6 quick tips about advertising internships by bryant lim
Getting an internship may be hard, but often times what’s even harder is making a good impression after getting one. Advertising itself is an incredibly unique industry with its own set of rules. In my experience interning between Los Angeles, San Diego, and New York, and conversing with coworkers and recruiters, these six tips have been echoed as the most important ones to take to heart.
1. Do your homework.
The advertising world isn't secretive by any means, but it is a relatively closed industry, so new interns can expect a steep learning curve. Know what resources are often used, read up on Adweek and Adage, and follow trends through sites like Mashable. Also, research your agency and know their clients and past works. If you know what accounts you’ll be assigned, look into them too. It helps with your on-boarding process and definitely lets you dive into work earlier!
2. Ask questions.
Curiosity never killed any cats here. Develop an insatiable hunger for knowledge and be excited to learn. Again, this industry is expected to be on the forefront of technology and trends, so everyone gets taken to school everyday – not just you! Explore other departments too, especially if you don’t know them well. I've met countless interns who started their advertising experience in, say, art direction or strategy, only to find digital production to be their true calling.
3. Bring something new.
As Millennials, we represent not only the most oft-targeted consumer market for clients, but also fresh blood in the veins of agencies. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes when suggesting new ideas and solutions. We’re interns – mistakes are expected, to an extent. I once worked with a strategic planner who proposed using Reddit to conduct consumer research – research which ultimately built a client-winning pitch. Was it conventional? No. Did it work? You bet. Bring your unique expertise to the table to add value to and own your work.
4. Be humble.
Be humble. Be humble. This point cannot be stressed enough. Recognize that your internship – in all its ups and downs – is an amazing opportunity that was given to you instead of someone else. Menial tasks and important, independent work are both a part of the experience, so learn to take each of them with cheer and gratitude. Of course, also have confidence! If you want to be involved in more client calls, war rooms, and meetings with chief executives, take caution, but don’t be afraid to ask. Your humility will go a long way in showing your appreciation of new opportunities.
5. Make lasting connections.
Whether it’s your boss or other coworkers, look to make lasting connections. “Do you mean networking?” Well, yes and no. If networking to you equates to just another LinkedIn connection, then no. Talk to folks and find similar hobbies and interests. Share thoughts and advice, and build a relationship beyond the work – one that will endure past your internship end date. Being able to call your CEO from two years past for recommendations or simply to chat is a great and earned privilege. This, of course, segues perfectly into our last point.
6. Have fun.
You hear it so often, but it’s especially important in advertising. While you’re getting in the groove of the agency’s culture, err on the side of caution and be professional – both in dress and manner. However, once you’ve settled in, loosen up a bit! Most agencies provide perks like free beer, yoga sessions, and even rooftop social events. Take up these invitations whenever you can and show that you know how to relax. After all, that creative brain needs a break sometimes.
This isn’t your holy grail for internship tips, but it’s certainly a start. Stay tuned for more industry tips, continue the hard work, and always aspire for better.
If you have any questions or comments, let us know. Thanks for reading!