Work That Speaks For Itself: My Semester at Brownstein Group
As write this, I am sitting in a Center City coffee shop just a few blocks away from the agency where I have spent my spring semester as an intern, Brownstein Group. My name is Kieran Lyons and I am a Junior at Temple. I studied Advertising (art direction) within the Klein College of Media and Communications with a minor in the Fox School of Business. Brownstein is a full-service advertising agency that exudes the spirit of our city. Brownstein’s office in the heart of Center City Philadelphia, falling in the shadow of City Hall and takes on clients of all sizes, including Heirloom Market (Giant), Saint Gobain and Ikea.
My role within the agency has been as a Strategist Intern, under the Social Media team. I report directly to one of the team’s Senior Strategist and then to our team’s manager. In total there are generally 6 people who make up our time. In my time I was lucky enough to witness people get hired onto our team, as well as watch members leave our team as they transition into new positions. This taught me a lot about the cooperative workflow models agencies often have in place.
My responsibilities in the office start with community management. Every morning, I come to my desk and immediately check the social channels of clients just to make sure there are no conflicts or complaints the client would need to respond to. If there is an issue, I record and report it to my supervisor. From there, I move on to whatever projects I have been assigned to that day. Sometimes this is researching and building competitor audits for our clients, sometimes it is pulling the data and metrics from our strategy to build reports for our clients, or maybe scheduling the content that is to go up.
My time with Brownstein has been one of the most advantageous experiences I have had as a student. I didn’t know what to expect coming into. I had just left an agency that was extremely small but had fairly large, global clients. Brownstein was big enough to show me the structure of an agency but small enough to know I had team members that I could rely on. I felt like the work I had done with the agency was always real, client-facing work and never simple, “busy work” that interns, unfortunately, will often see. This was my biggest priority coming into this position. I had to make the choice between two paid positions at different companies or the unpaid position I ended up taking at Brownstein. I made the choice to work at Brownstein because I knew that value of working with a premier client list, accomplishing leverageable tasks will always be worth more than the money they could pay me.
I love hearing about your experience at Brownstein, especially since this is an agency I would be interested in working with one day!
I completely relate to the point you made about the pull between the paid and unpaid internship experience. Sometimes it feels like taking the paid internship is the obvious decision, but that’s just not always the case. People often advise us to not take an internship unless it does, but what truly matters is the experience we gain, even if you are unpaid while doing so.
I found myself making the same decision you did and could not be happier with the outcome of my internship. Although I had to take extra time to work a second job while being unpaid during the day, I would not change anything about my decision.
Congrats on all your hard work and new skills!