I’ve always said how I wanted to work in a large agency. Medium sized would probably be good too, but I absolutely loved the idea of being surrounded by hundreds of other passionate advertisers every day. Agencies such as Grey and MRY peaked my interest and the thought of working in a massive agency in New York City or San Francisco seemed like a dream.
Ironically enough, this Spring I accepted my first internship at Tag Strategies in Center City, a small but nimble team of six. Not six people in the account services department, six people total. Crazy, right? The extremely talented team at Tag is about as small as it gets. While you may assume that I wouldn’t like being in such a small environment, it has been without a doubt the best place for me to kick-start my industry experience.
For any of you who may be wondering what it would be like to work in such a small, tight knit agency, I am here to share some of my insights. Beginning my internship at Tag was extremely non-threatening, which I appreciated greatly. I’ll admit, I was extremely nervous going into my first internship. Would my superiors like me? Would my skills be up to par? Would I be able to catch on quickly and ask many questions if I needed to? “Yes” is the answer to all of those questions! It’s not a surprise that meeting everybody in the office took a grand total of five minutes. The relaxed work atmosphere made me feel right at home from the moment I arrived. While I can’t speak to a first day serving as an intern at a large agency, I would assume that your induction into the family might not happen quite as fast.
For me, feeling comfortable in my work place is key. When I was searching for internships, I was very selective in the places that I would apply based on their values and the atmosphere of the work environment. Accepting an internship is essentially making a temporary home with a company for several months. It’s important for you to feel comfortable in your position. I don’t mean that you shouldn’t push your boundaries and step outside of your comfort zone to try new things, but make sure that you choose a place where you can learn and grow.
Working in a small agency setting allows you to become extremely close with your superiors and get to know them beyond their job titles. You’re able to strengthen that connection, which can prove to be valuable long after your time with the agency. It also gives you an opportunity to get more hands on experience. I will say that the work is limited in terms of the number of client accounts on which you work, but I personally have enjoyed seeing “my client’s” projects and campaigns evolve from concept to execution, and being a part of it every step of the way.
The Tag team has truly taken me into their family and treats me like it everyday. Before I start my meeting for the day with my account executive, she will always ask me how my day is going and what is new with my life. I am never treated as just another intern, which I am sure has a lot to do with the very caring nature of the team. This small agency has been the perfect jumping point for my advertising career. If you’re given the opportunity to work in a small environment, do it! Don’t knock it until you try it. I was so convinced that it wouldn’t be the place for me and now I happily call Tag Strategies my temporary home. Worried that you might feel limited in the work you’ll do? Just remember that every opportunity is what you make of it. Reach out to your superiors and ask what you can do to help. See something that could be beneficial to the office or to the client? Speak up! That advice goes for an internship with any company. I’ve learned that it’s important to go into any job opportunity with an open mind and a thirst for knowledge.