An internship is a crucial component of your college career. It is your ticket to the real world without being considered a full fledged adult! You can make mistakes and ask questions without severe judgment, while learning valuable life and professional skills along the way. I began applying for internships the second semester of my sophomore year, and remember being concerned with the type of company that I would intern for. Would they actually be understanding to the fact that I was a full time student with a job and hobbies, in addition to the internship? Or would I face the extreme opposite, and be employed by someone who treated me like a child? I strongly feel that I have found my balance at Ericson Strategic Marketing Solutions, LLC, a marketing consultation company located in West Chester. The internship is not limited to just marketing students. We have majors ranging from Management, Communication Studies, Accounting, and English majors, in addition to Marketing. We have had over 13 interns since the program began in 2010, most of whom have moved onto professional careers. They all credit their internship at ESMS as part of their success!
When looking for an internship, it is important to find one that teaches multiple skills. At ESMS I have learned event planning, social media, business writing, and more, in addition to the typical marketing internship (networking, advertising, etc). One thing that drew me to ESMS was the close relationship they have with West Chester University. Since the program began in 2010, ten of the 13 interns have been from WCU. Cynthia Ericson, the owner of Ericson Strategic Marketing Solutions, wants us specifically, and is actively on West Chester University’s campus, presenting to various organizations about her company, as well as business and professional tips.
There are some questions you have to ask yourself when deciding on an internship. Are you looking to receive course credit for your participation? Or simply personal experience? I am at ESMS for personal experience, but the option to work for course credit is available. You also have to ask yourself if you are willing to intern without monetary compensation. Fortunately, more and more companies are offering internships that do pay. Here at ESMS, it is all about the timing of your application. Generally, there are two to three interns, and one is a paid position. While ESMS is a revenue based company, about 50 percent of the work we do here is for non- profit work. That is also something to consider when deciding on an internship. Does the company only focus on profit, or do they give back to the community? Social responsibility is extremely important to me, so I was willing to take the unpaid internship for a semester if it meant the community as a whole was benefiting from it.
I am not the only one who agrees that having an internship is a benefit to your college career. I cannot speak for other companies, but at ESMS interns have a very positive experience. Francesca Damiano, one of our current interns, wished to leave a testimonial to the great atmosphere and working conditions of ESMS:
“I began working at ESMS in March of 2014. Working with Cynthia has been one of the most fulfilling experiences in my working career. Becoming a part of the ESMS team has provided me with skills I could not obtain in the classroom. I’ve been able to have one on one communication with clients and ascertain their needs so we as a team can achieve their company goals. Cynthia allows us as interns to share ideas and incorporate them into our company. If you are looking for a great internship that will pave the path for your professional career, this one’s for you!”
Internships in general tend to be a very rewarding experience. Like any life experience, you will learn from it. I am a supporter of internships, and encourage every student to try one. If you would like to learn more about my experience at Ericson Strategic Marketing Solutions (or are interested in applying) please do not hesitate to contact me at my school email address, which you will find listed below in my credits!
Ashley is a Marketing and Management major. She can be contactd through the American Marketing Association, or at AC784683@wcupa.edu