Hello! My name is Heather Gaskell and I am a soon to be grad of Temple U! This summer, I was a copywriting intern at an ad agency called Rapp, in their Dallas office.
Going into this internship, I honestly had no idea what to expect. It was my first internship working remotely and it was one of the only places that I had applied to who had decided to keep their summer internship program. But, as I am entering the final two weeks of my internship, I can say with confidence that it has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in my career so far. In less than 10 weeks, I have worked with an art director and presented our concepts to the heads of marketing at PNC Bank, gave a presentation to over 100 Rapp employees, including c-suite executives on a advertising D & I organization that I am apart of called, The Marcus Graham Project, created a 360 campaign for an upcoming product launch for PNC Bank, wrote copy for email campaigns, crafted headlines and subheads for paid and organic social, and have found some incredible mentors along the way.
Interning remotely has taught me a ton of lessons on communication, time management, and collaboration. Since we are working completely separate from our coworkers, communication is key to creating good work in a timely manner. I constantly found myself getting lost in Microsoft Teams-lation and would have to clarify with my managers to make sure I knew what was expected of me. This experience taught me: the better you communicate with your boss, the better your work will be. I became comfortable with feeling uncomfortable and came to accept that I will not know everything and I should ask for help whenever I feel confused. Another huge lesson I learned was the importance of time management. Advertising is incredibly fastpaced and working at home can breed a multitude of distractions. I learned to block off times for specific projects and found out that multitasking will 9 times out of 10 be my downfall. I learned this new time management technique from my mentor called, “Time Blocking” where you block out times of the day for certain tasks and concentrate only one task at a time. Another hugely valuable skill I learned was how to collaborate and concept for big campaigns. One of our projects this summer was launching a new product for PNC Bank. The interns were put on the project and tasked with essentially creating our own mini ad agency and were asked to create all of the work (from the brand’s look and feel to final executions) on our own. I quickly grew accustomed to attending multiple Zoom calls a day, just to work on concepting and brainstorming. It was an incredible experience to be on a project where you have so much freedom and I learned how to work with an art director and push our ideas to their fullest potential. Overall, working on brainstorming and ideating in a remote setting was easier than I anticipated.
Overall, this experience was an amazing career opportunity and I am proud of how much I was able to grow, given the hurdles of working from home and interning during a global pandemic. I am incredibly grateful to my fellow interns, managers and mentors who have encouraged me and guided me up until this point. I now feel confident to enter the workforce as a junior copywriter and am willing to do whatever it takes to get that position moving forward. While there is still a great deal of uncertainty in the world, Rapp taught me to take advantage of every opportunity and to follow their motto of being “fiercely individual” throughout my career.