Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Make the Most of Your Internship

By Follett intern, Barron Biros

Figuring out your post-graduation career plans can be a daunting task, but one of the best ways to prepare for the real world is by having internship experience. Last fall, a friend told me about Follett’s Marketing Genius competition. I was immediately hooked when I heard about the grand prize: a paid summer internship with Follett’s integrated marketing department and free housing in Chicago.

I entered the competition with my best friend and we created a detailed marketing plan to promote Follett’s Rent-A-Text program, which allows students to rent textbooks instead of buy them full price, and CafeScribe, Follett’s digital textbook option. After pitching our campaign to company executives, we were awarded first place and named Follett’s first “Marketing Geniuses.”

My internship with Follett allowed me to work for a real-world marketing team and gave me the opportunity to put the skills I learned in college to the test. Whether you’re destined to be a Marketing Genius, or your career aspirations lie elsewhere, it’s important to remember that an internship can be a great stepping stone to full-time employment. Here are three tips for how to stand out during your internship and make a great impression on your employer.

Network: Everyone knows networking can be the key to finding a job, but it can also be helpful after your internship is complete. So take the time to get to know your co-workers whether you plan to continue your career there or move on somewhere else. And remember, networking doesn’t always have to be about business. I’ve made some great professional connections here at Follett, but I’ve also made friends with my colleagues. You never know where your connections may lead when your internship is over.

Speak Up: If you’ve landed an internship, it’s because you have the talent and were hand-picked by your employer. So don’t be shy – share your ideas! This summer, I helped Follett plan a marketing campaign for their network of college bookstores. As a recent grad, I know what resonates with college students and what will influence them to make purchases. So, I shared my ideas with the marketing team and helped create the “must have that STASH” promotion that was used in more than 800 Follett bookstores. It’s been amazing to see the campaign in action – in bookstores, on college campuses and online – and know that I helped make it happen.

Be an Asset: Though it might not always seem like it, interns are an important part of every company. So show off your skills by following through on projects, asking to take on more responsibility and proving to your co-workers that you add value to their work. If you can become an integrated member of the team, you’ll increase your chances of turning an internship into a full-time job.

Barron Biros is currently an integrated marketing intern for Follett Higher Education Group. Biros specializes in graphic design and is a recent graduate of Georgia State University. Contact him at