“Experience needed,” some of the most common words on the job application. Junior Ryan Rohlf from Odebolt, Iowa, majoring in integrated marketing communications and marketing, is gaining the experience needed when taking on the job search. Rohlf is currently interning with Simpson College‘s Office of Marketing and Public Relations as well as Your Clear Next Step, a small business located in Indianola, Iowa.
“Networking,” another term commonly used when partaking in the job search. By networking, students are able to meet professionals who want to help them find success and get the opportunity to work with a mentor to learn the ropes of their field. When looking for internships for this semester, Rohlf attended the Fall Futures Fair and was able to connect with Your Clear Next Step to become their Style Guide Implementation Analyst Intern. Rohlf was very interested in Simpson College‘s marketing and his love for Simpson College drove him to dig deeper into looking at opportunities with the Office of Marketing and Public Relations. He choose this office specifically because he has enjoyed his time at Simpson and wanted to share his ideas of how to spread the news about Simpson College so that others students will be able to have a similar experience. In the summer of 2012, he worked for CVIL as the AmeriCorp VISTA summer intern. During his free time, he contacted Jill Johnson to learn more about marketing and public relations. He talked to her about his own design work and his familiarity of platforms such as PowerPoint and Prezi. He was able to get some freelance work by creating a Prezi for the Admissions office for Iowa Private College Week and a PowerPoint for Humanities Visit Day. This opportunities gave him an in to the Office of Marketing and Public Relations. He took his portfolio up to Jill Johnson and showcased his abilities in design and writing. Through this networking process, he was able to get his internship with the Office of Marketing and Public Relations.
“It’s kind of like being in a mini advertising agency promoting Simpson College,” Rohlf said, “it is a lot of fun.” Through his internship, he is able to apply concepts and connect courses to work. The Office of Marketing and Public Relations has allowed him to focus his internship on what he wants to learn. Right now, he is focusing on design, but will also partake in public relations work, branding, and possibly social media for the office and other campus groups. “The internship is based on what I want to learn which is uncommon,” Rohlf said, “the office asked me what I personally wanted to learn and based my duties upon that.”
His internship with Your Clear Next Step has allowed him to work with a company off campus. Your Clear Next Step is a business to business company that teaches project management courses to other companies. They have trainers who are booked and the trainers then go to the hired company for the course. The company currently uses word of mouth marketing to promote their company. On the first day of his internship, he was sent to an e-mail marketing workshop to work with their provider to create more effective e-mail marketing tactics. E-mail marketing will be one of Rohlf’s primary duties with this internship. Some of his other duties include creating a style guide for the company to rebrand and align the company’s PowerPoints and handouts, as well as creating various newsletters.
The Simpson College Communication and Media Studies department has given Rohlf many projects to fill his portfolio. He has been able to apply concepts from Beginning News Writing, Editing and Design, and Practicum as the Advertising Director for the Simpsonian to his efforts with both his internships, in particular design and writing concepts. Overall, the process of networking and application of course work lead to successful internships.
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