Plus sand building, kite making and water wars on Saturday’s
VACorps International Marketing Internships in Cape Town
Find out why South Africa’s famous seaside metropolis makes for the ultimate internship destination for marketing majors and graduates
So you’re a marketing major or recent graduate with plans to take over the world one social media, market research or online viral video campaign at a time. Only much like Pinky and The Brain’s quest for global domination, you have one major problem: you’re not sure where to start.
Actually, scratch that – you do know where to start: a marketing internship. You just don’t know how to get started.
It goes without saying that traineeships and apprenticeships can offer a competitive edge in the job market and help you gain transferrable skills and valuable work experience, but it’s often difficult to land a position at an organisation that appeals to you (and in a city of your choice at that).
Enter VACorps, the South African-based internship organisation that specialises in connecting undergraduate students and graduates with customised internships and travel experiences in the best city in the world – Cape Town.
The Mother City, as it’s also known, is one of the most exciting places on the planet to do a marketing internship, and VACorps happens to be the kind of smooth operator that can facilitate everything from high-profile agency apprenticeships to niche NGO marketing roles.
Here’s a little bit more about what makes Cape Town such a savvy internship location and VACorps such a top internship partner.
WHY CAPE TOWN IS AN IDEAL MARKETING INTERNSHIP LOCATION
1. Cape Town’s a creative stronghold. Recently the holder of the World Design Capital title and home to a vibrant creative economy, the Mother City is the kind of place that challenges marketers to tap into their artistic prowess. So if this sort of thing appeals to you, you’ll actually get a legitimate opportunity to get the creative juices flowing and to interact with truly innovative minds.
2. Cape Town’s home to a ton of small- and medium-sized businesses that NEED marketing interns. So you’ll actually be valued, made part of the team and treated like a true staff member. In turn, this also means you’ll be shouldering real responsibilities and interacting with owners and managing directors. In short, don’t expect to be sitting in a cubicle doing the same three tasks 400 times a day. You could be dealing with budgets, overseeing campaigns from start to finish and even shaping policy.
3. Cape Town is an incredible travel destination. As a certain someone in a certain movie once said, “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” Cape Town is one of the world’s most incredible playgrounds, and when you’re not working (or even when you are), you’ll get the opportunity to explore it front to back and up and down.
4. Cape Town lends itself to the kind of international experience that inspires confidence and looks great on a résumé. An internship abroad adventure is exactly the type of experience that can set you apart from other entry-level job candidates, and chances are you’ll also gain the kind of confidence that can only come with truly existing on your own without your friends and family just a quick plane ride or drive away.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM VACORPS MARKETING INTERNSHIP IN CAPE TOWN?
VACorps prides itself on its ability to tailor internships to a candidate’s own interests and skills set – in a nutshell, no two internships are alike. Using résumés, answers to a short questionnaire and info gleaned from interviews, the team behind placement work hard to match potential interns with an agency or company that best suits their passion and know-how. Some of the placements of past have included:
- Internships at small to medium-sized marketing and advertising agencies that work directly with big South African and international brands
- Internships at online and digital marketing organisations that deal with social media marketing, graphic design, etc.
- Internships at companies and NGOs that need an in-house marketing intern to conceptualise and spearhead campaigns and grassroots movements
- Internships specifically requested by candidates: think roles at wine estates, surf companies and even pet food suppliers.
Furthermore, those who have participated in the VACorps program attest to the fact that most of the internships in Cape Town require interns to take a truly active, hands-on role. That means that instead of only doing grunt work, you’ll get a real opportunity to implement the skills learned in school and, in many cases, affect change.
VACorps organises internships throughout the year for any amount of time and can also facilitate internships that go toward course completion and college credit.
WHO QUALIFIES FOR A VACORPS MARKETING INTERNSHIP IN CAPE TOWN?
No experience in a marketing line of study is necessary; rather, VACorps weighs up a potential intern’s skill set and interests and then finds a match that mutually benefits both a candidate and a company’s needs.
That means that everyone from high school students still giddy from graduation to those pursuing a master’s degree in marketing qualify.
To make sure you get matched with an ideal organisation, just be sure to take time to carefully think about your passion and to fill out the VACorps questionnaire clearly and pointedly.
TESTIMONIALS FROM PREVIOUS VACORPS MARKETING INTERNS
“Pursuing a marketing internship at a surf school in Cape Town was just as cool as it sounds. When signing up, I envisioned working at the beach in summer time, surfing some waves on my break, immersing myself in diverse culture and doing hands on marketing work that’s vital for my career. Well, my dream came true and I made it happen with VACorps as my platform. They took my vision and ran with it. I remember Vanessa saying in one of the first emails something like, “I’ve never placed an intern in the surf industry before, but I’m up for the challenge.” My target market was tourists and surfer guys and gals - so much fun creating marketing ideas and implementing them for this group of people. My creative juices were flowing and I thrived in this environment because I was enthused about the company. Sharing the ‘stoke’ and teaching underprivileged children how to surf was an added bonus to my already epic job. It is bittersweet though, because it’s going to be really hard to top this in my future.”
- Lindsey Anderson from Arizona, USA (VACorps intern in 2013)
“In pursuit of adventure and an internship that would fulfil my graduation requirements, I stumbled upon the VACorps website by chance – and what a life-changing chance it was. They listened to exactly what I needed and worked with me on a close one-on-one basis, placing me at an experiential marketing company propelled by out-of-the-box ideas and infused with creative thinking. With the opportunity to contribute to marketing campaigns for clients such as Adidas and Mountain Dew, my internship went above and beyond the need to fulfil the requirement for my degree. Not only did I gain valuable career practice and receive credit for my major, I had the irreplaceable life experience of being immersed in a vibrant culture and embarking on exotic activities, such as scaling the cliffs of Table Mountain, hanging out with penguins and tasting amazing wine with friends I will keep for the rest of my life. Few places on Earth exist where I could spend the day preparing for events for some of South Africa’s leading brands, and then an hour later ascend the peak of Lion’s Head to watch the sun light up the African sky before sinking below the line of the ocean. Even a year after arriving back in my own country not a day goes by when I don’t reflect on my time in Cape Town, a city that still feels like home.”
-Elena Edington from Washington state, USA (VACorps intern in 2013)
Want to learn more about VACorps? Find out about the organisation and how to apply for an internship in Cape Town.
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