Four former interns, who are now full-time employees within the Dentsu Aegis Network, share their experiences, insights, and key lessons from their summer at iProspect.
Jackson O'Gorman-Bean, Associate, Paid Search:
Approaching the Dentsu Aegis Network Internship Program in 2015, I had no expectations. On the morning of my first day, defining ‘digital marketing’ was as impossible for me as navigating the unfamiliar NYC subway system.
I was an International Relations & French Literature double major at Denison University where my classes were small (only 8-10 students per course), and I was required to do more research projects than I ever thought I would complete over the course of my college career. Although I continue to have a deep curiosity about international political systems and for non-governmental organization development, not much of the information garnered in my college courses was directly applicable to the account I worked on – the world’s largest designer eyewear company based in Italy.
My internship experience helped me see that college is a time to learn about the world around you. These are the years that define our personal interests and shape our perceptions of the world. What my professors never told me was how much priority would be placed on soft skills like teamwork, communication, and time management. Working on group projects seemed almost trivial during college. “Why can’t I just work on this myself,” I thought. But, having accepted a full-time position with iProspect, I can assure you that honing these skills has made my time at work immeasurably better. Take advantage of group projects while you’re at school. It’s the most realistic simulation for the professional world that college offers.
Grace Choe, Associate Structured Data & Feeds:
I was part of the 2015 class of interns in iProspect’s Fort Worth office. After graduating in May 2016, I was offered a full-time position working as an Associate on the Structured Data & Feeds team. Having interned the summer before, I found the transition between graduating and working full time surprisingly easy. While my friends and classmates were busy applying to jobs and fretting over interviews, I was given first consideration for an opening at iProspect, and was being interviewed by familiar people with whom I had already worked. Once I actually started working full time, the knowledge and experience from my internship helped me adjust to my new role quickly. My summer at iProspect helped me to land a job after graduation and continues to help me grow as a professional.
Phil Moore, Media Manager, 360i:
I knew from my intern days at iProspect that I wanted to be a part of the Dentsu Aegis Network, but I had no idea how much I would get out of the experience. In just two short years I have had the pleasure of representing DAN at Ad Week in New York, had the opportunity to attend many sports events and concerts as team building activities, and work in New York, Chicago, and now LA. Still, none of these benefits compares to the knowledge and experience I have gained or the opportunity I’ve had to meet and work with such an amazing group of people. This is the place to be.
Mubarak Salami, Sr. Associate, Paid Search:
Internships are a lot of things. They can be scary, but they can also be extremely beneficial. To get the most out of the experience, you want to make a good impression, be memorable, and become part of the group. You don’t want to overstep your boundaries and you definitely don’t want to be or feel like an outsider.
I know from first-hand experience that – at first – navigating all of these challenges can seem daunting. I also know, however, that after only a short time, those feelings of being afraid go away. In fact, those feelings of fear and anxiety turn into feelings of belonging and achievement. Above all else, I know that an internship is ultimately exactly what you make of it.
I know what you’re thinking: “Cool, Mubarak. That sounds cliché enough, but what does that actually mean?” Well, to tell you the truth, that could mean anything, and that’s the beauty of it. What it meant to me during my time as an intern is that I needed to take pride in my role. Though I worked in a limited capacity, I was still an iProspect employee; and I needed to act like one. Because I wanted to take charge of my learning and development that summer, I asked for projects that were not initially assigned to me. I scheduled meetings with full-time employees to learn as much as I could. I went to work events outside of the office to immerse myself in the iProspect culture. I realized that if my experience as an intern wasn’t memorable – if it didn’t help me grow as both a young professional and person – then I’d have no one to blame but myself.
An internship is an incredible thing, but only if you take advantage of it. Ask questions. Talk to as many people as you can. Build a network. Learn about yourself. Have Fun. If you can do all of these things, I promise you that your experience will be a great one. I was able to master these, and I know wholeheartedly that my summer internship has had a significant influence on where I am today. I am forever grateful for my time as and iProspect intern, and now a full-time employee. All the memories and wonderful experiences were there waiting for me that summer. I just had to go out and take it.