I have come to learn that internship and work experience is just as valuable as classroom education. As I approach the end of my internship at O3 World, a small interactive agency in Fishtown, I reflect on how much I have learned about the industry and myself as a professional. I have been a Project Management Intern, allowing me to gain more experience within project management rather than Art Direction I study in my classes. Through my experiences at O3 I have come to realize that the client and project management side of advertising is definitely where I belong. Being in an agency setting in general has also taught me so much about the industry, as this was my first agency experience. Working in a small office has allowed me to get the unique attention and help I need in order to give the best work I can. It is these people who have taken the time to make me feel comfortable and help me understand things that have truly inspired me. My personal boss and mentor spent every day with me, teaching me new and better practices for project management and giving me tools to succeed in the digital and interactive world. Having the ability to shadow my boss allowed me to get a better understanding of not only the role and responsibilities of a Project Manager but how to be the best Project Manager I can be. I was just as inspired by my other coworkers at O3 that were in completely different departments. Kind and welcoming people constantly surrounded me. Simply having someone to eat lunch with and talk, or simply asking how my day inspired me to do better. Their positivity helped me understand how important this is and how it can truly create a stronger work environment.
This experience was everything I was hoping for. As a Project Management intern I have had the ability to work on something new every day that I am in the office. I have been fortunate enough to touch upon all aspects of the workflow and different teams. I did not realize some of the smaller, but more important tasks that Project Managers must do, such as content population. Originally, I thought that the developers solely worked on the development sites, however I was constantly doing content population, adding in media and content into pages that were connected to both live and development websites. I was given the responsibility to figure out how to use these content management systems and the freedom to try on my own until I could figure it out, all of which was work that made a difference. If I could have done anything differently, I would have tried to attend more of the cultural activities the company participated in. Often times on Friday afternoons after work, O3 would collectively go to a restaurant/bar to get drinks and spend time together. Unfortunately not being 21 I was unable to go. However, there were still other opportunities I could have taken, such as going out to lunch some days or staying for after work events in the office. It was difficult as I always had night classes after my internship, making it hard to find the time. I was able to attend one Philadelphia Digital Project Managers event with my boss one evening, which I absolutely loved. I was able to network with professionals and hear and learn from their experiences. It was also just great putting myself out there in new and sometimes uncomfortable situations. I now know that for my next internship experience I want to make sure I connect with others and take advantage of these extra opportunities for growth.
Overall this internship has given me the confidence to know that I can excel in any type of environment as long as I maintain my positivity and hard work. I now know that I can succeed in a corporate environment, a small agency environment and soon I will be able to get a larger agency experience. I will be interning for a social agency in NYC called MRY this summer, and everything I gained in this experience has better prepared me for the experiences to come.