Interns Turn Youthful Perspective on Marketing Innovation

Last week, we met with our new marketing team for the first time. We painted our picture, laid out the facts, discussed what we think of our opportunities and challenges.

Our new marketing whizzes? A group of undergraduates from Florida Atlantic University interning with Catalogs.com for their senior project.

The students – half my age – made me remember working on my MBA at University of Miami. We had similar case studies. I was excited to meet the executives, gather data and run with an idea before putting it to paper. I wonder if the company I used in my case study implemented any of my material.

At Catalogs.com, we are all excited to see what our marketing interns come up with. We are open to out-of-the-box concepts. After they digest the information we loaded on them in our meeting yesterday, they will be formulating a marketing plan. We left the possibilities open, not wanting to stifle creativity. We avoided filling their notepads with our ideas – and encouraged the students to brainstorm their way to something really innovative.


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We want our young marketing team to push the envelope, to make us think in a fresh way. We are even open to implementing an idea, and hopeful that the real business outcomes of the students’ work this semester is as valuable to their learning as the process of drilling through the coursework and writing the papers.

I love mentoring. The time I spend with a nonprofit group, Women of Tomorrow, is very satisfying. I enjoy relating my experiences and perspective to the young women. The time I spend mentoring is extended to the commitment at Catalogs.com to open our offices to marketing students. It’s important for businesses to share their industry knowledge in order to teach young people, and it’s important to contribute intellectually content to the new talent our fields will be welcoming.

Working with student interns is a big responsibility. The interactions these marketing students have with Catalogs.com staff will be a huge part of their semester grade. We are here for them, by phone, by email and for in-person feedback. This project will give our interns real business experience that they can draw upon when they interview for their first marketing jobs or move into graduate school.

What is really exciting is how these young people make us think fresh.

After our first meeting, our offices were buzzing with the “what ifs” and “maybe we shoulds.” This will be a great learning experience for us, too.

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