About 12 months ago I walked into the Loud&Clear’s Digital Agency office in the hopes of landing myself an internship. I was sweating. Not the kind ‘oh I just walked up the stairs on a hot day’ sweat, I mean the kind of sweat that you wipe off your upper lip with a trembling hand and smudge your make up. The interview went well and the office was airy and open so I felt more at ease, I guess.
A few weeks later I got an email, I had got the position as Digital Marketing Intern. I have been at Loud & Clear since October last year and it’s hard to put my finger on what my role is exactly. I write blogs for our clients as well as help out the digital marketing team as much as I can. One morning I might be trying to figure out how to upload content onto Sitecore, the next I will be on a coffee run for the whole office. I wouldn’t have it any other way though, because in being so flexible and having such an array of duties I have learned a lot.
The Digital Industry is very Competitive
I learned quickly that the digital industry is a progressive and competitive one. It’s not enough to be up to date; you need to be ahead of the game, aka knowing the next move before it even happens. It pays (literally) to follow twitter pages like @Hootsuite and the likes on social media to get updates as they happen and stay in the loop
Within a month I had learned what the following acronyms stand for CMS (content management system), SEO (search engine optimization), DMS (digital marketing system), CPC (clicks per post), CTA (call to action), PPC (paid per click) and my favorite, HIPPO (highest paid person’s opinion).
I probably came into the internship a little bit arrogant
I believed because I had good marks in high school and I was from the young ‘digital’ era, I had this thing in the bag. I thought I didn’t need mentoring and I knew what was best for our clients despite what my boss told me. I was wrong. I know how there is a big difference with loving Instagram and Facebook, and actually using them strategically for marketing purposes.
Doing work for free is hard.
I defiantly was faced with that reality when I was working as an intern. Loud&Clear were using the work I was making but not paying me and although I was flattered, I found it difficult to continue to produce work of similar quality. I guess it’s hard to work for free anywhere because it feels kind of unfair. In order to deal with it I just weighed up the experience I was getting and the likelihood of me landing a better job than a peer who hadn’t had the experience.
No-one cares what you wear.
No-one cares what you wear. Being a 20 year old girl I care about what I wear, probably more than I should. But I realized during my internship that no-one really cared what anyone else was wearing. Our head of Digital wore t-shirts and jeans everyday, and our Junior Accounts Officer wore a suit. Go figure.
Office dynamic is a funny thing.
I watched the same people come into the office day in day out, and I got to know which would make their presence known and the others that would happily sneak into the office without a fuss and leave in similar fashion. I stressed about this because I am not really one to sing out good morning to whole the office every Monday morning. I remember being told in a lecture at University that if you don’t have charisma then media isn’t the industry you should be in.
That really resonated with me because I certainly wasn’t the loudest, most fashionable or the funniest. But what I came to realize is that in the ‘real world’, you can be as quiet as you want as long as your produce good work. Because at the end of the day, the people in my office weren’t getting paid to make jokes, they were getting paid to produce quality results. I learned that as long as I was friendly and did what was asked of me, I would float in the industry I once thought I would sink
Every Employee was Versatile.
I also found that everyone, although very specialized in their own specific areas, could do lots of other things. The graphics team helped create power points for the advertising team to pitch with. One of the accounts managers was a whiz a Wordpress and our Head of Creative is a really great writer. It’s well and good to be good at what you do; but it’s better to be versatile.
YouTube is your best friend when you’re an intern.
I learned how to use Photoshop and Adobe flash purely with the aid of YouTube. I learned how to code and how to create an eye catching blog article all with the help of YouTube. The beauty of an internship at a digital agency is that you are not really expected to know one thing so you are given jobs that require a range of skills and programs; and you have to learn those skills and programs in order to keep up. I learned more practical skills in my 3 months at Loud&Clear then I did in one year at my University.
It’s ok to be Honest.
It’s okay to tell your boss you don’t understand the inner workings of a complex back end system like Sitecore. It’s hard work, and asking to learn just shows you want to learn and prove you are capable of doing so.
Digital Agency People love Gifs.
So much. We used Slack as our main communication device in the office and everyday it was just flooded with GIFS, and not even good ones… If you are sending an email to someone in a digital agency, asking for a job or maybe enquiring about become a client of his or hers, do with a GIF and you’ve got it in the bag.
I learned loads at Loud&Clear. They worked well with me and I with them. I know that my future lays in the digital world and whatever lies beyond. I hope my experience will give you a small perspective of what it’s like to work at a digital agency.