Network, Network, NETWORK!

                         Transferring to Temple University for the spring 2017 semester I felt a lot of emotions. I was excited for the challenge and new beginning yet anxious like a little kid the night before their first day of school. I was also nervous and a bit scared that I would be out of place. See, I wasn’t the traditional student. I went to college straight out of high school in 2009 but dropped out to enlist in the military. After enlisting, I started school again but due to the constant geographic and work schedule changes that came with my new line of work I was constantly taking breaks from and changing schools. Not to mention that I was also pregnant with my first child so making the decision to go to Temple was one that would require a lot of determination, discipline and dedication.

                         I could only take online and night classes a few times a week because of my job and my commute was an hour each way! And although I was just a few years older, initially sitting in classes at Temple I felt a bit unconnected with my classmates at times. Because of my military background some of my instructors and classmates thought that I was so cool, experienced and had the upper hand. However in my eyes I felt out of place and far behind. Not only was I completely switching career fields but going into my senior year I had yet to have internship while other kids in my class was working on their 4th and 5th internships. On top of that I was having scheduling and other miscellaneous issues with my command which conflicted me from taking the classes and from fulfilling my internship requirement, all of which I needed to graduate. After much debate and jumping through hoops, I made the tough decision to separate from active duty so that I could fully focus on obtaining my degree. Thinking the hard part was over I was feeling completely liberated! However in the same breath I still felt discouraged, scared and far behind because I had yet to secure an internship, I was juggling being a newly single mom nine hours away from family, I had just quit my job and not to mention it had taken me all of nine years to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel of undergrad.

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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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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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