Today is the first Monday in two months that I’ve been able to sleep past 6 am, and I’m a little sad about it. My internship with RTC, a marketing agency in Washington, DC, just ended and I am already having some serious FOMO (fear of missing out). A relationship marketing agency with a wide range of clients and an awesome group of people, I learned so much and made so many connections in the short time I was there. I had heard of RTC my freshman year when our adviser, Professor Harms, put me in contact with their HR person, however I decided not to pursue an internship that summer. Then, RTC came back onto my radar when they presented at an AMA meeting last semester (See, those meetings are better for more than free food) and I was blown away by how great it sounded. I then got back in touch with their HR person and when I went in to interview with my soon-to-be boss, I felt so much more comfortable, because by hearing her speak, I knew so much more about the company and we had plenty to talk about. I was part of the Insights and Innovation team, which evaluates and plans marketing strategies for clients. I worked on a wide range of projects, from client-specific consumer research, to compiling a creative competitive analysis, to creating infographics about applying new technologies to marketing to serve as education tools. From all this, I learned so much. Here are just a few things:
Write, write, write!
As a marketer, you need to be able to write. In marketing, and especially in an agency, you need to learn how to communicate your point of view in the most succinct way possible and sell your idea before you lose people’s attention. This is something I plan to work on this year by writing as much as possible, whether that be in a daily journal or blog, or offering to do the writing sections in group projects. In a lot of business schools’ curriculum, there isn’t much focus placed on writing, but if you get good at it now, it will save you a lot of hassle and red pen when you get a real job.
If you have a special skill that could add additional value to your work, speak up and let your boss know! I was placed on a project to do research about mobile strategy with another intern. We were initially supposed to just create an outline, and then send it up to the creative team to make it into an infographic, but I asked if I could give it a shot instead, and I was able to use my graphic design skills to pull the create a much more visually pleasing way to present the information. Had I not let my boss know, I would have gotten the opportunity to use multiple skills and have a better deliverable in the end.
Get out of your cubicle
One of the things that made my internship the most fun was the people that I worked with. Although you want to be a dedicated worker, you also want to make sure to connect with the people around you. Make small talk with the people in the kitchen and take the time to get to know them. I was so excited to be around such experienced marketers and wanted to know how they got to where they are now. Most people are very interested in giving you career advice or just sharing their own stories with you if you take the time to ask questions. I learned a lot from the people above me and feel like I made some great connections that will benefit me in the future.
I could go on for way longer about all the great experiences I had at RTC and I really am sad to be leaving because I feel like there is so much more for me to learn. Plus, I'll really miss the Pad Thai from the place across the street...
Hopefully I'll return to RTC in the future to take advantage of those opportunities!