5 Top Tips For Finding Your Perfect Ecommerce Internship!
Whether you have recently graduated university or finished college or even just fancied a change in career, finding a job is daunting. I experienced this difficulty upon recently graduating university.
I have had a weekend job since I was 16 and nearly five years later I found that I could no longer remember what the process was when trying to find a job nor how to conduct myself in an interview. I had become an expert in the hospitality industry, learnt how to work in a busy Birmingham restaurant and deal with fussy customers. Suddenly, however, as the last months of university were drawing to a close, I found myself back to square one, about to enter the real world. I started ‘Googling’ the most ridiculous things such as ‘what sitting position in an interview will guarantee you the job’ (if Google was a person, there would have been a lot of head shaking).
When the dreaded job-hunting started, I quickly realised that I was approaching it in the wrong way. I had just finished university with no work experience, apart from being able to hold three plates at the same time (which is still in my top 3 of all time achievements) and I didn’t think that would be of value to me when it came to entering the digital marketing industry. Even if I were able to get a job, what would I know about working in an office? So, I decided I needed to get experience in order to gain a job in the industry I wanted (I mean I’m not in thousands pounds worth of debt for nothing).
During my research I came across Ecommerce consultancy, something I had never heard of before. As I started to delve deeper into my research I discovered that I wanted to be part of this upcoming industry rather than go down the road of traditional marketing (you can read why here). I never had any guidance when finding my internship (and did a pretty good job) so I thought I would share some of my wisdom on the subject and hopefully you too can find your perfect ecommerce internship.
- Despite what everyone says, size does matter.
The size of the company is the most important tip I can give you. When looking for an ecommerce internship, you will find some for large businesses and some for small businesses and although everyone tells you to just apply for anything insight, DON’T! There are pros and cons of both and you need to find the perfect fit for you.
Large businesses: are often household names in your chosen industry and will look absolutely incredible on your CV if you choose to move on afterwards. It will often be argued that larger businesses are more stable and will often have more opportunities for progression. While they all might be try, there are still some drawbacks. In a larger business, starting as an intern you will be just another number drowning in a sea of other numbers. Every large business has a fast paced environment, which could potentially limit your development (other than how to make 20 cups of tea at the same time) as well as limiting your chance to show people your ability. But if you plan on only spending a limited time in a placement it is better to get a big brand on your CV.
Small businesses: are less likely to work on really big projects that you can brag to your friends about and will probably offer less job security (but life has to be about risk sometimes). Small businesses are also probably less able to have the same job benefits as large businesses such as private healthcare or hiring out a club for a work night out. However, at smaller companies you are more likely to feel valued. If you are on an internship at a smaller business, you are less likely to be making tea and coffee and more likely to be meeting clients, having individual projects and able to show off your ability.
- What services do they offer other than Ecommerce Consultancy?
There are very few Ecommerce Consultancy companies that will offer just Ecommerce Consultancy. Many companies will offer SEO, PPC, Website Design and Social Media Marketing Management. While you may not work in all of these sectors during your internship (I’ve seen the code that goes into designing a website and there is no way that it can be taught in 3 short months) it is better if you have some sort of knowledge of the sectors before starting your internship. There is nothing worse than heading into a team meeting and everyone speaking jargon that you do not understand (trust me, I’ve done it!).
If a company offers multiple services then it means you have more opportunity to expand your knowledge and if after a while you fancy a chance of departments then there is always a chance to move from one to another.
- Is there a job opportunity at the end of the internship?
People have different motivations for wanting to get an ecommerce internship, it may just be to gain a little bit more experience before another employer can hire you, it may be a summer placement during school/university holidays. But generally, people apply for internships to gain experience and hopefully a job at the end of the placement and not all companies want to give their interns this opportunity.
When in an interview, it is always important to ask questions but the most important question is if there are any job opportunities at the end of the placement. The idea of a potential job at the end of it, changes everything, you will want make every piece of work you do an expression of your ability and personality.
- Experienced Management
You want to learn everything you possibly can in your ecommerce internship? Because regardless of whether there is a job at the end of it, you want to be able to learn from someone who has loads of experience in the field your hoping to make a career in, otherwise what is the point? Experienced management makes you feel more comfortable and you know you are not completely wasting your time.
- FUN! FUN! FUN!
Be sure to find out that the ecommerce internship is right for you and that for the whole time you are there you are enjoying it.
The team you work with need to be fun and engaging (banter is always a must) I know what you are thinking, how on earth am I meant to know what the team is like? Well people, we are in the 21st Century now and every company seems to have a variety of social media platforms so be sure to social media stalk them.
The job description for any application should be detailed, so ensure that you read through it multiple times, just so you know you find everything interesting and if you don’t know what certain details are then research them or bring them up in the interview.
There is no point in applying for every job in sight just so you can say that you have something, you have to enjoy it!