Your very first agency gig will always standout in your memory. When I began interning at ANDERSON Advertising & Public Relations, I had heard so much about agencies but had no clue what to expect. What I found was a unique company that offered more learning opportunities than I ever could have imagined.
Throughout my 8-month internship, I learned many lessons through a trial and error process. Whether I figured things out by doing the right thing or by doing the wrong thing (mostly the latter), I was able to take away valuable lessons that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my career. ANDERSON has helped to prepare me for the wider world of agency work and has made me excited to sink my teeth even deeper into the industry.
Here are a few key lessons I was able to take away from my internship:
Communication is Key
In the world of advertising, everyone has needs a voice. Communication between coworkers, clients and vendors is essential if you are going to be able to work effectively within an agency.
There are many ways to get your point across. There’s email, messaging, face-to-face conversations and the phone. No matter what channel you choose to convey your message, you should make sure that your tone and message is well-received. In general, I found that the more you communicate about the work you’re doing, the better. The worst thing you could do is keep your managers or your coworkers in the dark about your work.
The Team Makes the Agency
At ANDERSON, the open office environment allows you to work with other team members at any time. Most projects involve a variety of moving parts with multiple contributing team members. Because of this, it is essential to be thorough with the task that you are assigned to and make sure that your work is clearly outlined for whoever will complete the next part of the project. Much like an assembly line, consistent communication and teamwork are needed to ensure the finished product is perfect.
Stay on Top of Everything
One thing that I learned quickly, especially being on the account services team, is the need to stay organized. Whatever task management or time tracking software your agency uses, make sure that it is your top priority to keep it updated.
There’s nothing worse than forgetting a key component of a task or forgetting to complete a task altogether. The trick to avoiding these awkward “backpedaling” moments is to simply write everything down.
Be a Sponge
One of the best things to keep in mind while interning or just starting a new job is that you’re there to learn. Approach tasks with an open mind and try to find the lesson or wider meaning to everything that you do. Remember that even the worst mistakes can be turned into opportunities for learning. This notion of “being a sponge” means taking in as much information as you possibly can–so get involved!
Everyone’s an Expert at Something
Another important lesson is to recognize that every person you meet is a resource. Chances are, your coworkers have a bit more experience within the industry. So pick their brains! Ask them to lunch or ask to shadow them. Whatever you do, make it a goal to learn at least one thing from every person you have the opportunity to work with.
Don’t be Afraid to Loosen Up
Don’t take yourself too seriously! If you come in excited and ready to learn everyday, you will have a great internship experience.
No matter where you’re interning, make it your goal to come out of your internship with more knowledge than you went in with. You will end up finding out what aspects of a career path you might love, as well as some aspects that you will want to avoid when looking for your next job opportunity.
My time at ANDERSON was full of excitement, education and a lot of laughs. Anyone who is willing to have fun while working hard, will absolutely love their time as an ANDERSON intern.