Hello! My name is Marian Huang, one of Hawke Media’s summer interns and a fourth-year student at the University of California, Los Angeles. As an intern for the Internal Marketing team, I’ve had the opportunity to delve into media planning, copywriting, content management, and more! Here are seven main takeaways that I learned throughout my remote internship experience.
1. Communication is Key
Starting a new internship is always daunting, but I always try to remember that with these feelings comes a valuable opportunity for growth. It’s normal to initially feel overwhelmed from company onboarding, and it’s absolutely acceptable for an intern to not know everything about company norms right off the bat. I definitely had to push past my own fear of asking questions, because I realized that it’s better to feel uncomfortable for a couple of seconds while asking a question than to spend hours redoing an assignment)!
Working entirely remote also allowed me to practice effective communication skills. Overcommunication was essential to show that I was active and engaged throughout my shift. This meant reaching out for feedback on assignments to make sure that the work I was doing was aligning with company expectations. I also scheduled recap video calls at the end of my shifts to summarize my daily progress with my manager. Effective communication also doesn’t necessarily have to be overt communication either, you can demonstrate this skill by simply having your webcam on during all team meetings to show that you’re present and actively listening!
2. Always be Organized
One of the things I learned working for an established marketing consultancy is that there’s always a lot going on! During my time interning, I saw Hawke Media launch multiple campaigns, work on a television commercial, and coordinate the largest virtual eCommerce event in Los Angeles history. A personal tip of mine to stay on top of daily tasks and company initiatives is to document everything. I created one document dedicated to jotting down notes during various meetings and another document to create daily to-do lists. This helped me to become a self-starter by determining what tasks I needed to complete the following day (it’s awesome to demonstrate independence once you start getting the hang of things)!
Documenting meeting topics and my daily assignments also allowed me to have a descriptive timeline of what projects I worked on throughout my internship. It’s always exciting to look back at the overall progress after-the-fact to see how far you’ve come and how much you’ve learned. This isn’t always obvious during the experience, but you’ll be surprised how much you were able to accomplish in such a short period of time when rereading the documents at the end of your internship period (I definitely was)!
3. It’s Important to be Adaptable
Being an intern for Hawke Media meant gaining exclusive access to the inside scoop during morning team meetings. I learned that all of the employees on the Internal Marketing team are equipped with the ability to quickly come up with creative solutions when there’s an ask to pivot. It’s not uncommon for there to be a sudden shift in plans at a full-service marketing consultancy, so it’s important to always be ready to quickly adapt to change. This means presenting a willingness to shift gears when presented with new tasks as well as having a back-up plan in mind! A new marketing campaign that you contributed to can also be the highest priority one day and canceled the next, but don’t be discouraged when this happens. Although the campaign may not necessarily be launched, your hard work as an intern will still be recognized by your teammates and can potentially inspire new ideas for new marketing initiatives!
4. Be Proactive
It’s extremely beneficial to determine ways to get involved as an intern beyond your assigned role, especially in a remote environment. If a project mentioned during a team meeting sounds interesting to you, it doesn’t hurt to reach out to the project head to express your interest regardless of whether or not it directly correlates with your assigned role. Although I work under social media, I was able to sit in on various Hawke meetings ranging from NightHawke partnership meetings with Laugh Lounge to meetings discussing marketing curriculum for high school students with Vermont Slauson EDC. I also developed the drive to create pitches for Hawke Media’s upcoming eCommerce Week LA because my manager pushed me to be more confident in my abilities as an intern (thank you, Steven)!
Being proactive doesn’t always have to mean piling on extra work either. I was able to participate in weekly Zoom games hosted by Lizzie Maher, one of Hawke’s recruiters, where employees competed for some Amazon gift cards! Working remotely made it more difficult to meet employees from other departments; however, attending these weekly games allowed me to do so. I was also able to experience Hawke Media’s awesome work culture first-hand through competitive games of trivia and Pictionary. It’s always important to be proactive in creating a healthy work-life balance for yourself, so if there are company socials to take part in, it doesn’t hurt to take a short break from work to have fun!
5. Stay Connected
It’s important to maintain the network you created within the company after concluding your internship. I’ve met some incredible people at Hawke Media who are extremely talented and knowledgeable about the marketing industry. Professional relationships are key to getting your foot in the door, so you never know what these relationships can spark in the future. You could also potentially find out about new opportunities that will serve as a stepping stone to assist you in accomplishing your next career goal.
Specifically, at Hawke, I’ve also had the opportunity to assist with the growth of Brand Club, Hawke Media’s Slack community that contains a network of Hawke employees, established business leaders, and passionate college students. Beyond building a LinkedIn network, you also want to research other ways to get immersed in your company’s community. The Brand Club community will allow me to continue to not only learn first-hand about all of Hawke’s upcoming events and opportunities but also have direct contact with Hawke’s clients and company partners as well.
Join Hawke employees and I in Brand Club by applying here.
6. Continue to Take Advantage of Company Opportunities
It’s advantageous to continue to demonstrate your genuine interest in the industry through continuing to participate in company-hosted events. Hawke Media pushed out various virtual events during my internship period, such as NightHawke where all event proceeds were donated to Black Lives Matter organizations. It was an amazing opportunity to take part in these events as an official member of the Hawke team, and I plan to continue to take part in future events knowing that Hawke is dedicated to developing a positive impact on the community. For instance, although eCommerce Week LA is taking place after my internship, I plan on attending this free virtual event so that I can learn more about the eCommerce and marketing industry from successful business leaders.
Learn more about eCommerce Week LA here.
7. You’re Here to Learn – So Don’t Overwhelm Yourself
I was initially afraid of potential expectations from Hawke at the start of my internship, but the company was able to emphasize that internships are meant for students to learn and grow professionally. I was given a lot of flexibility in terms of what I wanted to work on throughout my time there. It’s important to let your manager or supervisor know if you have specific strengths that could be utilized for your internship role as well as particular topics that you want to learn more about. Although the people you will work with will have years of experience in the industry, they were once in your shoes as well – so don’t worry, they know how nerve-wracking it can be to enter a company as a new intern. Just be yourself and have fun!
From orientation to my very last day, I’ve always felt a strong sense of community at Hawke. Thank you Hawke Media for providing me with such a memorable internship experience and the Internal Marketing team for serving as a constant source of inspiration!
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