Bits & Pieces?
This is a guest blog post from our intern Laura who reflects on her summer internship experience.
Throughout Fonzie’s life there were many girls who were influential to his career. Once upon a time the glorious…
And that’s what you get when you let all the interns try to write a blog post together. It’s probably better that you don’t ask questions about that, but if you ever get a chance visit the Bronze Fonz down on the Milwaukee River.
So for me this whole summer internship and experience started in Dublin, Ireland. I studied abroad for the month of May around Ireland and was sitting in the Dublin airport waiting for one of my three flights home when I got the news that I was a new OrangeAid sponge. I remember walking into the office on the first day and got paraded around being introduced and feeling like I was going through sorority recruitment all of over again (not something you ever want to do twice). Then we got down to business.
We were given our client and dove right into their strategy and concepts feeling like the Mad Men themselves. This was in the beginning of June. Now it’s nearing the end of August and I’m already back at school waiting to spend my money on books, pens, and notebooks (because that is exactly what I want to spend my money on).
My eyes have been opened to exactly how a project is completed and the biggest lesson I learned all summer. Are you ready for it? Okay good. You can always revise something to be better. We wrote numerous amounts of copy for our client and through our own revisions about 89% of it is currently in a trash can or crossed out on paper in bright red pen. But seeing that and going forward was always encouraging. Everyone working with us wouldn’t just shoot us down but they would raise the bar a little higher so we could really write and be proud of our accomplishments. I mean, I learned a lot of other stuff too that I will take with me in life. For example, 62% is the best amount of cocoa to be in chocolate, and Icelandic candy is not yummy…at all. But in all seriousness, this internship has only strengthened my want to be in the Ad World and find my niche in a place like Jigsaw.
This summer has flown by so fast, but Jigsaw and OrangeAid have definitely been a good time. Seeing the orange gorilla sitting out, taking over an empty office looking out to the Bronze Fonz and having sticky notes upon sticky notes clinging to my notebook with reminders and ideas have all made my summer and provided a few good laughs. It was also great being treated as an intern with a mind rather than an errand girl or copy girl, we even got graph paper delivered to us! (Bryan and Joel are probably still freaking out about that.)
Working with everyone and learning what goes on the big kid world helped me realize that I may actually survive and not get eaten by sharks when I eventually graduate college. But really, I don’t think I can say how much I appreciate everything I was taught and the experience I was given through OrangeAid. I even got to go on a field trip and take a picture with the Bronze Fonz! (ps. Where are those pictures?)
I just read this great post by Chris Guillebeau (kudos to Neille at Aurum Design for the link) and it really hit home to me — especially when it comes to my work in advertising. Chris’s big point is that there are going to be people who are close to you — very close to you — who aren’t going to have this huge positive reaction to your creative work. You’re going to show someone you love one of your commercials, an ad, a web site, whatever and say “What do you think?” And you’re likely not going to be met with the enthusiasm you want, or are expecting.
That’s because, at least in my experience, your parents and others aren’t totally sure what you’re role was in the work. It is a little confusing. “You designed that?” “You wrote it?” “What’d you write?” “It’s nice.” “What’s a coder?” It’s probably one of those things you’re going to have to live with. It could be the other way around and your Dad could have been the Don Draper of his day. You could show him your work and he could say, “Well that’s nice but I would have ….”
The key is to not let it bother you. Because as Chris writes, new people are going to come out of the woodwork. Colleagues, professionals, clients and friends who get it. If you’re successful you will begin to build your own fan base and followers who can appreciate your work. It’s nice to get your Mom to like your stuff, but it’s even more important to get an awards show judge to like it. Sorry, Mom.
Anyone out there get any strange reactions to your work from a loved one or family member? I’d love to hear about it.
It’s time to start preparing for fall and with that comes the search for the next group of OrangeAid sponges. That’s right. You have another chance to become a part of the awesomeness that is OrangeAid. We are looking for big-hearted, passionate, talented, smart, curious and fun college students and recent graduates with 15 flexible hours a week and desire to learn and grow to join our creative mashup and help the community with a pro bono project.
OrangeAid operates as a student agency / think-tank / laboratory within the agency, bringing together people with passion and diverse backgrounds (strategy, psychology, design, advertising, interactive development, event planning, PR, math, journalism, engineering, photography, film, happiness studies. You get the point). As part of OrangeAid, you will get hands-on experience, one-on-one mentorship, exposure to the daily life in this industry, understanding of how everything works together and the warm fuzzy feeling of doing something good. You will work with teammates and mentors with diverse talents, learn from each other and create awesome work.
The deadline is August 1st by 5 p.m. and you can find the application form here. If you have any questions, get in touch with us @MakeOrangeAid on Twitter or submit questions through our Tumblr (click on the “Ask us” link). Good luck.
While reading through the Jigsaw blog I came across a post about our OrangeAid internship program. To summarize, the post talked about our very first OrangeAid interns and their experiences, as well as a couple of “life lessons” learned along the way while working in the crazy world that is advertising. As I was reading through, I was captivated by something that Dan Kowalsky (one of our interns) wrote. He was quoting one of the Jigsaw mentors when he said that “we (as students) were used to thinking in an academic setting” i.e. we think of things in relation to what kind of expected response we will get. He gave a great example of asking ourselves “How good does this document have to look to get an A?”
Well, as someone who is still in school, I can tell you that he is right. At the risk of sounding like my freshman intro to Psychology course, I will say that we are sort of conditioned to think in a way where we behave according to the expected response. This realization really saddened me. What about the thrill of creating ideas just to create ideas? Where does that leave room for strokes of genius or Eureka moments? The truth is it doesn’t. This is probably one of the reasons why the world of advertising is so fascinating not just for myself but for all those who live in it. We live for unexpected responses and push the envelope as far as we can because we can. It is the freedom of ideas and the energy of those ideas that seduces us into living this crazy world.
Sure, the downside to the awesomeness that is advertising is that our work is constantly being edited by clients, peers, and even ourselves. As Dan also mentioned in his post “your work must be tweaked, tweaked, and tweaked some more until is near perfect” because let’s be realistic here, not every idea from your head will make sense on paper (trust me I have tried it). But just because we should edit our ideas and just because we might need to aim for an expected outcome does not mean that we shouldn’t enjoy the raw power of a fresh new concept or bask in the uncertainty of our ideas.
So I guess what I am trying to say is that if you ever truly get one of those “Eureka” moments you should enjoy and appreciate them because that is the epitome of what being in this industry of ideas is all about.
In about four hours the new group of OrangeAid interns will be here and it seems appropriate to show them what they have signed up for. Maybe we should have done that earlier, but as Steve Marsho says “Four hours is a lifetime in this industry.” I guess that can be their first lesson and they haven’t even started.
Here’s what Rox, the hilarious fast-talking bundle of nervous energy that was part of the first team, has to say about her experience with us. Enjoy.
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