Yesterday, Red Door Interactive held an intern event. We have four paid internship openings for this summer, in four fields (marketing communications, email marketing, SEO and web/digital analytics.) The purpose of the event was two-fold:
1. Tell the interns a little bit about the different positions – What is web analytics? What is SEO? – and give them a chance to learn, ask questions, and figure out what they’re interested in.
2. Get to know the interns, to start the interview process.
When interns came to the event, they had previously applied and indicated which of the positions they thought they might be interested in. Not surprisingly, a large percentage were Marketing Communications – because who knows what web analytics or email marketing is if you don’t already work in the field?
What was amazing was how many spoke to me after the event or emailed to say, “I put down Marketing Communications, but now that I know more, Web Analytics sounds really interesting to me!” or furiously wrote down my web analytics book recommendations.
So here’s where I got to thinking. Those of us in the industry, especially those of us in a manager, director, VP level (etc), lament the lack of smart, qualified people, and how hard it is to hire. There are too many positions and not enough good people to fill them.
Well you know what? We need to do something about that.
So here’s what I am going to do. I am going to reach out to local universities and colleges, and see how I can start getting in front of students. I am going to tell them about our field, what we do, what the work is like, what a “day in the life” involves. Some students will shrug, but I guarantee that some students’ eyes will light up, just like they did yesterday.
We’re not going to encourage more smart young people into our field by hoping they stumble upon analytics. We’re not going to grow our industry by random chance. We need to go out and get them – and there’s no time like now.