Becoming an intern is very often the first step in a career in marketing. Marketing interns work at an organization and learn the marketing business whilst working for an employer. Often they perform administrative work in support of the more senior marketing professionals. This can include simpler tasks such as handling correspondence and photocopying. But this doesn't mean that they don't also get the opportunity to do 'real ' marketing work too, such as writing newsletters, conducting market research, and helping to design marketing materials.
An internship in marketing presents an excellent opportunity to gain valuable experience and contacts, and a marketing intern is often paired up with a mentor who will show him or her the ropes. Most marketing internships are temporary, but many interns find themselves eventually receiving job offers from the business they did their internship at (provided that they made a good impression). Internships are quite often a faster and cheaper route into the marketing profession than higher education.
Regardless of what fulltime position a marketing intern eventually decides to take, a marketing internship is often time very well spent. Marketing is a critical business skill and can be applied to every business; from a one man hot dog stand to a national chain of fast food stores. It is a versatile skill to have on your CV.
Marketing interns often need to show an enthusiasm for the business and a willingness to learn the ropes. It's a given that an intern won't be a marketing expert, but very often evidence of commitment or at least a little experience in marketing can help land the position. Interns need to be computer savvy, quick thinking, capable of sustained critical analysis, and able to come up with creative new ideas to market a products and services.
Responsibilities vary by organization, and are very often fit around what the intern would like to do, though this is not always the case. Some internships give interns more responsibilities, whilst others give minimal supervision and expect interns to 'find their own work'. Tasks may include planning product launches, testing keyword strategies, brainstorming creative ideas or analyzing competitors.