During December 2013, we hosted a winter externship program that included single day and multiple day opportunities for students skilled and interested in pursuing a career in Internet Marketing. The company’s first extern, Melissa Jackson, visited the company for four days during her winter break to gain a better understanding of real-world SEO and Paid Search.
Meet Melissa Jackson:
- Senior Marketing Major at James Madison University
- From Leesburg, VA but has lived in several different cities
- Plays trumpet in the JMU Marching Royal Dukes
- Loves traveling and studied abroad in Belgium during Spring 2013
Why did you decide to participate in the Winter Externship?
When I heard about the externship from one of my professors at JMU, it sounded like a great opportunity. I took Dr. Clarke’s Strategic Internet Marketing (MKTG 470) class this past semester and really enjoyed learning how to use WordPress, Google Analytics, WebMaster Tools, and AdWords, among many other applications. I applied and was accepted into her Google Online Marketing Challenge (MKTG 477) class for next semester, which will focus on paid search and driving traffic to a small business by using Google AdWords. After Dr. Clarke told her MKTG 477 students about the opportunity, I immediately got in touch with the company because I knew the externship would give me real-world experience with concepts I had learned in class and give me exposure to a rapidly evolving industry.
How has your experience been during the externship?
It’s been fast-paced, but I’ve had a great experience overall! I’ve learned a lot in the four days that I have been here, and had the opportunity to work on assignments individually as well as sit down with multiple members of the company to gain a better understanding of applications they use in their day-to-day work. It’s been awesome seeing things I learned in class come up in the real world.
What is your biggest takeaway from the externship?
It’s been very interesting to see how much impact SEO and PPC can have for actual businesses. At JMU, we built blogs and used SEO and PPC to drive traffic to them, but it’s been amazing to see the impact that inbound marketing can have on businesses in the real world. There’s a lot that goes into getting results.
What would you tell other Marketing Majors about externship opportunities at our company?
The company has an incredibly friendly atmosphere, and I felt welcomed by everyone when I walked in on day one. The company is fairly small, but it’s growing rapidly so it was interesting to be part of a startup type of environment and gain exposure to this type of industry. The best aspect of the externship is that it provided me with a unique opportunity to apply my skills outside of the classroom. The Winter Externship was certainly time well spent and I would definitely recommend this experience to anyone interested in pursuing a career in this industry.