Expert Advice for Interns: Jenn Hayman, Director of Marketing at Zingerman’s

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Jenn Hayman, Is the director of marketing for Zingerman’s Service Network, a shared service organization supporting the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses (ZCoB).  Zingerman’s is a family of twelve businesses located in the Ann Arbor area. Jenn’s team of designers, illustrators, developers, writers and thing-makers provide the marketing and merchandising needs of the wide range of Zingerman’s businesses, from websites to retail environments and everything in between.

Jenn was the keynote for the Center for Digital Engagement’s Digital Marketing Workshop in 2017, moderator of Accelerating the Sales Funnel, and CDE Summer Clinic Speaker Session. At this year’s Digital Marketing Workshop on November 16, Jenn will be a panelist for the session: Knowing Your Customer (room 310A from 9:10 to 10:30 AM).

As a Marketing Professional, What Characteristics Do You Look for in a Candidate?

Someone excited to share new ideas but knows that they don’t know everything already. As an intern or new employee, Jenn suggests being comfortable with grey areas, and motivated to grow and learn. Also, having “hustle” and a good sense of humor will not only help you get to where you want to go but will make sure you enjoy yourself on your way.

“I look for someone confident but not afraid to ask for help. Optimism is very important, too.”

How do you Suggest Interns Approach Others for Help and Ask Questions?

There should be a culture in place where asking questions is welcomed. “An employer shouldn’t expect an intern (or anyone, really) to have all the answers.” But before asking, the intern (or again, anyone really) should ideally try to figure something out by themselves, to navigate resources. “Taking notes and trying to create processes for themselves to get acclimated to the responsibilities of the internship is valuable.”

“At Zingerman’s, asking for help is a sign of strength. It’s a recognition that you value others’ expertise and won’t allow ego to get in the way of finding a solution.”

How do you suggest interns go above and beyond to leave a lasting impression?

Document all contributions! Showing an understanding of the goals set out in the internship and what you have done to meet those goals. “Journaling all the way through the internship is a great way to capture this!”

Provide an end-of-the-internship summary of what you learned. This could include mistakes made or problems encountered and what you learned from them. List your achievements and new skills you have developed.

Lastly, ask for feedback of your performance—this will not only show you value the work you did with your company but that you value your work. To Jenn, that shows that you are serious about advancing your future.

What aspect of your personality has most helped you succeed?

I suppose there are aspects of my personality that resonate better with some than others. I think it goes both ways—you have to find somewhere that allows you to be your whole self, not just an edited version for the workplace (though slightly curated, perhaps!). I personally enjoy casual environments. Not just in attire, but in attitude. I want to know about my co-workers’ families and what they did last weekend, to be able to laugh together, and laugh at ourselves. So I guess it has served me well to be authentic and not sell myself as something I’m not, and I’ve chosen to stay with organizations that are suited to that.

Personal Life: What are your favorite ways to spend downtime?

“Ah, downtime, that elusive set of hours in which we get ‘me’ time. There’s never enough of it, is there? I like to spend my time by reading, snuggling my dog (the sweetest and most adorable dog in the universe, if you must know), hanging out with my kids and husband (I like them, too), and exploring Ann Arbor’s and Detroit’s restaurants. I love to see live music, and would gladly teleport to a different country every weekend if it were an option.”

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