasks where needed.

Around 10 students run though our internship program each year.  We are so proud to see their growth and see where their path after graduation takes them.  Over the last few years, we have extended our mentoring into a part-time position for those interns who have exhibited a special passion for our field. This ensures they have the opportunity to continue to grow both personally and professionally to help them better prepare to be our next generation of marketing professionals.

An Intern’s Perspective

I was referred to Media Link’s internship program by a teammate of mine who went through the same program. Although he gave me an idea of how his experience was at Media Link, I didn’t know what to expect.

I have been blown away by the amount of learning and growing I have experienced with my time here. I eased in slowly, because I was shy and didn’t want to ask too many questions; however, the support I received from the staff and my supervisors made everything easier. I could not have asked for a better work environment and colleagues for an internship experience.

I was tasked with researching ways to import affidavits into Media Link Software™ and most of the work I have done here has been in spreadsheets. Media Link Software™ has been the biggest aspect of my experience here. I learned how to do invoicing and importing avails into the software. I have also learned office etiquette and proper communication among coworkers, and most of all I have grown as a person through this experience.

They have given me every opportunity to succeed here and also in life after my internship. Not only have I learned valuable new skills and techniques to help me in my professional career, but they have taken me to Chamber of Commerce events and allowed me to see how to properly network myself. My summer with Media Link is coming to a close, but I will never forget this great opportunity and learning experience.