After a less-than-perfect summer job last year, I was determined to secure the mother of all internships for the summer of 2013. I began the hunt early and ended up on goabroad.com, a website that allows you to search for internships based on country. I, still traumatized by my last job, decided that fleeing the country was the only logical solution.
As I was scrolling through the list of countries with available internships, I saw “Iceland.” Perhaps because it sounded cool (literally), or maybe because I had completely forgotten Iceland was a country and wanted to give it a little love, I selected Iceland and clicked Search.
There was only one internship available in the entire country (go figure—Iceland’s population is about the same as that of my dainty Midwestern hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota): marketing intern at Arctic Adventures, an adventure tourism company based in Reykjavík, Iceland’s capital. I thought this was hilarious (both the fact that there was only one internship in a country and that I could count the country’s population on one hand), and spent the next few days joking about this bizarre internship I had found. But then the joke was on me, because I decided to apply.
And that’s how I landed what turned out to be my dream internship. Arctic Adventures offers a variety of tours ranging from easy day trips to challenging multi-day treks through Iceland’s wilderness, and is continuing to expand their name and network every day. As a marketing intern, it was my job to help develop marketing strategies to further publicize the company.
My main duty as a marketing intern was to launch and write for the company’s new blog. I was able to participate in many of the company’s tours and several impromptu adventures with guides and staff members as “research” for blog content. Over the course of the summer, the blog went from nonexistent to an up-and-running site featuring creative (I’d like to think) tour reviews, profiles of Arctic Adventures’ employees, and various articles about Iceland in general. I was also able to create my own blog as a supplement to the company’s blog, which is used to promote Arctic Adventures’ tours and provide bits of information about traveling in Iceland and abroad.
Beyond blogging, I was able to participate in Arctic Adventures’ marketing photo shoots: caving, snorkeling, river rafting, and glacier hiking photo shoots to generate new photographs for Arctic Adventures’ website, advertisements, and brochures. My boss told me that I can now add “Model” to my résumé, but I remain unconvinced. In addition, I helped manage social media websites to market the company through a variety of online sources.
Throughout the summer, I was able to explore Iceland’s small but lively cities and indescribable wilderness, escaping relatively unscathed with only a few glacier-induced lacerations. Overall, the internship was a spectacular adventure that not only taught me what it takes to market a brand, but also how to live in a foreign country and how to appreciate the outdoors and the healthy risks nature has to offer.
Kathleen Ferraro, a rising junior, is a marketing intern at Arctic Adventures. Though she is a marketing intern, her studies are completely unrelated with a double major in Anthropology, International Studies, and a minor in Global Health Studies.
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Views from the Cube offers an inside look at what it means to be an intern from Northwestern students who are interning across the country and internationally for companies and organizations in all industries. Would you like to share your experience? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.