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  • Alex Priest 2:19 am on July 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: agency, , , cte, , , , meeting   

    The Big Idea 

    In past internships I’ve always had opportunities to voice my opinion and contribute my ideas, but never so much as I did in a recent meeting at my current internship with the CEA.

    Without divulging too many exciting details–soon the CEA will be announcing a new membership category for individuals (the “Consumer Technology Enthusiast”). Part of my job in this internship has been to work with our team and our ad agency to develop a campaign for promoting this new membership category as we lead up to and execute the launch later this year.

    Just recently, our agency brought all of their team and invited approximately 20 CEA staff for a brainstorming session, myself included. We were instructed to bring along three ideas, written on three separate index cards.

    Index cards in hand, myself and one other intern joined in the meeting and the entire room proceeded to “present” their ideas, one by one, in front of the entire group. After that we all placed our cards on the wall, where everyone in the room voted on ideas using stickers, and then we proceeded to further develop some of these ideas to come up with three main concepts.

    My idea was one of those three final concepts. And not only that, but it was a central feature of the final campaign, the “best” one as voted on by the group.

    I was, needless to say, a little shocked, but also thrilled and excited. Having the opportunity to get up there and present my idea in front of the group–me being “just” an intern–was a great experience and one that I feel really validated me as part of the team.

    Just goes to show, the title “intern” is misleading. And I think it’s possibly the most misleading in marketing, public relations, and today’s digital communications. More and more I’m noticing that my fellow young colleagues and myself tend to have the big ideas, the successful ideas, and the ones that work in today’s modern digital world. Hopefully that’s a sign of good things to come when we all finally enter the “real” world.

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  • Alex Priest 9:00 am on April 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: agency, budget, class, crunchmode, , , , school,   

    The Challenge I Was Waiting For 

    This morning I got a fresh challenge at my internship–probably the kind of challenge I’ve really been wanting all semester. In recent weeks particularly, I’ve been occasionally frustrated with some of the tedious work I’ve been stuck doing, given that I’m the only part-time intern in the office. Today I was assigned to take on the brunt of the work for a brand new project–a big one–and one that I’ll spend considerable time on for for the remainder of my time at MS&L.

    Obviously I can’t give too much detail, but the challenge is two-fold: First, simply completing the project. This is something unlike anything I’ve ever done, and despite my briefing this morning, I’m still not 100% sure what to expect. I’m certainly hoping for smooth sailing, but in this job, smooth sailing is never, ever guaranteed. Secondly, it’s about completing the project on time and (hopefully) under budget.

    In PR agencies, we bill work by the hour. Because of that, the first step in a project is setting the budget and estimating the amount of time each position will require to fulfill their duties–not an exact science. For this project, we determined this morning that the initial budget issued me far too much time for what, as far as I can tell, should take a relatively small amount of time. So we cut my hours for that phase of the project in half. For another, we cut them by one third. For another, by a half again. In all, we cut several thousand dollars worth of time from the project. I’m not concerned, but in fact, I kind of like it. This project gives me a challenge–not only do I need to complete quality work, but I’ve got a timer, now, too.

    I’m realizing more and more that I work best in “crunch mode.” It’s stressful, and I usually freak out a little and don’t sleep much (hence I’m writing this at 3:09 a.m.), but it’s when I’m on a tight deadline, with lots of stuff to do, that I produce my best work in the most efficient way. It works.

    The next two weeks will put my endurance to the test like never before. In addition to tackling this project at work I’ll be completing my honors communication capstone project (sneak preview here, for those of you interested), finishing a final paper for my last (!) general education required course, preparing for three final exams, completing two final course portfolios, giving my final speech for public speaking, and trying to figure out what’s the next internship I’m going to tackle (but more on that in another post–soon). And of course, squeezing in a few more posts here before the end of the semester. It’s going to be an insane adventure, but I’m pumped for it.

     
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