From Intern To Full-Time: Knowing What It Takes
Are you a college student or recent graduate looking for an opportunity? Are you unsure of what it takes in order to get your foot in the proverbial door? Well, you're in luck.
Use our youngest employee, Michelle Hewitt, as an example. She has gone from Vimarc intern to full-time account coordinator in under one year. She assists in the process of client services, including creative meetings, project management, direct communication, and market research.
Michelle recently took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions regarding her experiences. No need to take notes — just absorb the Q&A below:
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU WANTED TO WORK FOR AN ADVERTISING AGENCY? HAS IT BEEN WHAT YOU EXPECTED?
There is a specific moment that I vividly remember when I knew that agency life was for me. I was in my junior year of college and had been down several tracks of studies, but never found anything that I really enjoyed. I switched to advertising because I needed to pick a path to graduate and it was kind of close to a business degree without the accounting classes. One night, I sat down on my plaid couch in my little apartment reading my next assignment for my Advanced Advertising Strategies class. Part of the portion that we were assigned to read was on the different parts of an agency. Reading along, I came across Account Services. I immediately knew that was what I wanted to do and I was determined to make it happen. I went and spoke with the director of the department on how to make it happen, and about a month later, I landed my interview with Vimarc. I walked in and was immediately intrigued by the agency's culture of creativity; not to mention my favorite color orange was on display. I am beyond blessed that I have found my passion. I really feel like I am where I am supposed to be. That book is still in my closet. It is a constant reminder of a life-altering moment that has led me to where I am today.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO COLLEGE GRADUATES LOOKING TO MAKE THE SAME MOVE?
Internships! Yes, it stinks that some are unpaid, but it is well worth it. Sometimes you have to put in the grunt work in order to get what you want. For me, I knew that I would rather suck it up, work my butt off, and be poor during college than to graduate and not be able to land the job that I wanted. At one point, I juggled two internships, a part-time job, an executive position in our Ad Club, and attended school full-time. I had drive and knew what I wanted.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST LEARNING EXPERIENCE SO FAR?
For about three to four months, I was in accounting. Vimarc had a part-time assistant position open, and I wanted to get my foot in the door at the agency. I have definitely learned a lot about accounting, which I think is funny because I switched majors to avoid accounting. I think that it has definitely taught me that I can wear multiple hats and that I am willing to take on different roles when needed.
YOU'VE BEEN WORKING FULL-TIME AT VIMARC FOR MORE THAN THREE MONTHS. ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR THAT YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH WITHIN YEAR ONE?
My goal in year one is to really prove my value to the agency. I want to buckle down, take responsibility, and work hard to prove that I can be an asset to the company. Everyone wants to climb the ladder, but I want to show that I am in it for the long haul, and that I am the right person to do it.
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