From College Life to Digital Marketing AgencyThursday November 6th, 2014
Three recent college grads talk about life after college, interning in the agency world, and share some tips on transitioning into full time employment
I graduated from American University in 2013 with a degree in public communication and marketing. After graduation, I accepted an internship at a marketing firm in the Washington DC area as a part time SEO intern and part time traditional communications. My favorite tasks during the internship were working with the digital marketing team in SEO, and I started to move away from more traditional PR. I’m originally from New Jersey and knew that I wanted to move closer to home once I completed my internship in DC. After searching for a digital position in Philadelphia, I found Brolik’s site and saw that there was an opening for a digital marketing internship.
“I was never treated as just an intern.”
After applying and getting an interview, I received and eagerly accepted an offer. Once I started, I quickly took to Brolik’s approach to digital strategy, combining creativity with data to get the best results for clients.
Since joining Brolik, I am continuing to develop my skills as a digital marketer. One of the most difficult but interesting things about the field is that it is constantly evolving. No one knows absolutely everything, and you can always bring something to the table. I was never treated as “just an intern.” I was given responsibilities that prepared me for my full time role and confidence that I will grow even more.
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I first discovered Brolik while searching for digital marketing jobs during my senior year of college. I had been looking for full-time employment at a marketing agency, but after finding that most “entry-level” jobs required at least one year of experience, I decided to check out internships as well. Brolik had come up in my previous searches for digital marketing agencies in Philadelphia, and when I revisited its job openings, I found that its digital strategy internship had a major draw for me. The digital strategy team was small, offered many marketing services and interns gained experience in a range of projects, from PPC advertising to email marketing. I wasn’t sure how to pronounce the company’s name, but my interest was piqued, so I sent in an application and cover letter.
“The people interviewing you are the same ones you’ll be working with.”
I heard back from Brolik shortly after applying, and we scheduled a phone interview for the same week. From this time forward, the agency (which is pronounced brah-lick, as I learned) began to appeal to me in a second major way. From answering my many questions to scheduling my interview, the team was helpful and flexible at every turn. Whereas the information sessions and interviews I had experienced with other companies had sometimes felt uncomfortable and impersonal, this was never the case with Brolik (reminder to students: the people interviewing you are the same ones you’ll be working with if you get a job with their company). I took this as a very good sign. During the interview process, I also learned that most full-time employees at Brolik had started as interns, and this allayed any lingering worries I had about not immediately getting a full-time job. When I was ultimately offered an internship on the digital strategy team, I accepted it with confidence that I was joining a close-knit, friendly team.
My time at Brolik has been exactly what I hoped it would be. Since joining the team, I’ve worked on more marketing initiatives than I could have imagined, taken on new responsibilities, and accepted a full-time role at the end of my internship. The company has already grown, bringing on more clients and new interns, and I can’t wait to see where it goes. I’m happy to be here!
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After graduation, every college grad steps into the real world hoping they will land the perfect job, at the perfect company, making enough money to pay back the looming student loans that await. For a fortunate group of people, this happens. But for some us, life after college doesn’t happen in that order. For some of us, it takes a little longer to figure out exactly what we want to do with our four year degree.
I have spent the past year and a half since I graduated from Penn State following my own career path to discover what I truly enjoy doing. Yes, it is stressful. Yes, I eat a lot of ramen noodles. But I can also say that I have learned just as much, if not more, from this past year in the real world than I did in four years of college.
“I have spent the last year and a half since I graduated trying to discover what I truly enjoy doing.”
I graduated with a degree in Public Relations and a minor in Business. After graduation I landed a PR internship at a digital agency. I gained invaluable real world experience working in traditional PR. I pitched stories to national and local media outlets, created media lists and press releases, and learned how to work in an office for eight hours per day. However, during the internship I realized that traditional PR wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do. I couldn’t tell you for sure what I did want to do, but I knew that wasn’t it.
During the next 8 months, I accepted two more internships, both of which I worked primarily in social media marketing. I found that I truly enjoyed thinking about social media in a strategic way and creating campaign narratives for a variety of different industries. I created social media content and blogs for clothing brands, healthcare companies, small businesses and a wedding brand.
While I enjoyed working in social media, I also learned that I was lacking experience in analytics. I was creating relevant and engaging posts for clients, but I couldn’t tell them what it meant for their business. Were my tweets increasing brand awareness and ultimately ROI? Were my Facebook posts leading people to the client’s website?
That’s when I came across the digital marketing internship at Brolik. I was looking for an opportunity to learn more about the technical aspects of a campaign, like SEO and SEM. I felt the digital marketing internship, paired with my experience in PR and Social Media, would make me a more well-rounded communications professional. Luckily, Brolik offered me the internship opportunity.
Since then I’ve had a crash course in digital marketing strategy. At first it felt like everyone was speaking a different language- sitemaps, meta tag descriptions, CRO, keywords… what? But thanks to my patient managers and peers, I am slowly beginning to understand the language of SEO and SEM. I can honestly say I learn something new every day. I’ve also been assigned my own account to take the lead on, which has given me the opportunity to see how a digital strategy plan comes together from research to implementation.
I am excited to continue learning during the rest of my time at Brolik. I will leave this experience feeling more confident in the skills I can offer to future employers and clients.
Although I may have taken an unconventional route, I am finally starting to see a clearer picture of my future career.