Attempting to Build “The Last Internship You’ll Ever Do”
A few years ago, in a moment of copywriting brilliance, we came up with a way to phrase what we were trying to build with our Specialist program: “The last internship you’ll ever have to do.” It’s a good sales pitch, built off the only thing I ever wanted going through my own six internships (two paid, four unpaid) during college. It also seems to connect with our applicants, and we’ve been working hard to live up to it.
In the spirit of that goal, we’ve added two new parts to our Specialist Program:
Your Orientation to Marketing: Setting the Stage
(Yes, our organization’s Growth department, which names things, is really into theatre)
During a Specialist’s first month of work at Online Optimism, they get a series of meetings that are called Setting The Stage. While our Specialists tend to work only in one department, they often have questions about what it’s like to work in others. Each department sits down with our Specialists and reviews what they do day-to-day, how they interact with clients, accomplish their goals, and answer any other questions from the Specialists.
We’ve found that this allows Specialists to truly see all aspects of a digital marketing agency, and also makes their work better as they see how, for example, our Content team’s work leads to further social media engagement for our clients.
Getting Our Specialists the job: Closing the Curtain
When Specialists have one month left at Online Optimism, we now add a new week-long series of meetings called Closing The Curtain, aimed at giving them the feedback they need to get an offer from other companies. This includes sessions on:
- Portfolio building, including their work completed at Online Optimism and any previous work
- Resume and cover letter editing
- Mock-interviews with our CEO (that’s me!)
- Job search advice, based off their career-goals.
And, yes, we do this during their work hours so they’re actually getting paid to learn how to get jobs not at Online Optimism.
That might seem like a crazy idea for a company, but the more we thought about it, the more we believed it’s the right choice. If our organization isn’t growing fast enough to give every great Specialist a job when their time as a Specialist is done, we owe it to them to do everything we can to get them a job elsewhere.
It’s two more things helping us better build a Specialist program that truly is the last internship you’ll ever do.
If you’re interested in applying to be a Specialist, or to be notified when applications open again, here’s the link.