After an extremely unconventional year of living with the realities of Covid 19, I decided that it was time to make the best of the situation we’re all in and push myself to find an internship for the 2021 Spring Semester. I’m currently a junior advertising major and I also have an interest in a career in pharmaceutical and medical advertising. I came across a digital media internship at Exogear, a medical device company that seemed like the perfect fit for me. I definitely felt discouraged to seek out internships for a while, because I felt like I’ve been glued to my laptop during the pandemic and it seemed like there were only virtual internships out there. But, I felt it was important to push myself outside of my comfort zone and at least apply. After a series of competitive and in depth interviews over the phone as well as zoom meetings with the marketing director and vice president, I was offered the position. It really lifted my spirits and confidence, because I felt like my classes at Temple and previous work experiences had paid off.

During the on-boarding process, I learned in detail about the business structure as well as different medical devices Exogear sold. I learned that my main task would be working on the launch of a sub-brand of Exogear called Spinal Armor. The idea of managing all things digital media for a startup company was incredibly daunting, but all the hard work was incredibly rewarding. There were many meetings with the team establishing our brand, target market, and our goals. This was definitely one of my favorite tasks on which to collaborate. Given that my concentration is in brand strategy and research, it was super exciting to conduct research and work with the team to establish our proposed target market and branding objectives. 

One thing that I wasn’t anticipating from the experience was how many hats I would be wearing. Due to the fact that we were such a small team I had tasks involving copywriting, brand strategy, account management, and creative content creation. I feel very grateful that I got to gain real world experience in all of these different realms, but it definitely made me realize I’m most interested and passionate about branding, strategy, and research. It helped me come to the conclusion that for my next internship I’d like to hold a position that just deals strictly with branding, strategy and research so I can focus all my energy and attention on one area instead of doing a little bit of everything. I’m very curious to see how advertising agencies function when multiple people are working on specific aspects of advertising. 

I learned so much more than I thought I would from this experience and I feel so lucky that I worked with such a wonderful team and got experience in all realms of advertising and sales. Here are two of my most valuable takeaways:

If it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you. 

There were definitely days where I felt very nervous or frustrated while working on certain tasks. The only way to learn and progress is to step outside of your comfort zone and no matter if it’s a positive or a negative outcome there’s always a lesson to be learned. One project I was particularly nervous about was spearheading a paid ad campaign on Facebook. It was my first time and I was in charge of creating the audience and all other specifics of the campaign. I was terrified of failing to make any sales from the ads, but in the end the campaign was a success. I learned that even if sales weren’t made the campaign would have still been a valuable risk to take because we would have gained data on what not to do and different directions to take.

Have an open mind when it comes to feedback and critique.

In a professional setting it’s vital to not take any critique personally. In the moment it felt incredibly discouraging and frustrating when I’d spend time and energy on something just to be told I need to change or that we’re going in a different direction. Almost every job requires bosses and co-workers so an open mind and patience is necessary when it comes to collaboration.