Does Size Matter?

I want to share with you what I believe are three advantages to working on the client side of advertising versus life in a big agency.

My name is Tyler. I am a senior in the advertising program with a passion for account management. Over the past three years at Temple, I have been fortunate to receive a variety of internship experiences. Most of them have taken place in a large agency settings working on teams with a variety of capabilities that served multi-national brands. This semester, however, I decided to experience something different.  I chose to join Five Star Painting of Delaware, a member of a national franchise specializing in private and commercial professional painting, as a social media marketing intern.  During my time with Five Star, I have experienced a completely different side of advertising.  I want to share with you what I believe are three advantages to working on the client side of advertising versus life in a big agency.

  • The ability to go beyond your job title. At Five Star Painting, my job title is social media marketing coordinator. However, social media has been just one element of my internship.  I have had the privileged to work on direct mail projects, email marketing, public relations and customer satisfaction, and a variety of other communication efforts. Working with a small team allows me to wear many hats and experience a variety of advertising tools.  Typically, in an agency setting, you have given set of responsibilities that remain relatively the same day to day.  At Five Star, goals are reached by utilizing the best tools and tactics.  This has allowed me to experience a variety of disciplines and has expanded my understanding of their functions.  For those not sure of their purpose in the advertising industry, the ability to work with a variety of disciplines can be valuable in finding your niche.
  • Realizing your impact. Big advertising agencies produce countless communication pieces for a variety of products and target audiences.  During my time in big agencies, my team and I would be working on nearly 10-15 projects during a given week. Once a project was complete, it was generally replaced by another one. Sometimes in the haste of meeting deadlines and completing projects, the actual impact of my work and the effect it had on those viewing it became out of focus. At the end of the day however, advertisers are given unique experiences and emotional connections to brands that impact their life. Working with Five Star Painting, I could see the actual impact my work was having on target audiences, but also the effect it has on company growth.  To see the actual impact you are making on the company and realizing the effects that come from it can be a very humbling experience.  It has also become a motivational factor to constantly improve the quality of my work to continue and expand the good results that can be achieved.
  • Heightened sense of accountability. At big agencies, there is typically a leader for every capability the agency offers – an expert with decades of experience that knows how to achieve goals through specific means. It is difficult for small businesses to acquire this type of depth. I understand that I am not an expert in any fields of advertising (yet). Because of this, I feel the need to constantly research and learn from those around me to achieve goals in new ways. In an agency, new tactics and ideas are constantly being thrown down by the experts, in a way it is easier to acquire new skills. On the client side, finding those new tactics and ideas are dependent on your determination.  It allows you to seek the value in everything you do and to continue learning to be a master of your field.

Landing any internship is a great accomplishment for anyone starting their career.  However, it is only the first step in the process. Understanding and utilizing your experiences to their max potential is where the true value comes in.  Finding insights, learning from peers, and developing professional skills are what internships are for. I hope you found these insights valuable and thank you for reading.

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