A group of Newton College and Career Academy students are now business professionals at a marketing firm.
Marketing Media Management of Louisville, Ky., launched the Home Grown Digital Internship program in collaboration with the Newton County College & Career Academy, the Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce, the Newton County Visitors Bureau and The Newton Center.
Sheryl Connelly, CEO of Marketing Media Management, said that Home Grown Digital will provide work-based learning opportunities for students who are interested in online, digital or social media marketing careers. The program kicked off Nov. 21 with an orientation for students at the Newton County Visitors Center.
Nine NCCA students, now "associates," are working with Marketing Media Management employees via an on-campus business incubator. They perform virtual work through mobile office technologies and other cloud-based technology.
"We have been using our college internship program as a recruitment tool quite successfully in Louisville," said Connelly. "After meeting with the teachers and administrators of Newton County Career Academy, then interviewing the candidates, we were blown away by the level of education and maturity of the students. We have no doubt that this first intern cohort will serve as both a benchmark and case study of innovative educational programs.
"We are thrilled to have the support of the local business community," Connelly said. "If the Home Grown Digital Internship program is successful, it could mean new job creation for Newton County citizens seeking employment in the digital media industry."
During the orientation, students went through training and received their initial assignments from Marketing Media Management.
Jenny McDonald, marketing director for the Newton County Tourism and Visitors Bureau, chamber president Hunter Hall and James Johnson, chamber director of existing industry and workforce development, told the students about ongoing efforts to promote business and tourism in Covington and Newton County.
Video clips of movies filmed in Covington were shown as McDonald explained the "branding" of Covington/Newton County via the "Hollywood of the South, the rest is history" campaign.
"Investing in today’s youth for tomorrow’s workforce is our mission," said Johnson. "This new internship program clearly adds value to our strategic partnership with Newton County College & Career Academy and is an example of how entrepreneurs can help build a digitally focused workforce in Newton County."
Sheryl and Terry Boddie, with Marketing Media Management, explained the internship program to students, noting that the cohort wasn’t an ordinary internship, but an opportunity for students to learn and grow in their education and/or career.
Students will be working with real-time clients in Newton County, helping to market their ideas, they said.
"We couldn’t be happier and more thrilled that you all are here," Terry Boddie said. "The minute you guys took that acceptance letter, you were no longer associates at the NCCA … You are interns and you are your own firm. You are your own agency; you are now professionals.
"You are going to be doing the work that our staff in Louisville is doing as well."
Terry said the Home Grown Digital internship, which grew out of research by Marketing Media Management, is the first internship program of its kind in the nation for high school students.