Here at Red Lips Media we love having interns around! Not only can it obviously help manage a seemingly never-ending task list, but much more importantly, it helps contribute to the interns personal and career development.
There are so many advantages to interning – but don’t take our word for it, we asked our interns!
Here’s what Elle said about her experience so far, and how it all started. We all love an origin story!
It all started with a Tweet…
I was not looking for an internship with Red Lips Media when I followed them on Twitter and replied to their “thanks for following us” tweet. I was being honest when I tweeted back to them and told them that I loved the work they had done. Somehow, this lead to a coffee date with one of the directors, Jess, and their social media guru, Carma.
Even on my way to coffee, I wasn’t looking for an internship. I was working 5 days a week and already completing work experience once a week with an in-house marketing department at a bank, but after hearing how passionate Jess and Carma were about their company and the work they do, I knew I wanted to learn from them! I had previously only completed work experience with in-house marketing departments so I was nervous about working for a creative advertising agency, but everyone I had consulted in the advertising industry urged me to jump at the opportunity, so I did!
I left my other work placement and started at Red Lips Media and have since learnt more in three weeks than I have in my entire two and a half years at university.
On the very first day, Carma and Alana had me set up at a computer, creating social media content and blogs for clients and editing website content. I have learnt applicable industry skills such as creating social media reports for clients and reading Google Analytics that I would never dreamed of having learnt at university.
Everyone always says that theory learnt at uni isn’t very applicable to the real world of advertising, and I agree!
I’ve been here for three weeks now and most skills I have used are a combination of common sense, writing and communication skills, and on-the-job learning. It’s hard to say definitively whether the theories and models I have learnt at university have helped me at all, or whether it’s more about how well you write and how fast you learn.
It was hard to adjust from writing academically, with references and executive summaries to short and sweet Facebook posts! I had to challenge myself to write as though I was a customer of each particular company, and find content that they would understand and find interesting. One of the best things about working for an advertising agency is the different businesses you get to work with. Every blog post I write for a client I get to research and learn about topics I would normally have no idea about! So far, I have written about everything from organic pasta to fireplaces!
Another major difference between advertising at university and advertising in the real world is how important proofreading and editing becomes. I admit that I am guilty of finishing a 5000-word essay, having a quick scan for spelling errors, and sending it off with a sigh of relief. In the real world though, there are real life people who are reading what you post and won’t hesitate to tell you when you’ve made a mistake!
Being an intern at Red Lips Media is completely different to my past in-house marketing work experiences. In-house departments can be very restricted in how creative they can be, and the type of work they can have interns undertake. While I’ve always taken something away from each experience, nothing has compared to the crazy, fast-paced world of Red Lips Media, where I learn something new every single day.
At Red Lips Media, I felt like part of the team from the first day and leave each day feeling like I have contributed valuable content and learnt new skills. I am so grateful for this incredible opportunity and hope I continue to work with Red Lips Media in the future!
So that’s Elle’s take on interning in general and being one of our precious interns! It’s quite clear she loves us and the feeling is mutual! She brings such an energy to the office and just LOVES her analytics #statnerd
In case you’re still not convinced that students benefit from internships for that real-world experience, and are maybe feeling a little bit nervous – here’s some thoughts from Isabelle:
Completing the puzzle
On the morning of my first day I got up extra early to make sure I had ample time to get ready, beat traffic and get to Red Lips Media on time. Having arrived no less than 40 minutes early, I sat in my car contemplating the day ahead. I had countless questions and my nerves started to build. Had two and a half years of university prepared me? What would I be doing? And most importantly – what would the people be like? It felt eerily like my first day at school.
As I settled into daily life at Red Lips Media, I quickly learnt that my academic writing skills weren’t going to be of much use in my internship. My market research didn’t have to be presented in a meticulously referenced 8 page report, and I wasn’t going to be penalised if my props weren’t double spaced.
I learnt to appreciate the importance of having clear and concise writing skills to ensure that the messages were consistent and that the style was appropriate for the platform.
Despite my numerous social media accounts and reliance on the Internet, I was admittedly not very tech savvy before my internship. When Carma asked if I had ever used Sprout Social, I was instantly confused because I’d never even heard of it! After 4 weeks of interning full time, I don’t know how I have made it through my Marketing and Public Relations degree without it! I was surprised by how much I enjoyed analytics and the skills I have developed in measuring and evaluating social media efforts have been invaluable.
Like most university students, I am all too familiar with the turbulent dynamics of working in a group. It seems there is always the one person who can never be contacted, the one who always disagrees or who never meets the deadline. The satisfaction that should come with delivering a great marketing assignment is usually overshadowed by the stress of rallying the group. Our lectures remind us to “get used to it, this is what working in the industry would be like” I am so lucky and grateful to say that my experience at Red Lips Media has been completely different! The workplace culture is collaborative and the team inspire, support and help one another to achieve the best results for their clients. They applaud one another’s success and the celebratory ‘Red Alert’ is proof of this. Although it took me two weeks to clap and cheer in time with the rest of the office, I always felt that I was truly part of the RLM team.
Looking back, I have no idea why I was so nervous. After all, it’s really no different than the first day of school, and I survived that! But I did more than just survive my internship- I thrived! I learnt so much about the creative and analytical decisions that go into every EDM, blog post or prop. In many ways, my internship has completed the puzzle of my Marketing and Public Relations degree. I have the practical skills to compliment my understanding of marketing theory and I am so grateful that Red Lips Media has given me the opportunity to do this.
My advice to future interns at Red Lips Media? Walk fearlessly into the office, ask lots of questions and make your mark with an inspirational quote on the chalkboard wall! If you fall in love with your internship like I have, you will see your time here as more than just work experience, but as an experience of a lifetime!
SO there you have it, 2 real-world opinions from 2 wonderful marketing interns that have lived the RLM life. We hope they have learned some practical skills about the marketing industry, working in an agency, (and being in the workplace in general) to give them the best opportunities on their future career path once they graduate.