Tidbits & Takeaways


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Coming in to this internship, I was experiencing a variety of feelings that had me (naturally) nervous, yet motivated and excited. Never before have I been in such a unique position. I’ve been placed in a building full of accomplished talents who have made the most of their opportunities in life. Naturally, I want to do the same. It’s not every day a student does what I, along with the rest of the PDXSX students, am doing.

Agency life is freer flowing than it is structured. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s something I find to prefer. You receive your tasks and carry them out as you wish. That doesn’t mean do whatever you want and take advantage of the lack of frequent instruction. What it is does mean is that there is a heightened sense of responsibility, organization, and commitment to your work.

This is equally true for this internship. My supervisor has asked me to conduct in-depth analysis on how to measure marketing success for various campaigns. He asked me to focus on relevant services, such as Subway and McDonalds, and to uncover what led to the success of one campaign vs the lack of success of another.

After he gave me the backdrop to what he expects and when he expects it, I was basically set off on my own. I have to give it direction. I’m the one that has to make the most out of it. I’m the one that ultimately decides what it’s going to include and how it’s going to look. Incubation will soon become development, and development proud work that will hopefully impress my supervisor.

Joey Zolfaghari, Intern, PDXSX.

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9 Responses to Tidbits & Takeaways

  1. asharonson says:

    Great post, Joey!

    The free flowing atmosphere of agency life is one of the things I love most about our industry. This atmosphere makes it enjoyable to be at work. I truly look forward to starting my week on Sunday nights, which I can never say I have before.

    Assignments school and work are completely different. In school, we are lectured on the subject before we are asked to complete a task. In work, you are expected to do something without a sententious background. Luckily, as interns, we are allowed to ask a lot of questions!

    Good luck this term!

  2. Great post, Joey!

    Sometimes I find that when a lack of direction is given, it’s like an opportunity to demonstrate your skill set, thus giving you the potential to really impress your supervisor/superiors. A lack of direction can sometimes be scary, especially when you’re just starting out in the field and as an intern, but just because the direction is left up to you that doesn’t mean you can’t ask clarifying questions. If you’re starting to doubt your direction, it never hurts to ask them to quickly look it over for clarification once you have gone through a case or two.

    Honestly, Joey, I think you’re going to take this project and not only make the most out of it, but you’ll probably find some really valuable information as well! Rock it!

  3. rkaapu says:

    Great post!
    I can really relate to this post, as I was quite nervous myself on the first day. I think it is expected that we, as PDXSX students, would be nervous. This is our first leap into what society calls “the real world.” I find that, more often than not, the workplace is very different than what I had imagined. While there is structure, none of the jobs I have held, including this internship, are remotely similar to school life. I always felt that school was more intense, but the workplace comes with pressures I have never known, until now.
    After my first week at my internship, I also realized that sometimes I will have lots of tasks that I am responsible for taking care of, and other times I need to find things that need to be done. Sometimes my manager leaves for a meeting and I have an hour in between tasks; these are times I try to see what else can be done?
    I also appreciate the fluidity and free aspects of the workplace, it brings my stress level way down. It’s like I get to make the decision, and I am not trying to beat a time bomb.
    Good luck on your internship!

  4. codynewton says:

    I’ve always been a big fan of having a little freedom to do my work. I find a lot of enjoyment in the search for things. That’s one thing that I too have been very fortunate with. Most days my supervisor comes to me in the morning and says, “hey, I need you to figure this out for me,” or “see what you can find, and then go grab it.” It’s really exciting because it makes me think critically every day.

    I’m glad to hear you’re having a good time. I think it’s a good sign that your supervisor trusts you enough to give you these tasks and let you have total freedom over them. That really says a lot.

    Keep up the good work!

  5. Allyson Will says:

    I think that is a great sign that your employer already trusts you. I’m sure that the research they have you do is really beneficial to their company. It is probably great information for you to know all the information you learn during research. It seems as if your internship company is already giving you projects that a regular employee would complete. Hopefully your work ends up landing you a job! Congrats on your internship!

  6. michelletag says:

    I haven’t had experience in the agency world. However, I enjoyed your post because it gave me some insight as to how an agency is structured. The ability to designate how and when you will accomplish your tasks is a nice aspect. It also allows for you to show future employers you are capable of self-managing, which is important. Sounds like you have a great thing going for yourself and you should be proud!
    Best of luck to you during your internship!

  7. wilsonemily says:

    I’m glad that your internship gives you the flexibility and freedom to do the job that YOU want to do; it makes for a more comfortable working environment, I bet. I agree that even though a job can be free-flowing, it means there is more responsibility upon yourself to get the job done right (I can definitely relate here at my internship!). It seems like you’re doing well with this work structure and best of luck to you for the rest of your internship!

    -Emily

  8. Bree says:

    Although my internship isn’t within the same industry, I feel like I can relate a little because my internship is at home. My editor emails me some assignments and then it’s up to me to figure out how and when to start them. I really like the creative freedom that I have with my assignments, but sometimes it makes it a little more difficult.

  9. jamesynwa says:

    The lack of direct oversight sounds like a common thread among students in our program. Whether it’s a reflection of the SOJC’s reputation in Portland or just the norm for our industry, I think the freedom and trust have surprised most of us. After four years of structured courses and assignments, it’s empowering to have control over the direction of a project – especially when the work has direct implications for the success of your company. A poor effort means a loss of revenue, not just an ugly letter on your transcript. Pretty strong incentive, that!

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