As a senior advertising major at Temple University, I’ve spent the past several months at Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners (RTO+P) as an account management intern. This role has taught me so much and afforded me the opportunity to really dive in headfirst at a full-service agency. Prior to my role at RTO+P my experience in the advertising field was mostly limited to social media. While I love social media, there is so much more to the world of advertising. Interning at RTO+P not only allowed me to see that but experience it. I got to see and do so much, from watching full campaigns go from being concepted to being presented to clients, relaying feedback from clients to our team, actually proofreading ads before they went to clients, cataloguing shoots and even organizing drives, I truly got such a well-rounded experience.
Throughout my experience at RTO+P I’ve been able to learn a lot about the account management role. You can only learn so much in your classes, and although they did prepare me for the role, there are of course some things you can only learn by actually doing them. Some of the things that stood out to me is how important it is to have a good relationship with your team. In school there was more of an emphasis in having a strong relationship with your client, which is extremely important, but if you’re not on the same page as your team, nothing’s going to go smoothly. Additionally, I was able to learn more about some of the behind-the-scenes stuff, like going through work orders and relaying information to the right people. Overall, I really enjoyed being in the account management role because it’s allowed me to dip my toe into a little bit of everything. I’ve been in on creative meetings, been a part of line explorations, and even got a chance to go into the makers studio where they do the shoots. This internship has affirmed for me that I’m definitely very interested in this position and want to pursue it further after graduation.
One of the things that I’ve learned throughout my time here, and offer as my advice to people looking to start their first internships, is don’t be afraid to ask questions. Whether you have a question about how to do something, a question about the business model itself or even have questions about other people’s career paths, there’s always more to learn. Just last week for example, I asked if I could learn more about how we create scopes for our clients, and next week I’m having a meeting to learn about it. As someone who’s truly just starting their professional career, this has been a valuable lesson for me to learn. As an intern you have the unique opportunity to be surrounded not only by people who are good at their jobs, but people who are also welcoming and want you to learn and succeed. You are never going to know everything automatically, so when you’re surrounded by people that do have expertise, take advantage of that! Malcolm Forbes said, “The smart ones ask when they don’t know. And, sometimes, when they do.” and I could not agree more!