Not Your Average Intern – Startup Edition
Hello! My name is Jess and I am a junior with an advertising major and an account management track. This January, I started an internship at a digital branding startup company called, Digital Force Agency. I work two full days a week at the office as a digital marketing/account manager intern.
Going into this internship, I really had no idea what to expect from it. Not only was it my first internship, and first “real-world” experience with advertising, but also my first time working in an office setting and with “normal” work hours (shoutout to the restaurant industry!). In addition, it’s a small startup with less than 15 employees, and only five full time, who are in-house. So, I really had no idea what would go down day-to-day!
In the beginning, my daily responsibilities and activities were always different depending upon the day. At first, I mainly focused on helping the agency develop its own brand by building LinkedIn and social media profiles and assisting in website design. I also worked on helping the agency recruit summer interns and a full-time employee. This included reaching out to peers, setting them up on job/intern websites, and notifying my employer of career fairs and events.
After a few weeks of focusing on helping the agency build its own brand, I shifted more to an “account manager” role and began helping contact potential and current clients to ensure constant communication and understanding was in place. I shadowed my coworker at client meetings and on calls to get a better understanding of how to build relationships and solve problems with clients. In early February, I was able to organize an event with our biggest client and a local fundraiser through someone I know at Drexel University. I found this personally rewarding and also a good example of a big perk of working at a startup as I have the freedom to make decisions and actually see ideas I came up with coming to life.
In addition to digital marketing and advertising, Digital Force Agency works to create and launch special events and festivals. They created “Pickledelphia,” which was in Septemeber 2018 and was Philadelphia’s first pickle festival. They are working to organize another pickle festival for next fall in a different city. For a couple of weeks, I solely worked on this; researching information about venues, sponsors, local pickles, food vendors, and reaching out to these places and food bloggers to inquire if they’d be interested in involvement with a pickle festival. Basically, food, drinks, and of course; pickles, were the only thing on my mind for 15 hours every week.
Recently, I have been working on helping to create content for clients, attend food photo shoots for our restaurants, and tracking the traffic of interactions and digital ads via Google Analytics. We’re also working on another food festival, which will resonate deeply with all Philadelphians, and has been hectic, yet very exciting, with which to work.
So, yeah. Wow. As you can see, in my experience, working at a startup has been anything but ordinary. I never know what to expect when I come to work, which can be frustrating at times. However, the team I work with has been so helpful and really works with me and the other interns to make sure our needs are being met and that we are enjoying the internship as well as developing skills in areas we wish to improve. The other interns I work with have been so awesome to meet and work with, and I know we’ll be friends even after the internship is over. So, although the small startup can be chaotic at times, the experience overall has been exciting and I believe will help in preparing me for this awesome, rapidly-changing industry that we call advertising.
Wow, you sound like you’re having a truly exceptional experience. I can understand the frustration in not knowing exactly what to expect on a day-to-day basis, but it sounds like you’re handling it in stride. It’s awesome that you got to see an event you planned turn into a real life event. I understand the thrill of that really well and I’m glad you have gotten to experience it too. It sounds like you have some real weight on your shoulders with this position (in a good way!) and I am sure that you have learned so much through hands-on experience. I have a feeling you’re hinting at some kind of cheese steak festival, which sounds amazing and if that’s really the theme then, boy golly, that’s gonna be a hit and a half. Best of luck with your last couple weeks!
Hi Jess! As an account management concentration as well, I can attest that having your first internship in advertising will really solidify if this is a career you want to pursue for the rest of your life. It is so great that you took the first step in planning your future. I am excited to see what it’s in store for you and I wish you the best of luck at your internship!
Hey Jess! I hope all is well! It seems like you enjoyed your time working at Digital Force and did a great amount of work for them as well, I also know how it feels to work for a start-up as I worked for one last semester. I’m very happy for you and can’t wait to see what you’ll do in the future! Best of luck!