Marketing Intern Q&A: Insights for Marketing to Generation Z

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Walk West

Internships at Walk West are the perfect opportunity for the next generation of marketers to gain industry exposure and practical experience. From participating in mock interviews to assisting with client projects, our interns are able to learn and grow in an innovative environment that introduces them to daily life in a digital marketing agency.

Marcus Pankey, a Charlotte native and rising sophomore at East Mecklenberg High School, interned with our marketing team for a week and was able to gain a hands-on perspective of what it’s like to work at Walk West. At the age of 15, Marcus is an accomplished student and is involved at his school as a member of its student congress, freshman board, National Jr. Honor Society, and track and wrestling teams, as well as being involved in a number of other organizations in his community.

During his week long internship, Marcus sat down with Walk West CEO Donald Thompson to answer some questions over a hot plate of chicken and waffles from local food staple, Dame’s Chicken and Waffles. What transpired was an insightful discussion from the perspective of a Generation Z teen that can provide insight into the mind of future generations to us as marketers and business leaders.

What are the social media platforms you use on a regular basis?

I find myself using Instagram and YouTube the most on a regular basis. It’s not a social media account, but I also love using Netflix in my spare time.

Do you think that Instagram ads are valuable based on your experience using the platform?

I don’t think that Instagram ads are very valuable because it’s really easy for myself and others to scroll past them and ignore them in my feed.

Has there ever been an ad cool enough for you to click on?

Not on Instagram, but I have seen some cool ads on YouTube. Some ads you can’t skip for 5 seconds, but if it looks interesting to me I’ll keep watching it to see what it’s about.

How would I sell to you online?

It’s hard to really speak to that because what I like changes so often.

How would you sell a product?

I would ask my friends to post on social media and help to spread the word about what I’m selling. Snapchat would be my platform of choice to use because you can send a message to a large group of your friends at once.

What’s a finsta?

A finsta is a second Instagram account that you have in addition to your main account, and to me it means posting whatever you like whenever you want to.

Why do you have 2 accounts?

I have 2 accounts because my main account functions as a highlight reel in that it shows off the best of me, but my finsta shows random things about me that I want to share. It gives me the flexibility and freedom to show another side of myself to my followers.

What are your favorite things to watch on YouTube?

My favorite people to watch on YouTube are the Ace Family and Alldef Digital.  Ace Family is one of my favorites because they promote positivity without any drama, and Alldef Digital is basically black BuzzFeed.

Who would you most like to have lunch with?

I would love to have lunch with Barack Obama and Diddy. I chose Obama because he is one of my biggest role models and Diddy because he has a mean sense of fashion. He’s also super cool too.

What are the greatest lessons you learned from your parents?

My mom taught me that challenges make you strong and stay positive, and my dad taught me the importance of sacrifice for the people you love.

Favorite book?

YouTube! Just kidding, it’s actually Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. I love it because it’s a great story of mentorship and friendship.

Favorite TV show?

I honestly don’t watch traditional TV, but I love watching YouTube.

What types of careers are you interested in?

Right now, I’m the most interested in a career in either medicine, advertising, or child advocacy for special needs children. I volunteer for special needs programs, and I really enjoy the work I get to do. Giving a sense of independence and hope to children with special needs is so important to me. I believe that we can all do great things, and I want to help provide support for people with special needs to assist them in making their dreams become reality.

We’d like to thank Marcus for spending a week of his summer with us and also for all of his hard work during his internship. Marcus, we wish you the best in your high school career and beyond!

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