The 50-Day Interviewship

Written by Jesse Summers—former POSSIBLE intern—and originally published in Advertising Week.

Imagine an interview that lasts for 50 days. Or, as I would call it, an interview-ship.

What you are imagining is what we, all of the 2017 agency interns, got to experience this summer. It was an opportunity to learn, explore, fail, and take the first step into our careers.

But don’t just take it from me. In addition to my own experience, I interviewed interns at a handful of agencies around the US as well as London. Here’s a brief look at the intern experience from a few of us who lived it.

A Day in The Life

As EVERYONE who works in advertising will tell you, no two days are the same. This is no less true for an intern.

But generally, this is how we spent our time.

Perhaps one of the best parts of our internships was that none of us were coffee mules. Yes, we were the new faces in the office, but we were part of the team. We worked on projects for real clients alongside our mentors and the rest of the agency.

“We joke about my position or my role but I [was] not treated differently here,” says Edward Barber, an intern in Atlanta. “That inclusive nature about this office is what made these months memorable, eye opening, inviting, and gave me some perspective in the world about what life has to offer.”

Captains of Our Own Ship

Aside from projects for clients, we were given a project of our own to lead and deliver. Here’s a brief look at some of the intern projects that took place, nationwide.

Crafting Case Studies

In New York, one group of interns helped create a case study video for one of their agency’s clients. They reviewed the work done for the client and created written and multimedia pieces to be included in the case study.

It’s A Match

Meanwhile, interns in Cincinnati were asked to make their city a destination for out-of-state talent. They created a Tinder account for their city to connect with potential talent and found a match with Daniel Mashburn, an assistant account executive at an agency in Chicago. The interns hosted him for a weekend and showed off everything Cincinnati has to offer. The project was so well received that it was featured in Ad Age.

Sparking New Introductions

A group of interns in Seattle were prompted to put Seattleites on a first name basis with people experiencing homelessness in the city. They created a social activation involving a unique game of Jenga to share names and start conversation. Watch the full video and read more about their project in this article from MediaPost.

“It exposed me to just about every step of the advertising process in an immersive way,” says Adam Gill, an intern who worked on the project.

Key Takeaways

As the summer and our internships wrap up, here are a few things we learned:

  • “Work hard and make the most of every opportunity that comes your way! It’ll pay off.” – Lara Ferris, London agency intern
  • “I learned how to implement my agency’s values more into my career and general outlook on life, especially being bolder in my actions and taking risks.” –Bridget Barbara, Cincinnati agency intern
  • “Get your absence noticed. If you’re OOO [Out of Office] or your internship ends, your manager should be like, what am I going to do without this person!!” – Amy Challis, New York agency intern
  • “Network! Network! Network!” – Hernan Ramirez, Seattle agency intern
  • “It is imperative that everyone works together to build each individual up, that’s what makes our work easier.” – Edward Barber, Atlanta agency intern

Conclusion

For me, my summer internship was an incredible three months of learning how much I don’t know, honing my skills, and connecting with industry professionals. I would recommend interning to anyone who is looking to start a career in advertising. It’s the best way to get your foot in the door, and don’t worry, you won’t be taking coffee orders, you’ll be drinking it with everyone else.

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