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In School vs. On the Job: Intern lessons from LSB

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At LSB, we think of our interns as our own, precious baby harp seals. We’re very dedicated to helping them learn intern lessons and about the world … for about 12 days. Then they’re on their own.

Ok, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Our latest batch of interns has been around for more than 12 days. More like several months to a year (hey Carly). In that time, they’ve soaked up as much as they could glean about the worlds of video production, media buying and public relations.

So as a farewell, we insisted they share some of their intern lessons and experiences for the good of future LSB interns. (That’s better than a cake in a conference room, right?)

Here’s what we got from our little seal pups:

Carly, our PR intern, earned her first news placements, wrote blog posts and supported sponsored content campaigns, but her most impressive accomplishment to date? Winning the office March Madness Bracket, obviously.

What was the most important lesson you learned in school? 

My classes at UW taught me how to think critically. Through a range of journalism, political science and liberal arts classes I was challenged to find connections between concepts and think about the larger applications of theories. Approaching problems with questions has helped me understand problems, opportunities and why consumers care about products. For me, this provided the groundwork for developing story and pitch angles.

What’s one intern lesson you wish you would have had before walking into LSB?

Raise your hand and ask for work. Asking for more work is the last thing you would do in school, but in an internship it’s a prerequisite for success. You’re surrounded by go-getters who love their craft, so taking on more responsibility, even if it’s just a few hours of busy work, is a great way to show you’re passionate about the work you do, too.

 Insider tips for the next crop of interns?

The doors here are confusing – I still can’t open them on the first try.

On a more serious note though, take advantage of all the mentorship here. Everyone is so, so smart, (editorial interjection: STOP, Carly! Jk, jk, go on!) and they genuinely want to help you succeed. Ask for feedback, take in all the advice you can and learn from every opportunity!

Nations, LSB’s video intern is going to miss being part of such a dynamic agency. Over the past five months he has worked on projects ranging from case study videos for LSB’s website and mantra films for clients, to new business pitch videos.

 What was the most important lesson you learned in school?

After four years of production classes at UW, I can say school gave me the base of technical skills I needed for LSB’s video work. I was able take on video and photo projects with confidence and operate the editing software and deliver final cuts.

 What’s one of the intern lessons you wish you would have had before walking into LSB?

Motion graphics… Oof. I hadn’t learned this in school at all. I spent my first month at LSB learning the basics of After Effects and once I got the hang of it, it was totally worth all the time I put in. For any incoming video intern who doesn’t already know After Effects, I would recommend getting the program and just start experimenting. Look at YouTube tutorials and do your best to learn the fundamentals on your own. You won’t regret it.

As a film student, my classes didn’t give me much knowledge beyond the fundamentals of marketing, but as a video intern I got to expand on this and learn a ton from sitting in on meetings and presentations.

 What will you miss most about LSB?

I’m really going to miss being in an agency, especially one as bright and positive as LSB. I started my mornings here three times a week and it always put me in a good mood for the day. Everyone is incredibly welcoming and supportive (editorial interjection: aw, shucks), which is not something you find in every work environment. 

Stephanie, LSB’s media intern  has loved every minute of her time here. She’s worked on all sorts of cool projects for clients across different industries, from competitive media analyses to helping make flowcharts. And now she can officially add “billing pro” to her LinkedIn profile, so there’s that.

 What was the most important lesson you learned in school?

Classes in the UW School of Journalism gave me a really good background for the world of media planning. Seriously, I didn’t even know this was a career path until fall of my Junior year! In the final project for one of my classes, J345, we created a full-fledged advertising campaign and it gave me a great overview of the different roles in an agency, and how an ad agency functions in real life. 

What’s one intern lesson you wish you would have had before walking into LSB?

What I didn’t learn in class is that getting a job at an agency is much harder than it seems. Although you might be a Journalism major who’s involved in Ad Club and Her Campus (which are both great!), there’s a lot of other students applying for the same jobs/internships with extremely similar experiences. So, it’s important to stand out in any way that you can, because getting a job at an agency is more cutthroat than classes make it out to be. Get involved with any activities you can – it doesn’t necessarily have to be directly related to advertising!   

Favorite memory at work?

I love when the media vendors come in to present, and everyone gets together in the conference room to listen, have lunch and ask questions. It’s so interesting to be able to learn about real happenings in the industry and to interact with the reps from cool companies. It’s one of the many ways LSB promotes out-of-work learning experiences, which is awesome.

And with that, our interns are out of here!

This summer, Nations is headed to Massachusetts to work as a videographer for a sports camp. Meanwhile, both Stephanie and Carly are heading to the Windy City where they will begin their careers. Stephanie will work as a digital marketing coordinator for 3Q Digital and Carly will be a post-graduate intern with public relations agency, Golin.

They’re spreading their little seal flippers and swimming away (or something) with a lot of experience and a little bit of LSB swag to keep at their new desks,  just to remind them where it all started. Thanks for your intern lessons and remember us when you’ve taken over the world!


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