How do you find an internship in a saturated job market? For Tom Phillips, MANMS 2013, it was all about persistence and a positive attitude.
“You’re not going to hear from a lot of places. You have to stay positive and keep reapplying. I was persistent and just kept applying; it paid off.”
Phillips found his ideal internship through DePaul.Experience, a website that connects students to potential employers. With the help of Internship Coordinator Dana Dunham, he enrolled in NMS 506 to receive course credit, and in January 2013, he began a paid internship at North American Company for Life and Health Insurance.
From his first day on the job, Phillips was able to apply NMS theory and skills to challenging business problems. He said the insurance industry is notoriously slow in adopting new technologies, and legal issues often curb companies’ marketing and social media efforts. To help North American navigate these issues, Phillips worked with their marketing, copywriting, and multimedia production teams to develop a strategy for entering the market.
After determining which social media platforms and marketing efforts could help North American meet their goals, Phillips and his teammates delivered a custom solution, convincing executives there was a place for North American on platforms such as LinkedIn. The plan was well received and is currently being implemented by the company.
Phillips advises future NMS and WRD interns to take classes in marketing and InDesign and to not get frustrated when hunting for the perfect internship. Past NMS classes gave him the confidence to analyze the company’s marketing needs and deliver a successful project to company stakeholders. Phillips says his experience developing North American’s social media strategy prepared him for coursework in NMS 525: Writing for the Web, his final graduate class. He believes his internship and NMS coursework will appeal to employers as he applies for full-time jobs.