Many marketing managers and ad agencies recruit interns from either local schools or, at the most, colleges and universities throughout the United States. I am here to tell you that it is worth the extra effort and time to bring an intern from Europe. The screening/interview process is obviously a bit different, since a face-to-face conversation is out of the question. But a lot can be ascertained from a lengthy telephone call or Skype conversation.
For starters, most European Union internship students are a year or two older than their American counterparts, as they tend to complete internships in the last year of undergraduate studies. At this stage of development, that can be a big two years. Most European students are able to hold longer internships than American students; the average European Union student stays for about five months and works full time, while the average American student is in Los Angeles for less than four and often works part time.
EU students bring a global perspective to the agency, having been exposed to many cultures, languages and customs. In fact, all of our international interns have had an excellent command of the English language. (Though all of them, most modestly, thought that their language skills were lacking.) Another big plus is that everyone on staff benefits from the exposure to European progressiveness in general and more specifically towards advertising. We all know how restrained and constricted the United States’ commercials tend to be.
(Here I will put in a big tip of the hat to the German-speaking students. Their track record year after year has risen above that of their fellow EU countrymen.)
The process is not without its roadblocks. There are multiple forms to deal with from multiple countries. It is worth it; many of The Miller Group’s best interns have come from Europe. In fact, The Miller Group has had the envious dilemma of having too many European candidates applying for internships.
We usually average three to six interns per year. I think it is a huge benefit to be able to have a variety of backgrounds in the mix. It broadens the scope and horizons for the interns as well as us and, most importantly, our clients. Think of the confidence it takes to put yourself in a foreign environment, in a language and culture that is not your own. These young people really want to come to America and more specifically to Los Angeles and their dedication is palpable in our daily operations.
If anyone is interested in discussing any aspect of European interns further, please feel free to contact me at the agency. Needless to say, I am a huge advocate.