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August 24, 2008

INTERNesting …

Heidi Strand | Experience MattersThroughout the year, we seek interns to be a part of our fabulous little firm and provide them a truly unique experience. The job description even says “you will NOT be getting coffee – so don’t apply unless you can write and can critically think.” (I realize this is not standard job description protocol … but neither is Blue Door.)

OK … one of my few responsibilities in our office is to review these experience-seeking worker bees, interview them and hope they mesh with our fast-paced environment. We expect them to write – A LOT. We expect them to be creative, think on their feet and join the conversation. We hope they are fun and open minded!

I’m willing to admit that our firm’s expectations may be a tad bit high. Or, that our need is simply so great that we need an intern to hit the ground running because of how busy we are …

Unfortunately, I’m feeling let down. And I have to ask the question, “What are our educational institutions teaching these young marketing, journalism and business majors?”

Nearly 80% of those I interview can’t write well. Almost 90% have limited or no education on Web writing, online content development, online marketing or Web development.

Marketing has changed. David Meerman Scott’s book The New Rules of Marketing & PR spells out the facts nicely, so I won’t go into the details. Get it. Read it. It’s what we do.

For me … the bottom line is that our education system isn’t keeping up. If marketing has changed (a fact that many of our clients are struggling to understand as they look at us with those deer-in-the-headlight-eyes), and content is King in what truly is an online world, then it isn’t just those late-adopter marketers that are in trouble – it’s the next generation of graduates!