Study Finds That Internships May Be The Secret Behind The Most Successful Women In Marketing

Research conducted by Beyond Academy has found that over 16% of University of Leeds marketing alumni undertook internships at some point in their career – and that it appears to place a rocket booster under their career after graduation, especially for women.

Drawing on LinkedIn data, we sampled 61,000 of the University of Leeds alumni currently working in marketing to discover just how quickly an internship speeds up the average career. Comparing the 10,000 who had undertaken an internship to the remainder who had not, here’s what we found:

To reach management:
AVERAGE: 5.9 years without internship, 3.8 with an internship
MEN: 5 years without an internship, 3.3 with an internship
WOMEN: 6.7 years without internship, 4.2 with an internship

To reach director/CEO level:
AVERAGE: 10.1 years without internship, 7.4 with an internship
MEN: 8.6 years without an internship, 8 with an internship
WOMEN: 11.6 years without internship, 6.5 with an internship

This means that women graduates can almost halve the time it takes to reach director/CEO level, even outpacing men, by doing an internship. Men can reach CEO level 8% faster by undertaking an internship, but for women, the figure rises to a staggering 78%.
We spoke to Dr. Helen Hughes, Associate Professor at the University of Leeds Business School and Academic Lead for Internships. While she acknowledged that further research must be done to understand the nuances and complexities of the benefit of internships, she said:

“There is no doubt that internships offer tremendous value to students. Every year, returning students report a wide range of benefits to completing an internship – they come back with increased confidence and focus, and undoubtedly develop skills and competencies that are hard to refine or simulate in a purely academic setting.”

For more information, you can find the full report here.

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