By: Katie Ragan
Bringing different perspectives into the workplace helps broaden our understanding, both of our community and in what we do. It helps us level up and grow in how we service our clients. At Crux, we look at our internships as a way to gain perspective and provide students in our community an insight into Door #3.
There is only so much that can be learned through textbooks and seminars. The best teacher is real-world experience – so we ensure our interns receive a lot of it. Crux intern-turned-full-time-graphic-designer Cody Carnes explains his experience:
“The people around me treated me like I was an equal member of the team from day one. I had this idea in my head that with the title of ‘intern’ my ideas and suggestions wouldn’t be heard, but instead it was the opposite. The training and real-world experience allowed me to learn more in a few months than I would in four years of sitting in a classroom.”
Our team and clients benefit from the interns’ unique perspectives. They bring fresh ideas, approach challenges from new angles, are savvy with social media trends, and their eagerness and desire to learn inspires us. We immerse them into our full-service, outsourced model, teaching them a little bit of everything we do:
- Marketing Strategy
- Content Strategy
- Brand Identity & Messaging
- SEO, SEM & Lead Generation
- PR Pitches & Opportunities, Crisis Communications
- Website Updates
- Marketing & Sales Collateral
- Blog & Social Content / Campaigns
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Management
“I valued … working on hands-on research projects and the opportunity and trust to work with some of our clients directly to present my findings,” said summer 2022 intern Joe Harris. We work hard to ignite our interns’ innate passions by introducing them to each service line, gauging their interests and tailoring the program to the skills and deliverables they get excited about.
Digital Marketing Analyst (and former intern) Rachel Wurzer, describes:
“As a full-service marketing solution, Crux gave me the ability to work closely with a strong team of individuals who are truly experts in their own field. As a young professional, it’s invaluable to see the full scope and range of deliverables, and the processes behind them, as I’m building my own personal acumen.”
Valued Team Members and Future Ambassadors
A well-rounded internship experience creates a win-win-win for the organization, interns and our clients. We don’t ask our interns to do busy work, we integrate them into our teams, creating a feeling of belonging and value for all. By the end of the summer when our interns head back to school, we often find ourselves missing the enthusiasm, insight and dedication they bring to our team and clients. Not to worry though—we always keep in touch!
This year we welcomed seven college interns (and two high school interns!) from across the metro to the Crux family. Each internship starts with onboarding, giving them the exact same experience as we would a full-time employee: Pairing them with a buddy, providing them one-on-one time with each of our service lines, and giving them the opportunity to explore all the real nooks and crannies of our “Un-Agency” model.
Intern Jolie Barnhart explains the impact of her experience this summer:
“I am forever grateful for the experience and knowledge I was given. Crux has an incredible team that was willing to help with any question and include the interns in their projects. Having hands-on experience with marketing research, blog writing, rebranding, logo design, and much more will improve my educational and professional work.”
Home-grown Talent Pipeline
We believe a well-designed and implemented internship program can provide us with a talent pipeline of future team members as well as ambassadors within the Kansas City community, strengthening our employer brand and broadening our offering with a wealth of rockstar talent. We’re committed to giving interns an incredible learning experience they continue to think about long after they leave. So far, we’ve been able to transition three incredible interns to full-time employees, and we hope to hire many more.
In addition to sourcing our own interns this year, we engaged The Brand Lab for two college interns to round out this summer’s class. The Brand Lab works to change the face and voice of the marketing industry through exposure, access, opportunity and equity, and we’ve worked to deepen our relationship with TBL through Fearless workshops with our team on DE&I topics to help further their mission.
We’re also working to strengthen our relationship with Crux for a Cause recipient, People of All Colors Succeed (POAC), by taking on a high school intern this fall through the organization’s Real-World Learning program. We hope that by mentoring students and introducing them to marketing as a career, these students will diversify Kansas City’s marketing community and return to Crux for a career in marketing.
What We Learned
Most summers we learn just as much from our interns as they learn from us. Below are a few takeaways from this year’s class of young professionals:
- TikTok is fun! Our interns researched and pitched our leadership team on why we need aTikTok, and then theystoryboarded and filmed videos to help us our very own #CruxTok channel (check us out at @cruxkansascity).
- Giving back is key! We took our interns on field trips to see how what we do supports our local community, including a trip to Connectivities, which sells subscription boxes offer monthly activities designed to drive engagement for people living with dementia and their caregivers, sparking purposeful and personal interactions
- Interns helping interns just works! A group of our interns worked with Dialectic interns to create an entire campaign (blogs, website, video) about their internship experience.