By Mackenzie Burckbuchler
Throughout Vanderbilt’s Master of Marketing program, students learn about the various aspects of the marketing landscape, how to build marketing strategies, and how to solve marketing problems. To augment their learning in the classroom, many students decide to pursue internships in areas of interest, which allows them to apply their knowledge and gain practical experience. Below, 4 current Master of Marketing students reflect on their internships, what they have learned, and how this will help them excel in the future.
Steven Nicodemo, Marketing/Brand Representative Intern, Brown Water Spirits – O.H. Ingram River Aged Whiskey
My interests going into the program lay in the spirits industry (whiskey in particular). As such, I focused my efforts on obtaining an internship that would give me a foothold into the alcohol space and gain a deeper understanding of the companies and brands in the whiskey market. During BrandWeek, I was able to connect with Hank Ingram (MBA’16) and his emerging brand: O.H. Ingram River Aged Whiskey. I then received an offer to intern with his team as the brand’s de-facto marketer.
My role with the company included representing the Ingram brand with the Strategy Consultant Group (our consulting agency), working on PR items from social media to P.O.S. displays at retail locations. I facilitated outreach to representatives, media, and on/off-premise accounts which enabled the brand to strategically target the spaces we felt would give us the most marketing traction. I maintained the brand’s relationships with Lipman Brothers LLC, our Nashville distributor. I engaged in sales and operations activities, including visiting accounts and running tastings, as well as assisting with barrel loading, whiskey sampling, and blending. In addition, I contributed to the marketing and promotion of our recent product expansions into the Minnesota and New Orleans markets. Through the resources given to me at Vanderbilt, I was able to gain an in-depth experience with the Ingram brand and Brown Water Spirits that would not have been possible at a larger company with a more traditional internship role. I hope to work with the company full-time following graduation and continue to grow O.H. Ingram in the bourbon whiskey space!
Sam Budd, Digital Marketing Intern, Scott Brothers Global
I came on as a Digital Marketing Intern at Scott Brothers Global in July 2021 just before the program started and remained on part-time throughout the school year. SBG was started by the stars of the Emmy-nominated HGTV show Property Brothers, Drew and Jonathan Scott. The company supports the brothers’ personal celebrity brands, as well as their furniture and homedécor brands Drew + Jonathan Home and Scott Living. It is a small company, so I’ve been fortunate enough to work on a broad scope of projects within digital marketing, including web, email, SEO, social media, and influencer marketing. I expressed interest in social media early on in my internship and was given the opportunity to take on more ownership in that area. I’m now responsible for content ideation, managing content calendars, scheduling posts, and community engagement for the @drewandjonathan and @revealmag accounts. Overall, it’s been extremely rewarding to be able to apply the theories and frameworks I’ve learned from my MMark coursework directly to my internship on a daily basis.
Abbey Rank, Marketing & Data Analytics Intern, MP&F Strategic Communications
Prior to attending Vanderbilt’s MMark program, I studied Neuroscience at the University of Texas at Austin. I loved learning about human behavior and psychology. In the program, I sought to expand my skill set to include business principles and ultimately leverage my academic experiences into a career in consumer behavior.
As a marketing and data analytics intern at MP&F Strategic Communications, I work on a variety of projects, including advertising and marketing campaign analysis, dashboard construction, data visualization, and report building for clients. I work with smart, creative people who push me every day to expand my repertoire of quantitative and executive recommendation skills. This internship is unique, in that I have concrete responsibilities that directly benefit our clients; I am a valued member of the MP&F team and am given tasks that reflect their respect for me and the principles I learn in the MMark program. This internship confirmed my passion in data analysis and strategic consumer insights.
There were several classes that directly benefited me in my internship; namely, Statistics with Professor Escalas, Quantitative Analysis with Professor Salerno, and Pricing Strategies with Professor Escoe. For example, I pitched the idea during a staff meeting to run a large-scale regression to explore the strength of a relationship (if any) between variables affecting one of our largest clients. My supervisors were impressed with my initiative. I will soon be able to positively implement changes benefitting low-income individuals across the United States for our client.
Kate Albritton, Digital Marketing Specialist, Fourth Capital Bank
Coming into Vanderbilt, I knew I wanted to work toward a career as a marketer within the financial services industry. I accomplished this goal just a couple of weeks after beginning the MMark program by accepting a part-time offer as Digital Marketing Specialist at Fourth Capital Bank.
Fourth Capital is a privately and locally owned full-service community bank here in Nashville. When I started this role in August, I did not know the valuable impact it would have on not only my career but my studies. Due to the smaller nature of the company, I have been able to work closest with the company’s CEO and Vice President of Marketing and have been given opportunities and input that I would have otherwise never received until much later in my career. Work I have completed includes product and service launches, social media campaigns, digital advertising campaigns, various events for clients, and serving as a liaison between the agencies the bank works with to accomplish its full marketing mix.
I have had an incredible year working in this role alongside my studies at Vanderbilt, and it has been so rewarding to see material I am currently working on in the classroom be used. There have been days where I left a class and immediately brought an idea generated from a case study or a lecture to my boss at work, and we have put it to use at the bank. It has been immensely rewarding and is a constant reminder of the strength of education from the MMark program and Vanderbilt as a whole.
To learn more about Vanderbilt’s Master of Marketing program or how you can land your own marketing internship, click here.