Having the opportunity to work as an intern in New York City the summer before my senior year at Penn State was life-changing, especially at such an innovative company like Mindshare. For a little over two months, I got to work alongside amazing people in the Corporate Communications department and feel like I was really making a difference with the work I carried out. Before I knew it, my time as an intern had come to an end. Nostalgia aside, here are five things I learned that I can take with me wherever I go next in the world of media and marketing:
- If It’s Not on the Calendar, It Doesn’t Exist— One of the first things I learned at Mindshare is that the calendar tool on our work laptops is the maker and breaker of all events—all presentations, meetings, and even lunch dates are scheduled for a seamlessly planned day. Being organized and staying on top of your schedule is crucial for the workplace, especially when you’re handling your to-do lists and need reminders to stay punctual. For savants of organization and connoisseurs of clutter alike, I can attest from a novice perspective that my calendar was invaluable when it came to balancing team meetings, filming shoots, working on our case study project, and Mindshare’s intern learning & development seminars!
- Teamwork Makes All the Difference—There’s a reason why, since the days of learning our ABCs, we were taught to work together in groups; in the working world, that’s how you get the most important tasks done. A situation that comes immediately to my mind was when the Petya cyber-attack hit multiple major European companies this summer, including WPP, which in turn affected Mindshare. From the moment we found out the virus was a potential threat, everyone sprung to action and took appropriate measures to assess damage control and make sure business operated to the same standard as usual. I was able to partake in that effort of keeping the cogs spinning; in the process, I got the opportunity to work with passionate people from other sectors of the company who I may not have met otherwise. Being part of that group effort was a monumental learning experience, and gave me the feeling that I was making a difference in my work—I’d definitely call it a silver lining in an unfavorable situation for the company.
- Your Experiences Count the Most, So Learn as Much as You Can— It’s becoming increasingly apparent that internships today are no longer just about making copies or going on coffee runs for the boss. A valuable lesson I learned from a recruiter at Mindshare is that your experiences are what stand out on a resume above most of the other information. Employers who look for interns are keeping an eye out for past work experiences because they want to know you can apply that knowledge to the job at hand. Once you’re hired, you should be proactive and industrious in every facet of the position, learn as much as you can, and thus become more marketable as you continue to navigate the working world. My best advice for culminating experiences would be to complete each task to the best of your ability, never be afraid to ask questions, and be genuine when making connections at work—they may become invaluable down the line!
- It’s A Small World After All—Right out the gate, I learned that Mindshare is a global media agency network with 116 offices all around the world. They even have a special global mobility program that allows people to try out or work in Mindshare offices worldwide. Every day I saw this globalization at work firsthand; there were people I met in the New York office who were from New Zealand, Poland, Australia, England, and other far off countries. It made me realize that companies like this one help make this huge world of ours feel smaller and more connected than ever before, driving us further into a limitless future.
- Coffee Is Your Best Friend, and the Workplace Knows It— While this one may sound frivolous, getting my morning cup of coffee (or two, or three) was key for me, since I had a long commute in. Luckily, Mindshare was incredibly accommodating in this regard, offering three Keurigs on the first floor in addition to one Keurig on every upper floor. With three blends of roasts and multiple flavor add-ins to choose from, I was in heaven. The peanut M&M and dark chocolate almond machines were also great for morale!
I remember on the last day of the internship, I proudly clutched my purple “Mindshare Interns 2017” t-shirt in my hands, feeling reluctant to leave the office and say goodbye to the great people who made me feel so welcomed while working in the Big Apple. It may sound sappy, but I am thankful for my time and the experiences I gained at this company. I’ve learned much about Corporate Communications as well as myself and my work ethic, and I can’t wait to apply the knowledge I’ve gathered from this position post-graduation.