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August 6, 2020

My Internship with Creative Energy

Isabel Leonard

In the movies, the main character always works for an uber cool company on the 60th floor of a high-rise building in New York. They always have an impressive job as a PR executive or a magazine editor… and I’m always left wondering: how did they get there? How did they figure it out? What if I don’t figure it out?

These thoughts quickly became the bane of my existence, swimming in my head like a fish in a bowl. Except in this case a fish out of water, considering I had no idea what I wanted to do. I changed my major enough times to realize my degree wasn’t a game of Russian roulette and decided to analyze the things I was good at before I wasted more time. Insert: social media, writing, talking, being creative. That’s when I found my niche – Advertising and Public Relations. Only took me two years…

Another two years later and I’m here. As I approach the so-called “finish line” of my college career, I can confidently say I made the right choice. And I wish I never paid attention to those empty storylines that made me feel hopeless or confused. I wish I had trusted that I could figure it out on my own. But also, would it kill anyone to tell us if the Carrie Bradshaw’s and Jenna Rinks’ of the world had college internships prior to their high-profile jobs?

While I’m no Carrie Bradshaw, I am the current Social Media Intern for Creative Energy, and I want to tell you what I’ve learned so far while working at this ad agency:

Every Day is Different

Izzy working on a lifestyle photography shoot with team.

This is arguably my favorite part about the internship. One day I’m creating content calendars and the next I’m making TikToks with my boss, Kaitlin. While the TikTok task seems like a trade-off for personal embarrassment — which, you’re totally right, it truly beats any other job because it’s FUN.

And while the internship is primarily focused on social media, I’ve had the opportunity to shadow different departments during my time here. This included working client photoshoots where I “refined” my culinary skills with our Food Stylist, and most importantly, saw the undeniable magic that happens behind the lens.

It also included shadowing our talented Copywriter, the mastermind behind each and every word, and a vital component of success to visual storytelling. Which, from now on, has me analyzing everything I read – curiously wondering about the unseen author behind the text. Which leads into my next point…

True Success is Measured by Those Around Us

During my time here, I’ve noticed one constant, unwavering thing: the way this agency uplifts the people around them. Each person is integral to the success of the company, an important piece of the metaphorical puzzle. No matter if it’s an email thread or a Zoom meeting shout-out, the achievements of others don’t go unnoticed.

While individual successes are sure to be enjoyed, the amount of teamwork and celebration for others that I’ve witnessed here is something all companies should practice.

Even in the midst of strange times like the COVID-19 outbreak, the work must go on.

The Circumstances May Change, But You Don’t Have To

COVID-19 changed many things for many people – one of these being jobs. Luckily, I had the opportunity to continue my internship through a socially distanced office and many zoom calls that I couldn’t quite seem to get my headphones working for. Aside from my continuous self-inflicted tech problems (that I still haven’t figured out), I’ve learned one thing: the circumstances may change, but you don’t have to.

So, if you had a Summer or Fall internship turned virtual, don’t be disappointed. While that’s easier said than done, view it as an opportunity to show the company how you stand out in times of adversity or change.

And while working from home was a challenge that I faced for several weeks this summer, I’m thrilled to work for a company that values the health and safety of their employees before anything else.  

You Won’t Know Everything, And That’s Okay

I know I don’t – that’s what internships are for. During my interview, I was asked of my future career plans, and I simply stated: ‘I don’t know’. Often times, people view uncertainty as a red flag. Creative Energy viewed this as an opportunity to teach – and I’ve learned so much. One of the best ways to learn is simply through experience, and shadowing these talented, creative individuals has allowed me to develop a better answer to that simple, burning question. But I’ve come to the conclusion it’s okay to not know what you want, as long as you couple it with the motivation to keep learning and doing.

Understanding the goals the client has in mind helps inform the tone and style of the work produced.

I’ve also realized it’s okay to not know how to do things (ask, ask, ask!). And honestly, it would be boring to pretend like I did. I used to be afraid to try something new out of the fear of failure, but now I fear missing out on all the things that others can teach me.

When you step out of your comfort zone, you go great places – for me, that was Creative Energy. So, if you take anything away from this, let it be the motivation to get your feet wet and try something new. Also, don’t listen to those movies!