A Communication Studies major can lead to a wide variety of career opportunities stemming from advertising and marketing to public relations to broadcasting and journalism. On Monday, February 15, MACS hosted an Internship Panel Event consisting of six Executive Board Members who presented on their past summer internships related to industries within the Communications field. The panel provided advice on the application and interview processes, explained day-to-day internship tasks, and shared helpful tools on landing the perfect internship.
Mallory Bodker: Jackson Spalding
Mallory, a sophomore, interned at Jackson Spalding, a marketing communications firm in Atlanta, Georgia. Her focus was on event planning for Toyota, but she also worked with Delta, Chick-fil-a, and Coca-Cola. As an event planner intern, Mallory coordinated with restaurant caterers, decor experts, audio/visual experts, and many other professionals to piece together the details of a couple events. Mallory also was able to explore other areas within Jackson Spalding such as writing press releases, gaining experience with Microsoft Excel, learning about the brainstorming process, and sitting in on a client photoshoot. Mallory’s biggest piece of advice is to use your connections. She says not to be ashamed to reach out to friends or family about internship inquiries or advice; more times than not they want to help and will have suggestions!
Andrew Fridenberg: Faith Maxwell
Andrew, a sophomore, interned at Faith Maxwell, a graphic design studio with a focus on website design and brand marketing. Andrew focused on the marketing of business and researching potential clients for Faith Maxwell. As a freshman applying for summer internships, Andrew was determined to apply to as many as possible even if companies were looking for juniors or seniors. He found his place for the summer at the small graphic design studio and now suggests to others to not dismiss companies just because they are smaller. He sees many pros to small companies, such as hands on experience, being able to see the real effects of your work, and ultimately feeling a sense of value in the company because of your efforts. Andrew also highlights the importance of a cover letter during the application process as it gives a quick insight into your enthusiasm, writing skills, and personality.
Hannah Schiff: NBCUniversal
Hannah, a senior and the president of MACS, interned at NBCUniversal the summer between her sophomore and junior years. Hannah’s application and interview process was lengthy, but she was determined to continuously follow-up and stay in contact with NBCUniversal throughout the process. Eventually, it was because of a follow-up email that led recruiters to see her determination and offer her the internship. Hannah’s daily responsibilities included attending meetings, writing recaps, doing research, and creating content for galleries. Some highlights of her summer included The Biggest Loser Press Day and pitching ideas for a show called A to Z. Through the NBCUniversal Internship Program, Hannah was exposed to informational interviews, career development workshops, and intern bonding events. She says her experience at NBCUniversal helped her learn what to do when she makes a mistake and how to ask for help; two important lessons for any internship.
Sarah Schuman: Starcom Mediavest Group
Sarah, a senior, interned at Starcom MediaVest Group, a full-service media planning and buying agency with clients such as Kraft, Kellogg, and Wrigley. Sarah first had an informational interview with a recent U-M graduate who was on the Starcom search team. From there, she utilized the U-M Career Center for cover letter and resume help. She recommends taking the time to answer application questions and writing your cover letter as it helps the company get the best sense of who you are and what team to place you on. Sarah also recommends preparing for interviews by researching the company, the different areas of the company, recent case studies, and what differentiates the company from others. Throughout Starcom’s internship program, Sarah met with supervisors to establish goals and met weekly to discuss the progress of those goals. From these evaluations, Sarah learned the importance of problem solving and asking questions.
Sarah Scott: Merit
Sarah, a senior, was an Events and Promotions Intern and Social Media Intern at Merit, a fashion brand founded by U-M alumnus David Meritt. Merit donates 20% of purchases to fund college scholarships. Through Sarah’s internship, she researched marketing techniques for events, developed ideas for events, and then presented those events at the end of her internship. She also ran Merit’s Twitter account and ran analytics to measure engagement. From her internship at Merit, Sarah learned about the value of taking initiative and the value of open communication. Like Andrew, Sarah also loved her experience at a small company, as well as being able to contribute to such a worthy cause.
Leah Shepherd: Your:People LLC
Leah, a senior, interned at the public relations firm Your:People LLC in Southfield, Michigan. Your:People focuses on public relations, business development, and speaking engagements. Through Leah’s application and interview process, she learned the importance of knowing the difference between public relations, marketing, and advertising, and she also recommends doing research prior to your interview. After the interview, she suggests following up with an email, hand written thank you note, or both! Leah’s daily tasks varied, but included creating media lists, contacting press, creating social media plans, and preparing for client interviews on radio and television; she loved that each day was different. At Your:People, Leah learned interns aren’t expected to know it all from day one and learning is a part of the process, which means asking questions is important to the process!
MACS’ Internship Panel was filled with great advice for all stages of the internship process. From graphic design and marketing to the entertainment industry to public relations, the variety of internships shows the vast possibilities a Communication Studies major can pursue.