December 2015

Learning Outside of the Classroom

During my time interning for the Temple Small Business Development Center, I learned a lot of valuable things about small businesses, marketing, advertising, and myself. To own and operate a small business takes a lot of hard work and determination. The two clients who I had the pleasure of working with both faced daily struggles. To be a small business owner you must be resilient. Sometimes you have to be able to drop everything, pick up again, and start a whole new marketing plan in the blink of an eye. SOS Daters, a dating coaching service, was the company that I worked more closely with of the two because the work was more hands on. I also felt a personal connection to the company itself and the message she was sending to her target audience. I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many times the owner, Annie White, would call me to tell me to “stop the presses” because something in her marketing plan had changed. Being able to work with her and experience the amount of hard work and dedication that she puts into her business was very inspiring. This experience made me realize the interest that I have in entrepreneurship. I admire the way that they are able to persevere and keep building both themselves and the company. I believe that I tend to have the same qualities that it takes to be that kind of leader. If one day I find something that I am passionate about, I would like to become a business owner. During my time interning I also realized that I really have a natural gift for graphics and more creative work. I would like to do work that is more creative based in my future career, despite the fact that I am in the account management track.

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The payoff

For the last few weeks at my internship I’ve been working on the same project. One of the agency’s clients requested an audit of all videos on their websites, and due to the setup of the websites and the information needed, the process must me done manually.  Unfortunately, with the client having numerous sub-divisions and each site for each sub-division containing a hundred videos, this project was very time-extensive. My supervisors were very supportive throughout my work and routinely checked in with me, but I can’t say that I was very motivated to complete such a mundane task.  However, once I had finished the project and it was submitted to the client, I felt my attitude regarding the project had changed entirely. The client told my supervisor that she loved the work, and she asked that we continue with another portion of the project since she was so pleased with the direction it was going. Of course, this second phase was just as intensive as the first, but I didn’t mind. for almost every other assignment I had done, both academically and professionally, I had never had a great sense of accomplishment. In classes when I hand in an assignment and receive a good grade, I still know that the assignment isn’t serving a purpose. In my internship most of the things I had worked on were either to assist with a different project for a supervisor, or were things that the client wouldn’t see. There have been a few times where research I’d done for a project was taken well by the agency, but I had never gotten feedback from a client. To have my work, especially work that I spent so much time on, reviewed and approved by a client is highly satisfying. It feels great to know that a project I completed is being utilized by a client who paid for the work. I’m looking forward to more experiences like this in future internships and jobs.

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Work, Play & Puppies

Work is almost as important as play at LevLane…almost.

On my last day, I walked into the 4th floor office of the Wanamaker Building and was greeted by familiar faces. Mostly.

Today happened to be the photoshoot for the agency’s new website and the team brought their puppies in as part of the shoot! The office was barricaded with play pens for the pooches and walking around the agency was like walking through a petting zoo! A Labradoodle in the Traffic department, a Pug playing with the Art Directors, a Maltese by Media’s side, two Pitbull mixes wrestling next to the Account team and a Yorkshire Terrier licking the fingernails of one of the Copywriters – needless to say, it was quite a pleasant surprise!

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You get what you ask for

When I interviewed for the position of Account Management Intern I made it very clear what I was looking for. Since I believe that it is important for an Account Manager to understand how all departments work, I asked to work with as many departments as possible to prepare for a career. My employer was very helpful in making this happen, and within the first week I had already worked with many different teams on separate accounts. I soon became familiar with PR operations on both large and small accounts, with print and outdoor Media Planning, and was able to observe the creative team negotiating with the client about a specific project. However, the one area that I had little experience in was Account Management. After some time at the internship I had only worked with the Account team very briefly and was becoming frustrated with my lack of experience in the field. I felt conflicted, since I did ask for a broad experience and had received just that. Still, I wanted my internships to fully prepare me for my career, and could not do that without working in Account Management. I decided to ask my supervisor if we could meet to discuss my progress at the company, during which meeting I brought up this concern. He understood completely and explained that there was simply more work to be done in these other departments, but assured me that I would work more in Account Management in the near future. Of course, this happened and I have since had a depth of experience in my future field. I am happy with the way I dealt with the situation, but in the future I will definitely be more clear in what I am looking for, and try to think more about what I really need from and internship.

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Make Connections and Stay In Touch

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This past spring, I had an internship with Crossmedia in Philadelphia. Crossmedia is a media planning firm and though I did not necessarily want to pursue media in my advertising career, I wanted to gain a better understanding of the media side as my focus has been copywriting. I was received very well during this internship (they are an incredibly welcoming group to work with) and after the internship, I stayed in touch with some of the members of Crossmedia.

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Life is an AdVenture

wordpress imageAs a project management/analytics intern at Brian Communications and RealTime Media I was quick to learn that the concepts that we learn in class and utilizing them are two vastly different things. I thought that my days would be spent doing trivial work and going on coffee runs but less than an hour into my first day I learned that that was certainly not going to be the case. My time spent as an intern has been spent doing actual work for clients along side the rest of the full-time employees. Receiving crash courses on various analytical tools has already made my time spent being an intern an invaluable experience. Combining this new found expertise along with applying that to real client based campaigns has brought me out of the class room and has given me a glimpse into what it is like to work in an agency. Working at Brian Communications has also taught me to the importance of social media in today’s extremely modernized and connected world. I have been fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to run an entire social media campaign entirely by myself. This has taught me the importance of media planing as well as how to utilize the ad functions of various social media websites including Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Learning how to segment demographics as well as how to reach those demographics has also been an expense that has brought me outside of the classroom as just a concept and into the world of actual clients and consumers. In other words my expectations of coffee runs and being hidden away from the rest of the employees was quickly thwarted. Hearing that the world of advertising being a faced paced working environment was always something that I moved to the wayside but experiencing it first hand has been an extremely eye opening and exhilarating experience. Being one of the few in the research track has always made me feel somewhat disconnected from the rest of the advertising students and I was never entirely sure where I would fit into and agency but I have learned that the creative starts with data. It is a vital and essential part to creating any campaign. Without research the rest of the team would have no idea the direction that the campaign should be taken in.

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Perfectly Hidden

Media

It was a cold and windy day to start off the Philadelphia Marathon 2015. I remember that day clearly as I was basically frozen from walking around on-site to help out with media tasks. Arriving as early at 5 am to help the team to prep, I felt a ‘burdened’ feeling as I knew that it’s finally D-day and everything is going live in just a few more hours and we have to expect the worst case scenario that could possibly happen. It was so dark that I could hardly see anything but I could hear my heart thumping in excitement. As the clock continued to tick, thousands of people came swarming in with their running gears and their enthusiasm to win the race. Everything happened so fast and before I knew it, I was at the starting line cheering for the runners. As soon as the race kicked-off, it was back to work, preparing for the return of the winners. Finally finishing off with the last pace team, runners from the elite team were already in sight to the starting point in just an hour! Media were on stand-by to capture the historical moment and volunteers ready to assist. It all happened so fast and it was really an ‘adrenaline rushing’ experience! While in mind I had certain expectations on how media works behind the camera, all that fantasy was crushed when most of the media crew actually worked in pairs. A reporter and a cameraman/woman.

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(Some More) New Intern Tips

Small DeskWith all of the important work given to me at LevLane, I have to keep make sure I’m handing in all of my assignments in a timely manner. In an attempt to fight procrastination, I began thinking of all the detailed deliverables I’ve seen around the office  and began changing my own work habits. I found that becoming more organized and keeping a clean work space will most definitely improve your work. Here are some ideas. On the right you can see the cute lil’ desk I started out with!

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Learning From Mistakes and Failing with Grace

In quick summation I spent the past semester as an administrative assistant and marketing intern at a nurse case management company called Advanced Rehabilitation Management. My particular duties ranged from day to day growing in complexity as I gained more exposure to the inner workings of the business. I approached each day with a can-do mentality and a git’r’done attitude. I wanted to show that I could learn anything and execute it more quickly than my peers had expected. At first, I would fly through my tasks: making cover letters, attaching documents, and faxing or e-mailing the composition as swiftly as I could. I was confident that I was quick, I was almost certain that my superiors would be impressed. They were not. My speed resulted in errors and minor mishaps that ultimately showed a failure of attentiveness to detail. A missing date, or a missing number, a missing insurance carrier, a wrong fax number, a missing attachment, there were many working parts and all had to be seamlessly fit together. The clock did not have to run quickly, it just had to be precise. I learned that in this business there would not be room for mistakes. The information I was handling was sensitive owing to three parts: it was confidential information, it was medical information, and it was expensive information. Somebody somewhere would have to pay if I made a mistake, and medical and legal fees are not cheap. What I had to learn next was how to handle a mistake and how to move forward in a moment of fault and shame.

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