This summer, we took on a team of interns to learn the ins and outs of working at Emanate. We wanted to immerse our interns in life at Emanate and provide a behind-the-scenes look at our work and agency culture. The interns joined client teams, attended lunch ‘n learns and took on a six week project to develop an entire PR campaign. Here’s a little bit about their experiences and what they learned along the way.
Georgina Taee, University of Virginia
Taking an internship position comes with a certain amount of risk. You never know what you are going to get! On my first day at Emanate, that risk dropped away and I knew my summer was going to be worthwhile and exciting. As I sat around a large boardroom table anxiously awaiting an overview of my summer internship, I remember observing the room. Everyone was smiling. Everyone that greeted me was genuinely excited. And most importantly, there was a plan for the summer. I was assigned a manager, clients, learning sessions and projects.
The most memorable moment for me came in the first week. In a learning session we were introduced to Emanate’s unique planning tool, P.L.A.N, that we use to approach client challenges and new business briefs. I wanted to see it in action; to understand how this really came to life. It didn’t take long and within my second week I was in a brainstorm.
This is where I learned a valuable lesson: You can never assume anything in this industry. Your hypothesis must always be backed with careful research to ensure that you build a relevant and well-targeted campaign. As teams pulled me in to help identify media for specific campaigns and initiatives, I got curious about the next step. Once the reporters are identified and we’re sure they are the right people for our client’s story, what next? Pitching successfully, I have come to realize, is a skill and I still have a long way to go! It takes confidence and persistence. Personal touch is essential and engaging with your contact and really understanding what they cover will lead to stronger relationships.
As I reflect on this experience I want to make one final point. Interning is about learning, and finding how and where you fit in an industry. I encourage any future intern to ask questions and explore as much as you can to discover what you like, and just as importantly, what you don’t. Interact with your teams and with other colleagues at all levels. Never forget, everyone was an intern once.
Mindy Hu, Michigan State University
The first day at a new internship is always a nerve-wrecking experience because you never know what to expect. What are your co-workers going to be like? What are my tasks going to be (no more coffee-runs or picking-up dry cleaning PLEASE)? My worries disappeared as I met the Los Angeles team and was welcomed with smiles, firm handshakes, and laughs. I was filled in on what to expect as an intern at Emanate and as part of the ‘Nation.
I began to adapt to the office environment, working with the other interns and colleagues in New York, and learning how to balance my to-do list. I quickly realized that things have the potential to get a little crazy in the office at times, and how crucial organization and time management are. My biggest takeaway from the summer is just how important deadlines are for both clients and working with the media.
A big part of the internship program was working with the other interns in New York to develop a new and fresh campaign for a client, which was a phenomenal learning experience. I learned about the need for extensive research to support what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Through our research, we were delighted (and a bit relieved at the time) to find an interesting trend that shaped our campaign idea into something unique for the client.
I have never felt more a part of a team than with the ‘Nation. I was able to contribute to client work and agency initiatives. I have developed valuable skills to take with me as I set out into “real life” as a new graduate.
Logan Spangler, University of Virginia
As I researched Emanate as a potential place to apply for a summer internship, it quickly became a no-brainer that I wanted join the team. It seemed like a unique place full of diverse, talented and humorous people. Though my initial predictions about Emanate were confirmed early on, they don’t tell the whole story as I look back on my experience.
Now, because I had no previous experience in PR, I wanted to focus on two things: learning a lot and doing my best to contribute wherever possible. I consider myself an intellectually curious guy, and Emanate’s flat structure allowed me set up meetings with numerous people that had expertise in subjects that interested me – from CSR and overviews of client accounts to business development and agency initiatives. Each conversation laid a new brick on the foundation of my understanding of PR and integrated marketing, as well as my understanding of other industries. I soon learned that the more you know about a client’s business and industry, the better the results you can deliver. Moreover, I learned that content is key. It is essential to tell compelling stories and I believe that’s something that is always true, especially in PR.
Of all the things I learned from working at Emanate, nothing compares to what I learned about the right way to succeed. Success is, of course, always the priority in any business, but how each company gets there is a completely different story. Emanate does it right. They (the agency and the people) create success through the most natural and ethical method out there, which is unleashing the powerful energy of its people — passion, creativity, innovation, a little irreverence, and humor. I couldn’t have asked for a more fulfilling learning experience — perhaps that is why this summer flew by so fast. Thanks to all the Emanators who made it great.