In partnership with the San Diego Housing Commission and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Mixte kicked off the Bridges to Career Opportunities initiative — a career pathway program offering job training in our field of digital marketing and public relations. The program consisted of a 36-week Digital Media certificate program with the San Diego College of Continuing Education (SDCCE) as well as a month-long paid internship through Mixte’s Tracks Apprenticeship.
Career Pathway Program
The career pathway program recruited clients from the San Diego Housing Commission who were recipients of housing vouchers. They each brought a different set of skills or passions, with a common goal of wanting to pursue a career in digital marketing or communications. The Digital Media certificate course allowed students to try out a variety of skills like creating motion graphics, learning visual design and understanding web design and content management. For Tracks internship portion, Mixte worked with one-two interns per month to show them the ins and outs of our industry, and offer hands-on experience working in our field.
During the internship, each week focused on teaching a different skill resulting in the creation of a blog for Mixte’s website. Interns were given a specific Mixte case study relating to projects we worked on with clients, and we tasked them to turn it into a fun story to read.
- Week 1 – Information gathering and interview best practices: During this first week, we provided resources on what makes good writing and a good blog post. Interns researched their designated topic and also conducted interviews with Mixte team members to gain more insight to help them draft their blog posts.
- Week 2 – Blog drafting: For the second week of the internship, interns began the blog drafting process, step by step. Beginning with our creative brief, interns broke down the purpose of their blog and the resources needed to draft it. Then, they created their outline to map out each paragraph of their post. Finally, interns created first drafts of their blog posts.
- Week 3 – Blog editing and promotion: In their third week, interns went through our editing process and incorporated feedback from Mixte teammates. They also learned how to create social media posts to promote their blog.
- Week 4 – Reviewing analytics and reflecting on internship experience: During the final week of the internship, interns learned about analytics and how they can be used to measure success of blog posts. Interns also reflected on what they learned and how the internship experience was for them overall.
What we learned
- Be flexible: Through this program, we have worked with single parents and people working multiple jobs. Because of this, we wanted to accommodate changing schedules and any arising needs.
- Teaching isn’t one size fits all: While the general structure of our internship remained the same, we quickly learned we needed to take an individualized approach to teaching each intern. We adjusted how long to spend on each section of the internship based on the needs and interests of each intern.
- Many people can be successful in our field — with the right support: Our industry tends to be fairly homogenous. The same kind of people excel in it, and they tend to hire the same kind of people. Especially in agency hiring, it’s common to expect agency experience in order to apply. Through our partnership job training program, we took time and interest to help all types of candidates learn the skills to excel in communications. And guess what, they did! It just takes time, mentorship, trust and respect.
Participants in the program enjoyed learning about a PR process that emphasized diversity, care and compassion above all else. When asked about their experience, two interns who participated shared the following:
“The Digital Media internship experience has enriched my confidence and allowed me to obtain work experience in a field I am passionate about.”
– Charles Cazier
“My participation in the internship phase [of the Digital Media program] has increased my desire to pursue a career in digital marketing and continue to push the importance of diversity in the field.”
– Maijii Serles
Have an idea for a similar partnership to help diversify our industry? Reach out to us.