If you’re confused by the title of my post, it took me a couple minutes to figure out the clever phrase behind Philadelphia branding agency, Tag Strategies title as well. Remember the game we all used to play as kids? The one you could play with even two people? We used to tag each other and say, “You’re it!” Well Tag Strategies makes us feel nostalgic just in its name and has turned “you’re it” into a positive experience for their clients.

For the Fall 2014 semester this junior, Temple University advertising major (me!) has been given the opportunity to spend her second internship at Tag Strategies, located on the Avenue of the Arts in Philadelphia, as an Account Services intern. In other words, I’ve been tagged and this semester I’m it (for account services at least). This past summer I spent my very first internship at an agency of about 250+ employees, and this Fall 2014 semester I’ve decided to join an office of five, as well as a couple of other interns. It’s definitely a change of pace from what I’m used to, but it’s an experience nonetheless, and one that I am happy to be gaining.

At Tag Strategies, I’m getting an inside look at how a smaller, closer knit agency works. You may be wondering how five people is enough to run a successful branding agency, but Tag Strategies shows just how it’s possible. You know how when applying for an internship, all agencies are looking for “rock star” talent to join their team? Well Tag Strategies is no different in the way that they really only accept those who they think best fit the position. That’s why they have a team of specific capabilities that have gone through interviews on interviews, as well as a lunch with the team, to hold the positions they do today. Tag Strategies is the first agency I’ve experienced that goes through such an extensive process to make sure they truly have those that they perceive as the best for their agency. For the departments they do not have in the office, they rely on their partnerships with other specialty agencies.

This semester, I am part of Tag Strategies close knit team, working with account executives Renee Watson and Geoffrey Klein. With Renee, I work mostly with her client, Crossroads Hospice. Yes, you heard correctly, and no, it’s not at all what it seems like. Which is exactly what Renee and Tag President, Michelle Taglialatela try to portray through their marketing and branding efforts for Crossroads Hospice. Crossroads Hospice is a hospice care center with locations in various cities in the US. It’s not just that, though. Crossroads Hospice, with the help of Tag Strategies, looks to reinvent hospice by making it a positive experience, rather than just the end of the road for patients. They do so by offering more ways to spend time with patients, and ensure that patients’ last days are being spent exactly the way they want them to be, and should be. My last internship was spent in the creative healthcare advertising industry, which I absolutely loved because I knew the work going into the projects I was working on was actually helping people live healthier, more fulfilling lives. Sure, in the long run you’re looking to sell a product or service. But when it’s a product or service that can make the last days of someone’s life better than they could have imagined, it goes beyond that and sparks a personal interest in wanting to do work that helps people. I’m happy I’m able to work with this client, of all clients, with Renee. Especially because I can see that she’s grown so close with the client and so passionate about the cause. It’s always encouraging to see someone who loves the work they do, and who is always looking for new ways to further develop a brand.

Aside from working on Crossroads Hospice with Renee, I work with Geoffrey Klein on all things new business. That means doing research on potential clients in various industries to see who could benefit from the brand development that Tag Strategies offers. The research I do ranges from a business’ position in the market, to how many employees they have, to their social media presence. I actually enjoy doing this kind of work because it teaches me a thing or two about industries I will most likely experience throughout my time in the real world of advertising.

Well, there you have it, prospective interns, students thinking about attending Temple University for the awesome major that is advertising, and any advertising professionals looking to see how students benefit from the internships they pursue. This is just an overview of the agency behind the internship, and of the people I have the opportunity to work with this semester. I still have a lot to learn during the remaining time I have with Tag Strategies, and I’m looking forward to the knowledge to come. Learning does not stop in the classroom and through internships you learn just that, and then some.