In January, I was determined to solidify my summer internship before going back to school for the spring semester. I wanted to be sure that I gave myself ample opportunity to find the perfect fit so that my first marketing internship would be worthwhile. Therefore, I Googled “marketing agencies in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area,” and began calling each agency to get an idea of who was looking for an intern.
After following up with Ideaworks, I was asked to come in for a face-to-face interview with the agency’s director of marketing communication, Pete, and senior manager of marketing communication, Alyssa. The interview went wonderfully, and the next thing I knew, I received a call with an offer! Little did I know that once I met the rest of the team and began diving into my work, it would feel like home. The culture was so open and friendly that I truly couldn’t have been happier to be part of the team. I absolutely loved coming into work every morning – always wearing a smile, ready to tackle the day’s responsibilities.
During my three months as a member of the Ideaworks team, I learned so much that it’s nearly impossible to whittle down an all-encompassing list of the knowledge and insight I gained, but these six items are surely significant.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Since this was my first internship, I was eager to absorb everything I could, which often meant asking many questions. Though I was undoubtedly anxious to jump into a new adventure, everyone was more than welcoming. It did not take long for me to warm up to my co-workers and ask for help or clarification, because I always wanted to do my best and impress the rest of the team.
- Every day is different when you intern at an agency
Each day at Ideaworks was unlike the one prior. Some projects were large, others were small, but each had its own originality and importance for our valued clients. I sat in on various conference calls, discussing anything from the types of graphics that would work best on a concert venue’s promotional collateral to the kinds of prizes and incentives that would most appeal to a client’s target audience. From each client call I participated in, I learned several tips and tricks about how to talk with clients and the best ways to work with them to meet their respective needs and wants. Above all, one of the most important things I learned is that it’s always top priority to deliver exceptional work for clients.
- The real world is different from the classroom
While I did not receive a letter grade for my work here, I still needed to put forth my best effort when working on any task to which I was assigned. Nonetheless, that is about the only similarity between school and my internship. At Ideaworks, I was able to learn first-hand how to organize and structure projects, follow new client developments, create social media schedules and more – not just read about them from a textbook or simply learn definitions. I’ve always enjoyed school; however, after my time with Ideaworks, I’m even more eager to dive into my marketing career.
- Independence is everything
The classic intern stereotype is that he or she runs for coffee and scans papers all day without truly contributing to the team. My experience at Ideaworks was the exact opposite, for which I am tremendously thankful. My first week on the job, I was given a list of projects to start developing in collaboration with our content team, and it made me incredibly happy to know I was entrusted with these tasks. Giving an intern, like me, the independence and trust to take on client projects meant so much, and I was grateful for the opportunity to make each project my own, which also helped increase my confidence. It was such a great feeling to work with a team that believed in my abilities and wanted to see me succeed, especially as a young woman new to this industry.
- Social media is more complex than you might think
Before my internship, I never had the opportunity to manage a business’ social media, but I was always eager to do so. Now, thanks to Ideaworks, I can proudly say that I have professional experience handling all things social, such as brainstorming, writing, editing and proofreading post content; posting and scheduling; and managing accounts on the various platforms. I learned that a substantial amount of research and time go into crafting a post for just one platform, let alone creating a weekly content schedule. I’ve also come to better understand which types of content keep followers engaged. Gaining more experience with social media management was a valuable experience that I know will suit me well when I begin my career in marketing, since the use of social media isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
- Change is good, and experience is invaluable
A summer internship in my field of study was such a great opportunity because I had the chance to learn many new things and gain invaluable hands-on experience. I firmly believe that my internship with Ideaworks helped sharpen my skillset in a way that will prove invaluable when it comes to interviewing for marketing jobs after graduation. I am a firm believer that change is positive, and this summer, I realized that the dynamic atmosphere of a marketing agency is a great fit for me and one in which I can see myself excelling.
Each day that I came to work this summer, I was given opportunities to step out of my comfort zone, and as a result, I learned more about myself and my abilities. Because I made it a point to be proactive and find my summer internship early – and then absorb as much knowledge as I could during it – my time with Ideaworks was extremely beneficial and rewarding. I cannot stress enough how happy and thankful I am to have been part of the Ideaworks Marketing team this summer; it was truly the perfect fit for me!
-Devanie Heller, Ideaworks Marketing intern, summer 2019