I think everyone, including me, is swamped with work for the next two weeks… but I hope everyone has had some luck with internships. This summer, I will be doing a marketing internship at L’Oreal in New York City! Last time, I briefly told you about the interview process, but I couldn’t say much about the actual internship. Originally, I was looking at internships that had much more to do with my major of East Asian Studies. However, I have taken many marketing and entrepreneurship classes and have always been interested in a career in marketing. Both of my parents have working in different facets of the marketing industry in New York, so I had already been exposed to the field.
That said, many of my internships were more in the international relations or studies field… so I used some clever marketing on myself and really highlighted the experiences I have had that could relate to general business and product/company branding. In particular, my experience working at a Chinese factory over two summers turned out to be a great example. I had always told potential employers about my knowledge of how factories work and Chinese work culture. However, I also communicated with American and European clients in an effort to convince them to buy products from our factory. Many of my tasks were related to branding the entire factory, which definitely qualified me for marketing internships.
Fast forward to my interview at L’Oreal. Many of the other people they interviewed and hired were in traditional marketing and communications programs at their respective universities. The people who interviewed me were incredibly interested in my international experiences, background in Chinese language and culture, and willingness to travel. The human resources person I worked with later told me that L’Oreal is an international company in need of internationally-minded employees.
From this process, I learned a lot about myself and how the job market works. Of course, the people who had been studying marketing for three years were perfectly qualified for this marketing internship – and many will also be in the internship program. However, I was able to turn my favorite classes and some of my previous experiences into qualifications for a completely unexpected internship!
I hope that all of you have figured out your summer plans, but if not, think outside the box. Your internship or job may not be exactly what your major is… think about how your favorite classes and the best parts of your previous work experiences can be applied to potential opportunities.