Career: Lessons for succeeding in a summer internship

Summer internships can pinpoint the way someone’s career might go. They also help students learn important lessons. Johnny Mishu, a second-year student at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia shared the valuable lessons learned during a marketing internship at a technology company.


In a Forbes article, the young student’s professor, Kimberly Whitler, who conducts research that focuses on helping the C-suite better understand, develop, and lead marketing excellence, shared Johnny Mishu’s internship experience. The student described seven lessons that he learned during the marketing internship.

Sales is important: The sales and the marketing team need to work as partners to develop the growth strategies and execute them. Without a strong working relationship, there is an increased risk of a breakdown in company strategy and sales communication and implementation.

Change how to think about networking: He realised that to connect with people at the company or have them help him with his summer intern project, he needed to emphasize how the interaction would help them, create value for them.

There is no tried and true internship timeline: He learned that the only timeline he needed to worry was his project deadline and not some prescribed intern timeline.

What big data is not: The important skill was not mastering each of the data sources, but being able to find the right data and “translate” this in a way so that others can understand the relevancy as well.

Remember the goal: Which is an offer from the employer!

Internship project does not equal full time role: The internship is a taste of the industry, work environment, teams, manager, and life but the internship project doesn’t necessarily mirror a later full-time job.

  • Final presentation feedback is good…to an extent: According to Mishu it was best to seek feedback from people he had grown to trust and who were primary stakeholders in his presentation as other voices proved not beneficial for him.