Want to become a better marketer? Take a vacation.

Memorial Day unofficially kicks off the summer vacation season. But we Americans have a bit of complex about taking time off. Even though the average productivity of working Americans increased 400% since 1950, we tend to forego our vacation time. According to an Expedia study, while most Americans have 14 days of vacation, four days went unused on average in 2013—twice as many as the year before.


What’s Your Brand? 8 Questions with Personal Branding Expert Dorie Clark

Call it whatever you’d like: reputation, image, or personal brand. They all mean the same thing—they describe what you bring to the table professionally. Without that personal branding, you risk being just another face in the crowd, which is not a good position for anyone seeking advancement. Of course, there’s a fine line between polishing your image and shameless self-promotion.


It’s Not About Coffee Runs: Getting More from an Intern

“I’ll take a venti mocha cappuccino with whip, please.”

There are many companies out there today still using interns for coffee and lunch runs, and giving them mundane projects, like filing.

Top companies provide true responsibility, independence, mentors, creative thinking, with an opportunity to deliver real results. The best take it one step further and offer permanent employment opportunities to the rock star interns in an effort to improve the overall team talent and chemistry.

5 Steps to a Better Internship Experience

During my tenure in the human resources field, I’ve seen what I call “collegitis” in many applicants: job or compensation entitlement based on college education and degree. Students who work hard during college but get no professional experience along the way are most afflicted by this ailment. There is currently no cure; however, there is a treatment that will alleviate some of the pain. It’s called an internship.

Anyone who has attended college knows how hard it is to juggle a full class load and a job, which is why internships are more available during winter and summer breaks. There are even some internships that run in the evenings year-round to deliver the “real life” experience needed upon graduation.

There are all types of internships out there and I’ve heard some horror stories. Interns might have to make runs to the local coffee house. They might even experience the opposite end of the spectrum and get thrown into an advanced project where they have no idea what they’re doing. Either way, there are steps they can take to make the most of the opportunity.

Step 1: Start your research early

There are internships available even to freshmen. Make a decision of what field/industry you’d like to research and experience first. Really dig into the companies you think would be of value and send out request letters. Don’t expect to be paid, but that being said, you most likely will be. Employers are now required to offer minimum wage unless they have an in-depth internship program and a relationship with colleges for course credit (these are few and far between). Send your inquiry, even if the company is not advertising internships. You still may be considered.

Step 2: Select the right company for you

Many students will be lucky enough to have multiple options. Some questions to consider: is the position in line with your career choice? Does the company have a mentor to work with you? Does the company have resources? Is there potential for full-time work after graduation?

Step 3: Be flexible and adaptable

Once you’ve agreed to work for a company, remember no matter what the task, attitude is half the battle. The flexibility to run errands, complete remedial tasks, or offer insight on current projects will take you far. Don’t procrastinate, even on the most boring of requests. Get it done. A good intern goes the extra mile; they go above and beyond to do the best job possible, no matter the assignment.

Step 4: Don’t be afraid; be resourceful

No one knows everything. It’s every employee’s responsibility to find and complete training development activities. The most experienced employees are consistently learning and evolving. You’re in college and have little real world experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a solution on your own. As an employee, you have to learn how to accomplish tasks without your manager’s help. A good employee is resourceful, has the ability to find answers, and knows when to speak up. If you really can’t figure it out, don’t be afraid to ask for help, versus spending too much time on something and ultimately getting it wrong.

Step 5: Ask for more

When you complete a task, don’t sit back and wait for another project—ask for more. At the end of your internship, ask for recommendation letters to use as you seek future employment. Also, don’t wait to be asked back. Let the company know you’d like to work there after graduation. Companies can, and will, give letters of intent to their rock stars!

As my CEO says, “Never be satisfied.” Avoid “collegitis” with a preemptive strike. Consider internships as part of your college education, both from a learning and expense stand point. Successfully completing one will add to your résumé, your overall value and potential opportunities post-graduation.

Adknowledge Co-Hosts CMO Meetup Conference in Kansas City

Content marketing and branding discussions drew executives from around the region

KANSAS CITY, Mo. –May 7, 2014– Adknowledge partnered with Kauffman FastTrac and OpenAir Equity Partners to produce the third installment of the CMO MeetUp in Kansas City, Missouri today. Approximately 50 senior marketers from around the Kansas City area were at the Kauffman Foundation to hear from nationally recognized speakers Neil Patel and Dorie Clark.

Adknowledge Exec Teams with Kauffman Founders School

Marketing VP Anita Newton’s video series helps entrepreneurs thrive

KANSAS CITY, Mo. –May 1, 2014–  Starting today, entrepreneurs have a valuable, new resource to create and implement a growth strategy for their startups: a video series entitled “Entrepreneurial Marketing.” It comes courtesy of the Kauffman Foundation and Adknowledge VP of Marketing Anita Newton.