They say an internship can turn into a job opportunity after college. In my case, I hope that’s true! Since May, I have held an internship at EMC Outdoor. I’m grateful to be one of the 80% of students who intern at least once in college and 50% who intern more than once—and for back-to-back semesters, I might add!
The Out of Home industry and location-based marketing were exciting and new for me. This internship meant the opportunity to learn and grow in the advertising and marketing worlds. Before I started, I did the typical research on the EMC website to learn as much as I could on my own about Out of Home advertising, but none of that could compare to the behind-the-scenes of what they do day-in and day-out. I had so much to learn!
Role & Responsibilities
The collaboration that takes place within the agency is incredible—and essential. Everyone has their individual role functioning as a part of the greater team, and I get the chance to experience each of them. I quickly realized that every little detail matters, whether it’s researching home shows in Illinois, documenting exhibitors at the top 100 trade shows in the world, finding statistics for high school football game attendance in Virginia, or ordering walkie-talkies for the trade show team. Each project or idea starts with a collaborative effort with the team and their client, then works its way through the agency to create the final product.
To provide some background on my position, here is some of what I’ve contributed while working with the Marketing and Communications, Trade Show, Experiential and Production departments:
- Content Research – Sift through marketing and advertising websites to find relevant agency and industry news and topics
- Market Research – Discover new markets or take deep dives into existing markets, trade shows and activation sites
- Data research – Delve into specific service areas, verticals or topics to collect important statistics for messaging and marketing materials
- Innovation – Research new tools and methods for marketing the agency
- Proposals and Pitches – Design and organize materials for client presentations
- POP’s – Prepare client-facing proofs of performance
- Vendor/Partner Research – Find new vendors and media offerings to build our roster of partners
- Photographer/Videographer Research – Find photographers and videographers to capture experiential activations taking place around the country
I’ve had many exciting moments working with both the project coordinators and the marketing team at EMC. While each team requires very different types of support day-to-day, I’ve found ways to understand the needs of each to be most effective and provide value.
When working with project coordinators, I do extensive research for trade shows and client opportunities. Specifically, I was once asked to find a photographer for a client’s trade show booth presence. The production team needed to find the right photographer for a client who had very specific requirements. After I researched and communicated with many photographers, I found one who was a perfect fit. It was a successful event with amazing pictures and, most importantly, happy clients. I was thrilled to be a part of that process.
My work with the marketing team is often creative, entertaining and informative. I contribute most to content and social media research. I find articles to help EMC followers better understand the industry today, whether it’s location-based, experiential, trade show, traditional out of home or informative marketing articles. Specifically, I read an article about Mars, Inc. and wrote social copy to post it on our channels. While I was just having fun with it, they actually retweeted our post. It was great exposure for our company, and a huge personal win for me!
One thing EMC opened my eyes to is a true emphasis on company culture. From my first day until now, months later, I have had a constant welcome feeling and the sense of knowing right where I belong. That’s something I feel so lucky to have found. Everyone at EMC makes that possible with their openness and willingness to help. It’s something that only exemplifies in the work they do with and for their clients.
Advice to Future Interns
For future interns finding their place, whether in marketing, media/project coordinating or as an event specialist, I encourage you to take full advantage of the opportunity you’ve been given. I’m a couple of semesters into the internship and I still have much to learn, but I also have a few tips. I’ve borrowed these from Forbes to help those seeking their own internship:
- Choose an internship that requires substantial work – Before you accept an internship slot, talk to those who have done the job before and ask about their experiences.
- Act professionally, at all times – Stick to the company’s dress code and office hours. Treat everyone you meet with respect and leave your personal life at home.
- Network – Take advantage of the chance to meet senior leaders. At the same time, make friends with your fellow interns. They can all be valuable job contacts.
- Ask questions – Don’t be shy about asking for clarifications on assignments, and don’t pretend to know something you don’t. As an intern, you’re must to be a sponge for information.
- Set goals – Meet with your supervisor and lay out projects you’d like to tackle and skills you’d like to master by the end of your internship.
- Volunteer – When you see a project in need of a worker, raise your hand. Don’t overextend yourself, but do take on as much as you can handle.
- Follow up – Stay in touch after the internship concludes. Do write a thank-you note after you’ve finished work, and send casual emails every couple of months to maintain your contacts.
This internship showed me the many aspects within a variety of positions. It has only deepened my interest and curiosity for the field. Get out there and dive into the experience—it’s the best way to learn for yourself!
To find out more about internships at EMC Outdoor, feel free to contact us below or view our website: www.emcoutdoor.com. For the latest agency news, campaigns and happenings, check out our NEW! Instagram profile @emc_outdoor!