I cheated at interning. LevLane Advertising|PR|Digital let me inside their walls as a copywriting intern, treated me with nothing but kindness, told me anything they thought might possibly help push my abilities as a writer, and I had the gaul to leave work every Tuesday through Thursday… and try to beat the system.
Oh, they warned me. During a lunch break around my third week at the agency, the copywriter in charge of assigning new creative work to the interns caught me red handed. I approached him outside of the building as he left for a mid-day bite, and asked him something along the lines of: “What direction are you thinking about for the fall Dilworth Park campaign? Do you have any kind of tone in mind?” It just slipped out. He kindly told me I didn’t have to worry about it over my lunch break… but I was hooked.
I started mulling over headlines on the subway, cooking up campaign ideas while walking to the grocery store, and pondering taglines inside the shower. I even thought of a “fall-related, snappy headline” that sounded “geared toward young, socialite twenty-somethings” that same fateful lunchbreak. Pretty soon I was mentally taking my work everywhere I went… and it felt good.
Should I be ashamed? I was, after all, breaking the golden rule of the work week: “Leave work at work.” After settling into a career, I understand the importance of finding things outside of your profession that you find pleasure in doing, and giving yourself time to relax. Right now, however, I want to take my energy and excitement for writing copy, and spread it all over. I want to leave a little breadcrumb trail of copy behind me, so when an agency sees a piece of my writing, they know where to find the rest. So tonight, right there at the dinner table, against the advice of my superiors… I’m going to cheat again.