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MKTG 494
Marketing Internship Guidelines and Syllabus


The purpose of an internship or experiential learning experience is to enable College of Business students to gain valuable work experience within the business environment. This experience is designed to complement the course work taken so that your business education experience is enhanced. Experiential learning is an educational plan that integrates classroom study with practical work experience. It is intended to contribute meaningfully to your over-all preparation by providing an opportunity for the practical application of skills and concepts learned in classes. An internship is much more than a job; it is a course which offers you an individualized educational experience through the study of a structured employment situation. The credit is for the learning - not the work experience.

In order to successfully complete the objectives of the internship and gain the most from it, the following guidelines have been established:

  • The minimum number of on-the job hours for successful completion of the internship is 250.
  • The internship may be paid or unpaid.
  • In order to enroll for internship credit, you must be working in a full- or part-time position which has been approved in advance by the Internship Coordinator. You must also provide a job description to the Internship Coordinator.
  • You must enroll in MKTG 494 for credit during the six week summer term during which credit is granted. Note: you will have to pay tuition for this course.
  • You must be in good academic standing with the university to enroll for credit. You must have completed MKTG 380-Principles of Marketing or COB 300, and maintain a minimum overall cumulative GPA of 2.70 or higher when you register.

The Internship will offer the student the opportunity to:

  • Get practical experience within the business environment.
  • Gain a more complete understanding of various marketing management functions through the development of marketing audit study.
  • Develop the ability to analyze and propose solutions to business problems.
  • Develop a greater understanding about career options while more clearly defining personal career goals.
  • More fully understand the activities and functions of marketing professionals.
  • Develop and refine oral and written communication skills.


Each student must:

  • Register for MKTG 494 during the six week summer session
  • Work at least 250 hours over the course of the internship
  • Complete a final report (see below for extensive details)
  • Have your supervisor mail a performance evaluation to your faculty advisor
  • Communicate with your faculty advisor during your internship via e-mail or Blackboard
  • Have an exit interview with your faculty advisor
  • Have employer complete the online survey

Course Policies

  • The final report is due on the date specified by the faculty advisor. Reports which are submitted after the due dates will be reduced in value by one letter grade (10%) for each day they are late.
  • The James Madison University Honor Code will be in force in the course.
  • Note: You will receive an I as your initial grade because you will not finish course requirements during the summer session. Final grades will be assigned and your incomplete removed before the university deadline.

Final grades will be determined after successfully completing your internship, submitting a final report, and participating in an exit interview with your advisor.

Grades will be determine by the following weights:

3 Progress Reports 25%
Employer Evaluation 25%
Exit Interview 15%
Final Report 35%

The Final Report is due on the date listed on the important calendar page of this web site. Turn the report in to your faculty advisor. A penalty of 10% per day will be imposed on any assignments turned in late. The final report shall consist of four (4) sections which are explained and outlined on the following pages:

  • Company Description
  • Job Description
  • Marketing Audit (Complete 4 out of the 6 sections of the audit. Further information will be provided later in the syllabus.)
  • Personal assessment of your job performance

The final report should be presented in a professional business report. The following guidelines apply to the final report:

  • All pages must be computer generated and submitted on 8.5 x 11" paper.
  • All pages should be consecutively numbered and the report should contain a table of contents.
  • All sections and sub-sections should be clearly marked with headings.
  • All supporting material should be placed in an appendix. These appendices must be clearly labeled and the information in each appendix should be referenced within the body of the final report.
  • A bibliography should be included listing all information sources consulted, including individuals with whom you have spoken or interviewed.

The expectations for each section of the final report are outlined on the pages which follow. But please remember these are guidelines. You may need to adapt them to your internship.

Company Description. A brief description (1 page) of the company for which you are working. This should include the nature of the products and services offered and a profile of the customers who use them. You may also provide brochures or collateral material that further describes the company.

Job Description. The job description should be written in third person as if you, acting as a manager, were writing it for a new employee/associate. It should be written in outline form, except for the job summary section. Headings should be used to identify each of the job description sections. A suggested outline for the job description is listed below:

  • Job title and place of employment.
  • Job summary -- narrative summary of the activities of the position.
  • Qualifications -- education and experience required and/or desirable.
  • Working conditions -- uniform requirements, physical surroundings, working days, hours, etc.
  • Salary and benefits.
  • Job relationships -- to whom is the individual responsible and for whom is the individual responsible.

Specific duties and responsibilities -- a list should be provided to indicate all duties performed by the individual in this position.

A Marketing Audit of the Company - Introduction to the Marketing Audit:
The purpose of this section of the final report is to provide an overview of the individual department as well as the entire company. You will be expected to conduct personal interviews with selected managers and to complete company research to complete this section of the report. The topics that the marketing audit addresses are shown on the following pages. You can add to these suggested topics all relevant aspects of the firm's marketing activities. It is impossible to develop a list of audit questions which is totally applicable for all organizations. Please use the sections and questions as a guide, not an absolute mandate. In every organization, information in some sections will be readily available, and other sections will be more difficult to complete. Simply do the best that you can and use your best judgment. If you have specific questions, please direct them to your faculty contact.

When completing the marketing audit portion of the final report, you will not be expected to complete the entire audit. You must complete four of the six sections outlined on the following pages. You must complete Section A-The Marketing Environment and Section F-Review of Marketing Functional Areas. Of the remaining four sections, you are to complete two sections. You may select any two sections from sections B-E.

As you develop the marketing audit, your assignment is to provide a summary of what you have found and to organize your findings into a report which is clear, concise and organized and presented in a business report format. Do not simply provide a listing of answers to the questions contained in the audit. Rather, under each separate heading and sub-heading, you are to summarize your findings to the entire list of questions for that particular section. The keys to completing an excellent marketing audit are:

  • the thoroughness of your research and information presented, and
  • your organization of the information into a format which can be readily understood by those who read and review it.

One of the benefits of completing the marketing audit as a part of your internship is that it can be directly related to several courses within the marketing curriculum. Prior experience with a marketing audit will be especially beneficial when you enroll in MKTG 485 - Marketing Management, the capstone course in the marketing program.

A. The Marketing Environment (4-6 pages)

The Macroenvironment

  • What does the company expect in the way of inflation, material shortages, unemployment, and credit availability in the short run, intermediate run, and long run?
  • What effect will forecasted trends in the size, age distribution, and regional distribution of population have on the business?
  • What major changes are occurring in product and/or process technology? What are the major generic substitutes that might replace this product?
  • What laws or regulations are being proposed that may affect marketing strategy and tactics? What is happening with pollution control, equal employment opportunity, product safety, advertising, price control, etc. that is relevant to marketing planning?
  • What changes in consumer lifestyles and values have a bearing on the company's target markets and marketing methods?

Task Environment

  • What is happening to market size, growth, geographical distribution, and profits? What are the major market segments and their expected rates of growth?
  • How do current customers and prospects rate the company and its competitors on reputation, product quality, service, sales force, and price?
  • How do different classes of customers make their buying decisions? What evolving needs and satisfactions are the buyers in this market seeking?
  • Who are the major competitors? What are the objectives and strategy of each major competitor? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What are the sizes and trends in market shares?
  • What are the main trade channels bringing products to customers? What are the growth potentials of the different trade channels?
  • What trends are occurring among the firm's suppliers in their dealings with the company?
  • What is the outlook for the cost and availability of transportation services and warehousing facilities? What trends are occurring in advertising agency services that will affect company relationships? How effective are existing advertising efforts?
  • How is the company effectively dealing with publics?

B. Marketing Strategy Review (1-3 pages)

  • Are the corporate objectives and mission clearly stated? Do they lead logically to the marketing objectives?
  • Are the marketing objectives stated clearly enough to guide marketing planning and subsequent performance measurement? Are the marketing objectives appropriate, given the company's competitive position, resources, and opportunities? Is the appropriate strategic objective to build, hold, harvest, or terminate this business?
  • What is the core marketing strategy for achieving the objectives? Is it sound?
  • How are marketing resources allocated to product, service, sales force, advertising, promotion, and distribution functions?

C. Review of Organization and Management Structure (2-3 pages)

  • Review the owners of the organization and parent organization.
  • Review the organizational structure of the parent company, the local organization, and the department where you are assigned. Show organizational charts where possible.
  • How are marketing responsibilities structured - along functional, product, end user, or territorial lines?
  • Compare the formal and informal lines of communication. How would they compare with other organizations you have worked?
  • Are there good communication and working relations between various departments, e.g. sales and marketing, or engineering and marketing? Are there any problems between marketing and manufacturing. R&D, purchasing, finance, accounting, and legal that need attention?
  • Is the product-management system or other product-market structures in use working effectively? Are the product managers able to plan profits or only sales volume?
  • Are there any groups in marketing that need more training, motivation, supervision, or evaluation?
  • Would you describe the work environment as pleasant, tough, neutral or threatening?
  • Do others make suggestions to their supervisors? In what capacity?
  • Do you see any personnel problems in the work environment; if so, explain.

D. Review of Marketing Systems and Operations (2-3 pages)

  • Is the marketing intelligence system producing accurate, sufficient, and timely information about developments in the marketplace?
  • Is marketing research being adequately used by company decision makers?
  • Are sales forecasting and market-potential measurement soundly carried out?
  • Are sales quotas set on a proper basis?
  • Are the control procedures (monthly, quarterly, etc.) adequate to ensure that the annual-plan objectives are being achieved?
  • Is provision made to examine and validate periodically various marketing costs? How are budgets determined? Who is involved in the planning?
  • Is the company well organized to gather, generate, and screen new product ideas?
  • Does the company do adequate concept research and business analysis before investing heavily in a new idea?
  • Does the company carry out adequate product and market testing before launching a new product?

E. Productivity Analysis (1-2 pages)

  • What is the profitability of the company's different products, served markets, territories, and channels of distribution?
  • What are the budgeted amounts/percentages for each of major expense categories? Do any marketing activities seem to have excessive costs? Are these costs valid? Can cost-reducing steps be taken?

F. Review of Marketing Functional Areas (3-6 pages)


  • What are the product line objectives? Are these objectives sound? Is the current product line meeting these objectives?
  • Are there particular products that should be phased out? Are there new products that are worth adding?
  • Are any products able to benefit from quality, feature, or style improvements?


  • What are the pricing objectives, policies, strategies, and procedures? Are prices set on sound cost, demand, and competitive criteria?
  • Does the company use price promotions effectively?


  • What are the distribution objectives and strategies?
  • Is there adequate market coverage and service?
  • How effective are the following channel members: distributors, manufacturers' reps, brokers, agents, etc.?

Advertising, sales promotion, and publicity

  • What are the organization's advertising objectives? Are they sound?
  • Is the right amount being spent on advertising? How is the budget determined?
  • Are the ad themes and copy effective? What do customers and the public think about the advertising?
  • Are the advertising media well chosen?
  • Is the sales promotion budget adequate? Is there effective and sufficient use of sales promotion tools, such as samples, coupons, displays, and sales contests?
  • Is the publicity adequate? Is the public relations staff competent and creative?

Sales force

  • What are the organization's sales force objectives?
  • Is the sales force large enough to accomplish the company's objectives?
  • Is the sales force organized along the proper principle(s) of specialization (territory, market, product)? Are there enough (or too many) sales managers to guide the field sales reps?
  • Does the sales compensation level and structure provide adequate incentive and reward?
  • Does the sales force show high morale, ability, and effort?
  • Are the procedures adequate for setting quotas and evaluating performance?
  • How does the company's sales force compare to the sales forces of competitors

Personal Assessment. Students completing internships in prior semesters have indicated that this section of the final report was the most beneficial. It offers the opportunity to reflect on the entire internship experience and think about both the positive and negative aspects of your internship. The page limit for this section of the final report is 6 pages. This section should address the following questions and issues:

  • To what extent have you learned new disciplines for learning and managing your time?
  • Have your career goals been reinforced or have you decided to alter your original goals?
  • What new skills have you acquired and what present skills have been reinforced? Consider the full range of skills: leadership; technical; communication; artistic; social; political and others?
  • What specific techniques from the textbook have you learned which will improve your interpersonal skills? How will these improve your ability to be a successful manager?
  • How could your internship experience have been more beneficial? What were the most positive and negative aspects of your experience?
  • What suggestions would you make for improving this internship experience?

The exit interview is an opportunity for you and your faculty contact to talk about your entire internship experience. The format of the interview is open, the approach friendly and relaxed. The main goal of this discussion is to talk about your experiences within the organization. Interviews begin during the later part of May and may be scheduled by calling your faculty sponsor.

At the conclusion of the course, your faculty advisor will email an online survey using Qualtrics to your internship manager.  This completed survey is a REQUIREMENT for the course.  Therefore, it is your responsibility to follow up with your manager and make sure that the survey is completed by the due date set forth by your faculty advisor.  This evaluation is 1/4 of your grade, so be sure to inform your internship manager about the importance of this survey.  Failure to receive a completed survey could have a major impact on your grade.  A reduction of 10%, or one letter grade, will be deducted from the total grade for this assignment for each day the completed survey is late.  The final exit interview, conducted either face-to-face or via skype (or facetime) will address your internship manager's performance evaluation.  

Please contact the internship faculty advisor, if you have questions:

    Dr. Kyle Huggins
    Assistant Professor of Marketing
    Office: 531 Zane Showker Hall
    Email: hugginka@jmu.edu
    Phone: 540-568-6817

For additional information, visit JMU's Job and Internship Website and the Job and Internship Search Process.

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