Becoming a part of a new organisation, whether as an intern or in a higher position, raises mixed emotions. It’s exciting yet frightful, I still remember how thrilled I was once I got a call from HR and they told me that I got the internship at Leuven Value Network! On the one hand I was proud and happy, I couldn’t wait to tell my parents about the news, but on the other hand, I felt nervous, my head was filled with questions: who are my colleagues? How will I merge with the team? What kind of relationship will I have with the collective? What if I won’t be able to properly accomplish tasks assigned to me? I’m surely not the only one getting all these feelings, this is why I decided to share my modest experience about my first internship done in a foreign country, in a foreign language within a foreign culture.
I was part of the marketing team at Leuven Value Network, and hence I want to cover the aspects of being an intern at ᒪ ᐯ ᑎ, and focus on marketing internship in particular, throughout this blog.
What is a Marketing Internship at ᒪ ᐯ ᑎ?
Leuven Value Network is a non-profit organisation, therefore everyone working here is a volunteer. The Marketing team is one of the several major teams at ᒪ ᐯ ᑎ. The Marketing team has 4 subteams: content, community insights, website, and employer branding. Each of the teams is equally important and has a leader of its own. As a marketing intern you will accomplish tasks and goals from each of the subteams mentioned above.
As you probably already know, Leuven Value Network’s main activity is organising networking events. Coming up with the topic of an event, finding the right location and organisation of an event in general is the core part. However, presenting the concept to the right audience, and raising awareness about your events amongst that audience is the next important step, or otherwise no matter how well your event is managed it won’t be a success without attendees. Quite logical right? That’s where the marketing team comes in, and that’s where you as the marketing intern will assist. Marketing, and more specifically, the content team is the one that actively, through everyday postings on social media, communicates with the target audience and potential attendees. However, I should mention that being active on SoMe on an everyday basis is hard, since as mentioned above, the majority of the team consists of volunteers that have full time jobs.
This is why the role of an intern is so important, as interns are the only ones working full time for ᒪ ᐯ ᑎ , or at least during the time frames when volunteers are not available (mostly during the day). I hope this explains the importance of the marketing team and internships at ᒪ ᐯ ᑎ in general.
How to: # Tips and Reminders for a Marketing Intern at ᒪ ᐯ ᑎ
Like I said above, becoming a part of a new organisation can raise mixed feelings. I don’t want to seem like I’m promoting Leuven Value Network, but I must admit that my first internship experience in a foreign country was a success. I’m lucky that I got to join a team full of innovative spirits, similar vision and life goals, super supportive and welcoming, a team that manages to organise awesome networking events!
I want to give some tips for those who still have the marketing internship experience ahead, or for newly founded organisations that want to make the onboarding process easier for newbies.
#1 Prepare ahead fun facts you want to share
Be prepared that you’ll have to introduce yourself to the rest of the team. Think about it beforehand, once you pop into a meeting, you’ll see eyes full of interest, waiting for you to tell something (and everything😁) about yourself. That’s why it’s better to prepare a couple of sentences about yourself that you would love to share with them.
Get ready! You might have to deal with lots of yet unfamiliar apps or platforms. But don’t worry, no matter how complicated they seem, you’ll get used to them in less than 2 weeks. So don’t forget to breathe, soon you’ll get used to it. Again, I was lucky here, at Leuven Value Network, I had a lot of support from colleagues, eager to help. I had various options to help, from 121 explanatory calls, to video tutorials explaining all the platforms that the organisation uses.
#3 Take notes
I know it sounds pretty common sense, but still – taking notes is very convenient during the first couple weeks. I’m a bit old style when it comes to taking notes, so I prefer to write them down with pen and paper. Not only looking at your notes afterwards serves as a good reminder and as some sort of cheat sheet, but also writing down what you have to do, prevents you from forgetting the to dos.
At Leuven Value Network, taking notes throughout meetings is like a thumb rule. Taking and sharing the notes after each meeting serves as a reminder to do your task, and fills in those who couldn’t attend the meeting.
#4 Don’t hesitate to ask
It’s okay to ask questions. You are a newby, you are getting used to a completely new environment, so it is expected that you won’t be familiar with everything. This also applies for feedback. As a marketing intern, you’ll have to create lots of content for social media, with a goal to reach as many people as possible. So it’s important to double check all the content before posting. This way you know what others think and get fresh thoughts and suggestions. So ask for feedback!
P.S. ᒪ ᐯ ᑎ specific tip here: Don’t expect immediate feedback. Like I mentioned above, majority of volunteers have full time jobs besides the volunteership at ᒪ ᐯ ᑎ, hence their availability is limited. Always try to take this into account, prepare content a couple days before planned publishing and ask for feedback as early as possible. This way you’ll definitely get the feedback on time..
Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas. This especially applies to you, marketing intern! Being creative, coming up with content ideas and creating visuals is a regular part of being a part of a marketing team. It’s important to feel confident about sharing your creativity. Partly it depends on your team members, and how they react towards your ideas, but thankfully at ᒪ ᐯ ᑎ everyone is very welcoming towards original thoughts. As from the feedback giving perspective- always make sure to be supportive and polite basically – give what you would want to receive.
Now that you’ve seen some insights and tips based on my experience, you surely have some spoilers on what to expect at ᒪ ᐯ ᑎ. Join the Leuven Value Network team, become ᒪ ᐯ ᑎer, and experience an internship in a friendly environment driven by innovative youngsters! Learn, develop, and expand your network through formulating, planning, organising, finding sponsors, budgeting, or promoting events with us: the choice is yours.
Find an exciting internship full of opportunities on our Job Page and choose the team you would love to join.
– Màriam Mamaladze