Tag Archives: internships

What Interning at an Agency Taught Me

Hey Readers, I was reading an article for my social media class when inspiration sparked to write this blog post. After the first week of classes, I already had a sense of accomplishment because things we were talking about in my classes were things I had learned this summer. If you ever get the opportunity to intern at Ogilvy, I highly suggest it. But if not, here’s a list of things about what interning in an agency taught me.

  1. Producing a TV spot isn’t as easy as it looks. The process in order to produce a simple TV spot could take a year, or longer. The amount of account planning, strategy and creative that needs to be put in place is extensive. The work that has to be completed before the shoot even happens, is more than you’ll ever learn in a classroom. Rounds and rounds of revision will be done, numerous ideas will be shot down, and at the end of it you will have a TV spot.
  2. If you have a temper, you shouldn’t work in this industry. Sometimes clients can make you mad, upset, happy, sad, etc. Never lash out at a co-worker, your boss and especially the client. If there’s a problem, speak with your supervisor because if something bad happens because you couldn’t hold in your temper – it’s all on you. It goes the same with co-workers. If you have to take a walk and a few deep breaths, do it. Don’t ever start fights at work, it’s not worth it – EVER.
  3. Communication is the most important asset to do well. It’s not always easy to be on the same page, but you have to communicate. The client will miss things and you will miss things, so you have to constantly communicate or mistakes will be made. This is the communications industry, and there’s no joke about it. Communication is always key with the client, your boss, your team, etc.
  4. Be concise, be thorough – think brevity. I learned this in one of my classes last year, but experienced it more this summer. If you have to explain something, make sure you know what you are going to say. Because if you don’t know and just babble on, no one will understand you. I’ve done it, we all have. It’s all about learning how to explain things concisely without leaving out any details. If you have to study, do it. I did it, and ended up doing a lot better because of it.
  5. Be a team player. Sometimes agencies seem very cutthroat because we all want to excel. However, you can’t forget that everything that is created is not possible without your team. Think synergy – without it your team will suffer. A team that works together well will produce better work. And remember, we all have a lot to deal with, but it’s a matter of how you deal with it all. Creatives have a lot on their plate, so do account planners, production managers, account managers, etc. We all have stuff we have to deal with, but being a team player will always make it easier.

I learned so many more things than that this summer, so I made a short bullet list below… because it’s a lot. (Although, I can’t complain – BEST LEARNING EXPERIENCE EVER)

  • Always follow the creative brief
  • Spreadsheets and timelines are your friend
  • Deadlines are not to be joked about
  • Retouching is a huge process
  • Read emails very thoroughly or you’ll miss something
  • Organization is a skill set
  • Manage your time properly, or get burned
  • Powerpoint presentations shouldn’t have many words
  • You are the presentation, not the powerpoint
  • Styleguides take time to put together
  • Smile, even if you’re having a bad day
  • Study the brand and what’s going on
  • Google docs are amazing
  • Your fellow interns are pretty awesome people
  • Stay on top of everything – it’s hard but just do it
  • Advertising is pretty cool

So that’s my list. I hope you had a wonderful labor day weekend! I know I did rocking my strappy sandal wedges out and about with my friends. (Athens is no place for stilettos).

x KMSH

Being the Best Intern Version of Yourself

DWPHey Readers. I hope you’ve all been having wonderful weeks. It’s been a good week so far, not too crazy and not too slow. I only have 2 1/2 weeks left and I’m already starting to get depressed. I’ve learned so much this summer and I can only thank my amazing bosses and coworkers. I think this internship was what I’ve been needing, to figure out what I want to do. So while I hope you all get similar experiences at your internships, here are tips on being the best intern version of yourself.

  1. Be Yourself. We all have to have our professional fronts on, but if you’re in PR or Advertising let’s be real, we all like to let loose, make jokes and have fun at what we are doing. This industry is not boring, not even close to that word. Everyday is a new adventure filled with Don Draper and PR girl references.
  2. Listen. I sometimes have this problem. Yes, I’ll admit it, but I’ve been learning. Facebook and Twitter are huge distractions. I know it’s a part of our field, but only look when you are taking a break. You want to be fully focused, and social media during a meeting is a HUGE NO NO. Just don’t do it. You’ll miss something important.
  3. Always be there. If you have intern buddies, don’t go and try to find them and walk around the office all day. Yes, socializing is allowed but if you’re not there and not working, what will your boss think? Last summer this one intern was always late to work, came in sometimes or would take naps while their TD wasn’t there. I highly doubt he got an awesome letter of recommendation. Also, if you’re always there that means more responsibility for you (that’s a good thing in this field).
  4. Take note of EVERYTHING. Remember in the Devil Wears Prada when Andie and Emily always had a notebook with them. Take note of everything and anything. I don’t care if you have to summarize your notes later, you don’t want to miss anything. Imagine what would’ve happened if Andie forgot about the satchel for the Pony and Pier 59? She would’ve been smashed by Miranda and her Prada stilettos.
  5. Create trust. You know you’re doing something right when your boss trusts you. That means, not checking everything you do in great detail or trusting you to do work that is above the intern level. It’ll happen like an aha moment, either by you or in my case, another intern said “you must be doing something right.” If you have that Andie moment (because she said “that means I did something right”) feel good about yourself and keep doing what you’re doing.
  6. Ask for feedback. I try to check in with my supervisor every two weeks or so. She asks me how things are or if I have any questions, etc. I always ask if there’s anything I can improve on or if she has any feedback, etc. All feedback has been positive this summer, so I always feel good after a check-in.

If any of you have anything you’d like to add, let me know in the comments! These are just my tips on being the best intern version of yourself. Because at the end of the summer, we all want a job or to come back after graduation for a job. So do your best and kick intern ass.

x KMSH

Making Decisions: Big Agency vs. Small

2014-07-10 18.09.06Hey Readers! It’s a beautiful day in Chicago and I’m currently waiting for my boss to get in, so I thought I’d blog. I’ve been thinking about the topic of big agency vs. small, and whether I really want to work for such a large agency. Don’t get me wrong, Ogilvy is amazing! However, I feel like with a big agency, the job you have is the job you have. If you work in account management, that is your job. By that I mean, you won’t be making creative decisions or dabbing in social media, etc. You have your role, and that’s what you’ll do.

Being an account manager is rewarding because you do work with many people, trying to make sure the client is happy and that the work is being done. You are the contact between the client and the agency. It’s a big role in many ways, but I’ve been wondering if I want to do more. Do I want to be at an agency where I do more than just be an account manager? Or would I be happy doing this in the long run?

I only have one semester left at Ohio U, and I have to start thinking about jobs. Do I want to do advertising? Do I want to do PR? Where do I want to live? Do I want to work at a big agency or a small one? All of these questions are swirling around in my head and currently I have no idea what I want. I guess this summer will help me figure things out.

To finish the post up, I thought I’d give a list (based on my experiences) of the pros and cons of a big agency vs. small agency.

Big Agency

Pros

  • You get to work with big brands
  • You meet and work with many different types of people
  • Big agency means big perks (name recognition on your resume is one)
  • Big agency could also mean big company culture (Ogilvy has many fun events for it’s employees to attend)

Cons

  • You’re stuck in your niche
  • Turnover rate is very high
  • Pay is not great

Small Agency

Pros

  • Your work is more versatile and you’re not stuck in your niche
  • You know the names of everyone you work with
  • Smaller brands but more freedom creatively

Cons

  • You could potentially work twice as many hours
  • Pay is not great
  • Not as many perks of being at a big agency (company culture wise)

Well this list kind of helps me, but after this summer we’ll see where the chips fall. Have a wonderful Friday readers!

x KMSH

What to do When there’s NOTHING to Do

woman bored at workHey readers, it’s been awhile. I have been adjusting to life in the city and working at Ogilvy. Now some days have been completely crazy, and other days there’s nothing for me to do. With it almost being the 4th of July, and most people out this week, it’s been pretty mellow. Monday got busy, then Tuesday was during the middle of the day and today I have nothing until after lunch. If you’re situation is similar to mine, here’s what productive things you can do in your spare time:

  • Label emails. Now this one seems kind of too OCD and a waste of time. However, if you are working at an agency and are on multiple accounts like moi, it helps you to find old emails easier. I have five main labels and then sub labels for certain accounts. It may seem tedious and way too much, but you’ll thank me because when you need to find an email your boss can’t it’ll take two seconds.
  • Work on your summer project. Most companies and agencies, especially large ones, give their interns a summer project to work on. If you have tons of free time, work on that project and get all of it done. I say this because if you don’t do it in your free time and eventually have no time, you’ll be working on it after hours (and no one wants to do that when it’s intern happy hour). So don’t waste your free time!
  • Read industry news. I am always on Mashable, PR Daily, Fast Company, Fashionista.com, etc. It keeps me informed on what is going on in my industry and gives me something to talk about with coworkers. It’s not the most productive thing to do with your free time, but it’s better than just looking at Facebook all day.
  • Ask if anyone on your team needs anything. If you work at an agency, you can’t just walk around the office and be like, “hey, anyone need help with anything?” Your boss will wonder what the heck you are doing, and you can’t just do work for other accounts – that’s just not how it works. You can ask anyone on your account if they need anything, like copies or a small task, but if they have nothing it is okay. Your boss cannot punish you because there’s nothing for you to do, that’s not how it works.
  • Blog. If you have nothing to do – no side project, intern project, actual work, etc. then it’s okay to spend your time doing something like blogging. I am a very productive person, and always ask if there’s anything I can help with, but sometimes there is literally nothing. That’s okay. So after all of my emails are labeled, I’ve read industry news articles and asked if anyone needs anything, I’ll do something like write a blog post. It’s not like I am checked out, because my eyes are fully glued to my email and schedule, but these low-times at work happen. It’s just how it is.

In an agency setting, you will either be crazy busy or have absolutely nothing to do. That’s just the way the business is, especially for newcomers. Don’t get upset or feel like you’re useless, just do the jobs you are given and try to be productive as possible during the times you don’t have anything to do at the moment. Are the status reports updated? Is everything running smoothly? Did you get your cup of coffee yet? Ask yourself these questions, and if all else fails, just go with it.

x KMSH

First Week and Moving

It’s Monday, I’m sitting at work on a break so I felt like writing. The first week of my internship went well. We had orientation, a city-wide scavenger hunt and then we met who we’d be working with. It’s been a little slow for me, but it is only the beginning. Overall I’m happy, just waiting for when the real work will begin. Some internships start off slow, but don’t fret! Before you know it, there will be so much for you to do you’ll wonder how to fit it into 40 hours/week. It’s all about having a positive attitude, which is very important when it comes to internships.

Over the weekend, I celebrated my 21st birthday, moved downtown and took a stroll in my new neighborhood. The Gold Coast kind of reminds me of the Upper East Side in NYC. It’s peaceful, has many families and the buildings are beautiful. Not to mention, any huge designer is located in the Gold Coast. I saw the Ted Baker store and almost freaked out (I didn’t know they existed, at least in Chicago). Also apparently Chicago has a Barney’s, who would’ve thought? Anyways, I am in a great location, got cheap rent and the only downside is that I don’t have a/c until I get a window unit. It’s supposed to be in the mid-eighties this week so we’ll see how I fare.

Chicago is a great city to live in. There’s tons to do for little-to-no money and the people are friendly. I loved NYC when I visited this past semester, but it’s very dirty and the people aren’t always friendly. However, it’s NYC. You can’t hate NYC, it’s like hating chocolate. The one city I still want to live in, even if for a short amount of time, is London. I’ve heard great things, and it’s London.

Anyways, the first week went well. I love my little studio, work is going well and will most likely get better in the future and I’m 21 – so no complaints here.

How is your summer and internship (if you have one) going?

x KMSH

Tomorrow is the BIG Day

Okay, so I’ve been perfectly fine until now. Tomorrow is my first day at wait for it… Ogilvy! I am so excited and nervous, I am jittery writing this post. It was a long application process, but it just goes to show hard work really does pay off. I will be waking up early, hoping in the shower and taking an express train downtown.

I have to be there by 9 a.m. so wish me luck on my first day!

P.S. Video is Carrie Bradshaw of her first day at Vogue

Internship Countdown!

countdownHey Readers, I am so excited because my internship starts in 5 days! I was supposed to start this week, but the agency pushed back my start date. I am so excited because I’ll be working in downtown Chicago, commuting for the first week, then I’m subletting a cute studio in the Gold Coast for the remainder of the summer. Unfortunately my parents are moving a couple hours away, but I’ll be living in Chicago and will be 21 in 7 days, so again I’m excited!

Before my internship starts I have to prep myself on how I’m going to get there, what I’ll be wearing and what I should review for the first day. The first day of any internship can mean signing many, many, many confidentiality forms and W2s. It’s more of a welcome to where you’ll be working this summer, we need you to sign here, here and here, then this is what you’ll be doing this summer. Today I should be getting an email with first day info, which many of you will get before you start an internship. It’ll basically give you information on when you need to be there and sometimes a “day 1” schedule. I can’t wait to get mine!

Anyways to prepare I need to do the following things:

  1. Figure out train time. I am commuting for the first week or so and need to figure out what train I should take.
  2. Figure out how to get from train station to work. Google said I will most likely be walking and talking a bus… maybe a taxi if I’m ever running late.
  3. Figure out cost. I will have to buy a 10-day Metra pass, as well as figure out bus fare.
  4. Pick out what to wear. First impressions are very important, and I will need to be looking smart and ready to go on Monday.
  5. To pack or not pack a lunch? I can save money and pack it, or buy lunch… can’t decide which for the first day.
  6. Smile. If I’m ever nervous I just remind myself to smile, because it really does help.

Well, those are the six things I’m going to be doing to prepare for Monday. What is your action plan before you start an internship?

x KMSH