MENLO PARK, Calif., April 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- For recent or soon-to-be graduates, internships can be a valuable bridge to a first job. But securing one of these opportunities may be easier said than done, a new survey by The Creative Group suggests. Nearly six in 10 (58 percent) advertising and marketing executives interviewed said their agency or firm does not offer an internship program. Students who do manage to land coveted internships may receive more than just experience: Among companies that offer internships, 63 percent provide compensation.
The national survey was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service for interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals, and conducted by an independent research firm.
Advertising and marketing executives were asked, "Which of the following best describes your company's internship program?" Fifty-eight percent of respondents said their company does "not have an internship program."
Following is a breakdown of the results among the 42 percent of executives who said their company offers an internship program:
|Offer paid internships, and interns must prove they are active students receiving course credit
|Offer unpaid internships, and interns must prove they are active students receiving course credit
|Offer paid internships with no requirement of student status
|Offer unpaid internships with no requirement of student status
|Don't know/no answer
In a separate survey of advertising and marketing executives, nearly one-third (32 percent) of respondents said the opportunity to identify new talent is the chief benefit to their business of offering internships. Receiving extra help on projects was the second most common response, cited by 28 percent of those interviewed.
"One of the greatest challenges for new graduates seeking employment is a lack of professional experience," said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group. "Internships provide an opportunity for individuals launching their careers to apply their skills in a business setting, learn more about the type of work environment they prefer and make valuable professional connections that can serve them well in the future."
Farrugia added, "Competing for internships can be challenging because many of the candidates are students and haven't yet acquired the skills, work samples and experience that will make them stand out. Often, the decision comes down to how the applicant presents him or herself. A positive disposition can go a long way."
The Creative Group offers five tips for landing a coveted internship:
- Go ahead, jump the gun. Get a leg up on the competition by starting your internship search early. Research organizations of interest, work with your university career center, scour job boards, and reach out to members of your personal and professional networks well before the school year ends.
- Be prepared. Most employers require a resume, cover letter and portfolio from internship applicants -- so make sure yours are in tip-top shape. In addition, have a business-appropriate outfit ready should you be called in for an interview.
- Consider your options wisely. While internships that pay well are attractive, it's also important to consider whether the position will provide exposure to a range of projects, people and experiences. The most valuable internships offer plenty of opportunities to learn and acquire skills that support your professional goals.
- Put yourself in their shoes. Managers are stretched thin and appreciate those who listen actively, exercise sound judgment and don't require constant feedback. In your application materials and in interviews, emphasize your ability to take direction and work independently.
- Demonstrate strong social skills. Work teams communicate in many different ways today: via email, instant messaging, social media, conference calls and in-person meetings. Show you know how to collaborate effectively and professionally both online and off.
About the Survey
The national study was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on more than 500 telephone interviews -- approximately 375 with marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 125 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.
About The Creative Group
The Creative Group (TCG) specializes in placing a range of highly skilled interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals with a variety of firms on a project and full-time basis. More information, including online job-hunting services, candidate portfolios and TCG's award-winning career magazine, can be found at www.creativegroup.com. Gain insights into the latest hiring and salary trends in the creative and marketing fields at www.creativegroup.com/salarycenter.