On the Job: Summer Interns at Barnes & Noble College

October 12, 2012


Summer Interns Tamara Vostok
Barnes & Noble College summer interns pose with Manager Tamara Vostok. From left to right: Grant Marcus, Chloe Leach, Matt Goldberg, Vostok, Maria Cafferata and Myles Marcus. Missing from the photograph is Stephen Brooks.


While some college students spend their summers serving as camp counselors, waiting tables, or scooping ice cream, some elect to jump into the business world with a summer corporate internship.

This summer, Barnes & Noble College employed a group of summer interns to work in consumer and corporate marketing. As a company that operates nearly 700 college campus stores nationwide, hiring college interns from the very campuses they serve is a perfect fit.

“This is my second year interning for Barnes & Noble College,” said Grant Marcus, a second-year Drexel University student double majoring in Marketing and Management Information Systems. “Last year I worked in the Consumer Marketing Department on social media.” Marcus, who works at the Barnes & Noble Drexel University Bookstore during the school year, enjoyed the pace and assignments. “This summer, I had the opportunity to work in Corporate Marketing where I worked on a variety of assignments – writing for the news site, cleaning up databases, and managing their trade show calendar.”

Real Work – Real Experience

Paid interns have a distinct advantage in the job market, according to results of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) 2012 Student Survey. The survey found that approximately 60 percent of 2012 college graduates who took part in paid internships received at least one job offer upon graduation. The study also found that paid interns spend more time than unpaid interns engaged in “real work,” and thus have the opportunity to gain more of the relevant work experience that employers value.

Penn State sophomore Chloe Leach interned in Consumer Marketing writing articles for the student-focused blog The College Juice, posting and monitoring status updates on multiple school Facebook pages and working on other social media projects.

“I’ve been involved with social media on a personal level for a while, so it was interesting to learn and gain experience with it in a professional capacity,” said Leach. “Social media has become such a powerful tool in communicating with my generation that it makes perfect sense for Barnes & Noble College to use it to connect with students.”

Students Connecting With Students

Barnes & Noble College summer internsCapturing the attention of college students requires a multi-faceted marketing campaign and a multi-targeted approach.

“They’re trendsetters, early adopters, and they’re building their brand loyalty and affinities now, but capturing their loyalty can be a challenge,” said Consumer and New Media Marketing Manager Tamara Vostok. “To build this type of marketing strategy, you need to understand students’ wants, needs and behaviors. Having current students from the very schools that we serve working with us this summer gave us tremendous insight.”

The socially savvy interns posted on over 375 campus bookstore fan pages and university fan pages, blogged an array of articles on topics ranging from how students can save money to learning good study habits, and answered hundreds of textbook questions from students who posted on their school’s bookstore Facebook pages.

“The interns did an amazing job of connecting with our students in a meaningful way,” said Vostok. “They helped to build a true dialogue between our students and their bookstores using the channels that resonate with them the most – Facebook, Twitter and blogging – and they also increased our blog traffic and ‘shares’ on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.”

A total of six college students interned at Barnes & Noble College’s home office in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, this summer. Other interns included sophomore Myles Marcus from Berklee College of Music, Hofstra University senior Matt Goldberg, junior Stephen Brooks from Syracuse University, and junior Maria Cafferata from Moravian College.

“This internship was great,” explained Cafferata. “I’ve worked in retail before, so it was fascinating to see the other side of it – the behind the scenes of how much work goes into operating campus stores and how Barnes & Noble connects with students – like me.”

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