AOL Marketing Intern Proves Experience Reigns Over Major

By Sonia Su

Read the original story on Patch.com.

Intern Profile

Name: Kelly Wright
Title: Media Marketing Intern at AOL
School: Towson University
Majors: Graphic Design and Computer Information Systems

Watch the video on Patch.com to get an inside look into a media marketing internship.

After her interview with AOL, Towson University student Kelly Wright didn’t think she would be offered a position this summer. Responsibilities of a media marketing intern involve working with programs and tools such as Google AdWords, and Wright said she didn’t even know what some of them were when asked during her interview.

So when Wright got the offer, she said she was ecstatic. For the past few months, Wright has been working with more than 200 other AOL employees in the Baltimore office, using Google AdWords, Excel and more. Despite not majoring in marketing, Wright said her majors in graphic design and computer information systems mix well—and her extensive experience probably helped.

In addition to attending technology academies before college, Wright has had four previous internships—including one with aerospace and defense company Lockheed Martin—all of which were paid.

“We’re college kids, and we have books, rent, groceries, gas—there’s a lot of things we need to pay for,” Wright said. “It’s still a regular job. Yes, you can get credit for it most of the time, but credit’s not going to buy you books. If you’re working hard, you definitely deserve to get something.”

At AOL, Wright assists marketing managers with various campaigns and builds Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization—or SEM and SEO—campaigns for AOL’s many accounts, including Bing, Moviefone and Patch. She found the opportunity through Towson’s Career Center.

“Everyone is just so friendly,” Wright said. “It’s really nice—the company definitely rewards their employees.”

And reward, it does. The company has a nap room, offers lunch for employees on Wednesdays and on Wright’s first day of her internship, held a cookout.

But internships don’t come without some challenges.

Wright said time management can be difficult with more than one manager assigning her tasks and to whom she needs to report. Another challenging aspect was adjusting to the nine-to-five grind, being used to going to class for a few hours, then working for a few hours.

Plus, Wright had to get surgery for her torn meniscus during the internship, which meant she could not work for three weeks. However, she said her supervisor was very accommodating in allowing her a more flexible schedule.

Still, Wright said she always requests more work and makes it a point to work hard.

“Everyone should strive to look for a paid internship … because you’re definitely gaining some type of knowledge,” Wright said. “Don’t be afraid to ask for more work.”

With one more year left at Towson, Wright said she’s not sure of her post-graduation path but would like to shadow people during the school year to get a better idea.

Watch the video on Patch.com to get an inside look into a media marketing internship.

About this series: As part of our jobs reporting, Patch is profiling people with internships throughout Maryland, focusing on the issue of paid and unpaid positions. What do you think about paid and unpaid internships? Let us know in the comments below.

Editor’s Note: AOL is Patch’s parent company. This story was written by a paid intern at Patch.