At the beginning of this summer, I decided to take an intern position at Multimedia Marketing Group. Although I didn’t need an internship for class credit, I wanted to amass as much real world experience in the marketing and public relations industry as possible before I graduate next year, and I knew what an internship would be the perfect way to do so.
I had interviewed with a wide variety of agencies before decided to come aboard the MMG team. Although I was impressed with many of the corporations, I had the chance to visit, none of them seemed to be the right fit for me. However, as soon as I interviewed with Joe and Susan, I knew that MMG would be my home for the summer. It was evident very early on that MMG had the best resources available with which to help me learn and grow as a young professional.
Going into this internship, I had very little experience working in an agency setting outside of my school organizations. I was initially intimidated by the idea of producing work for paying clients and maintaining the quality of work that MMG has grown to be known for.
However, upon my first day at MMG, I realized that all of my hesitation was baseless. I was welcomed with open arms by Susan, Joe and the rest of the interns. They were all there, each day, helping to teach me and support me in my professional endeavors. Our easy rapport and helped give me confidence in my client work and aided in my quality work production.
Throughout my time here I have come to learn much more than I had ever expected. I came into this internship hoping to expand my public relations and graphic design skills, but have come out the other side more informed and experienced in fields such as marketing, web design, creative writing, client relations and film production as well.
Susan and Joe have built up an impressive portfolio of marketing work over the past couple decades and it was a pleasure to be able to learn the ins and out of the marketing industry from such seasoned professionals. Under their tutelage, I expanded my marketing vocabulary, I gained a more thorough understanding of what goes into the creation of marketing campaigns and I was given the opportunity to explore emerging marketing trends.
In addition to my marketing education, I also learned a great deal about graphic and web design. Paula’s insights provided me with a more comprehensive knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite programs and their capabilities as well as the various strategies involved in creating a working website. Her direction was incredibly insightful and will surely be of great benefit as I continue my professional career.
During my time here, I also came to learn a great deal about the fundamentals of creative writing. Through MMG’s blogs about the Pillars of Storytelling, my experience with working on Rockford Housing Authority (RHA) and MMG’s blog campaigns and the group’s emphasis on client narrative, I began to understand that the primary function of any marketer is to assist companies, organizations and individuals in bringing their story to life and creating avenues for others to see and understand their story as well.
Through my time at MMG I also learned a great deal about client relations, primarily through my experiences with the Illinois Crisis Prevention Network (ICPN) and RHA. I came to understand that clients can often have a very different vision and approach than you. Through this internship, I came to embrace those differences and did my best to learn how to find common ground through creative collaboration.
Lastly, MMG provided me with the unique opportunity to learn more about film production. Previous to this internship, I had no experience with film. I had never been around cameras or the production process. However, within the first few days at MMG I was exposed to the processes of both working the production equipment and the strategies involved in being in front of the camera as well. These are experience I will take with me and value throughout the remainder of my professional career.
In conclusion, my time at MMG has been everything I hoped for and more. I am incredibly thankful for the people here and all that they have taught me, and I am excited to see where this experience will take me in the future.
Hello, my name is Rachel Tripp and I am a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (Go Warhawks!) with a major in Public Relations and a double minor in Marketing and Spanish. Throughout this summer as an intern at Multimedia Marketing Group, I have gained so much insight into the field of marketing as a whole. It was a learning experience that I will be able to take with me not only through the rest of my college years, but into my professional career.
“This past summer I had the opportunity to gain hands-on media experience through my internship at Multimedia Marketing Group. I am currently a junior at Wheaton College (IL) majoring in Business-Economics and Media Communication with a certificate in Journalism. Before starting my internship, I was interested in learning more about video production but had limited training and experience outside of the classroom. Through the guidance and mentoring I received at MMG, I gained not only experience but also confidence in my ability to tell stories through visual media.
INVOLVEMENT AND RESPONSIBILITY
One aspect of the internship that stood out to me was the level of involvement and responsibility that I was given. Over the course of my time at MMG, some of the highlights included editing two client videos and producing an in-house video project for our internal marketing. These assignments were a way for me to integrate the techniques, skills, and editing software that I had been learning into my work.
Furthermore, I was surprised to find that the subjects of these videos were teaching me even more than the project itself. Being new to the Rockford area, I have learned so much more about our community and the people that are part of it, and this is something I didn’t expect to take away from my internship
My time at MMG was full of rich discussion, engaging projects, and wonderful team members. I am grateful for both the experience and for the people that I got to work with and learn from this summer. Thank you!”
“My name is Katie Clark and I recently completed an internship at Multimedia Marketing Group. At nineteen years old, I am a junior at Ashford University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Marketing, and likely pursing a minor as well. I will later attend graduate school to purse a master’s degree. I personally believe interning at MMG is a powerful learning experience which will beneficially impact my life and aid to my successful career.
“I’m not going to get it,” I thought as I frantically drove, trying to find where I was supposed to go. “They wouldn’t hire someone showing up this late to their interview.” But despite my fears, the interview went much smoother than I expected, and I was offered the position. Now that I have spent the summer working in the field, I want to devote my career to, I can say that this is what I want to do with my life. When I started, I was asked to come up with five SMART goals, and these were as follows:
Over these last three months or so, I have made at least some progress in all of these. Because of how small MMG’s operation is, the work that I did actually contributed and wasn’t just busy work. I felt like my skills as a writer were useful in the operation of the company. Out of all the goals I set at the beginning of the internship, the first is the one I would say I have made the most progress on. The largest factor in this was learning the basics of Hootsuite, which I had not heard of before coming to MMG. A social media presence is critical now in marketing, and it’s always changing. I have been pretty active on Facebook for a while, but now I am more versed in Twitter and LinkedIn. It allowed me to see a dark side too, especially with controversial clients. RHA for instance, does some very good work, and performs a necessary service, based on Facebook comments, people do not always see the good of any organization. Social media allows you to interact with the public in real time, but that does not necessarily make it easy to do so. I’m sure social media will change even more by the time I graduate, and will be unrecognizable by the time I’m mid-career. But I now know what it means to have an active social media presence as a business.
Writing scripts is another SMART goal I discussed, and I was able to have some experience in it. For our VLOG series, I am proud to say I had a pretty active part in writing those scripts. As more and more content is switching to video, I’ll have more opportunities for this kind of writing. One thing that I unfortunately did not learn was more about the proper formatting of scripts. But this too, will come in time, especially if I have more experiences with copywriting.
Writing for online materials, especially blogs, is about tied with social media for the amount of my time here that it took up. And it makes sense, the two naturally go together, and whenever there was a blog written, there was a social media post to go along with it. But not only did my own writing skill sharpen, but my editing skills too. I learned firsthand to always double check everything. After 3 months of work, I can go through on RHA’s website, and our website, point to something and say, “Hey, I did that!” But when it comes to online writing, the writing is half the battle. Working with WordPress, I now know just a little bit more about coding than I did before. I know a little more about Photoshop too. Learning to navigate Mailchimp will turn out to be an important skill as well. It has also taught me to write good email copy that people will actually read. Lauren was showing me the other day a little bit on Google Analytics and the emails we sent over our blogs did cause a spike in web visits. The emails that I wrote helped cause a spike in our website visits, and I am extremely proud of that. Almost everything I’ve done has been a great introduction to things that I will be learning much more in depth over the next two years, and after I graduate.
My fourth SMART goal is essentially related to my previous goal, although in avenues other than the internet. I suggested whitepapers, but that was covered in the Vlog series, as those were online white papers. And though I was not the one to write them, I did get a chance to edit them. The only other printed collateral that comes to mind that I got a chance to work on was editing and some copy suggestions of Gustafson Farms business cards. Editing, especially that of beyond just grammar, is something I have discovered I have a knack for at this job. Looking at other people’s writing and thinking of ways to make it better has, in turn, made me a better writer.
The final SMART goal is something that I did not really get much experience with long term strategy and planning. This would make sense, being here such a short time. The strategies for clients are all already in place. But for ourselves, I remember a meeting we had with the whole crew, much bigger at the time, about coming up with a USP for ourselves. Coming up with some of those was actually pretty fun, despite none of mine being chosen. But long-term strategy is my ultimate career goal in public relations. I recognize I must get my start in the grunt work of blogs, social media, and press releases. But one day I want to be coming up with long term campaigns for people, shaping the image of whatever company I’m working for.
The summer was far too short for all I wished to learn and do. I wanted to learn more about SEO, for instance, and never had the opportunity. But this has only been a start. There are about 11 or so public relations related classes I have left to take before I graduate in May 2018, which is so much more than I have learned up until now. I will be able to take everything that I have learned here to everyone else that I work. This has been an amazing running start, and as I say goodbye to MMG, I’ll keep on running in public relations.
Obtaining an internship is something every college student strives for during the school semester and summers. Knowing that every little bit of experience helps in the job market today, the earlier one can begin working and gaining experience, the better the chances of securing a wanted job after graduation. I set out looking for a summer internship as early as January of 2011. I had an offer as early as March, but as I talked more with the business, I realized that it was not was I was looking for. I was not going to be doing what I wanted to work on, so I had to turn that offer down. I kept searching for local companies in Rockford, Illinois, and I came upon the firm. I researched their website and asked my parents what they thought. As it turns out, they have done marketing for my father’s work and knew him well. I felt as though I needed to be there after seeing their projects and client list on the website. Soon enough I had an interview and an offer to start in the summer.
The organization was started in 1984 by Joe Arco and Susan Arco in Rockford, Illinois. It is an award-winning marketing and media production company that is well known in the northern Illinois area. It provides video production and create, design, and produce interactive media. Other services offered include advertisements, commercials, media production plans, media placement, web design, graphic design, and other basic marketing materials. Knowing that I would be concentrating in social media, they also began working with businesses wanting to learn more about what social media is all about. They want to supply their customers with cost effective solutions and while maintaining a competitive edge. The department I worked in would be the advertising/marketing/media relations department. The workers in this department did much of the writing for news releases, blogs, social media, newspapers; they collaborate with the design department for marketing materials and also did research for the clients. This department is where a lot of the work begins. We must communicate with the other departments to figure out exactly what the client wants.
Now, my title was the advertising and media relations intern. I was given a variety of tasks to work on over the course of my two months. In such a fast-paced environment, I learned to work quickly and efficiently to get work done on time. I was in charge of updating our own social media as well as for clients, writing first drafts for marketing content, writing media releases, blogs and newsletter articles, attending video shoots and conducting interviews, brainstorming creative ideas for brochures, web design and posters, creating new ideas to promote firm and its services, and any administrative work assigned to me. I spent most of my time during my internship preparing for an inaugural event called the Bow Tie March for men’s cancer awareness. The planning for this event started as my internship did, and I attended committee meetings as well as marketing meetings. I was involved in the website design and poster design. I wrote and sent out a media release for the news conference about the Bow Tie March. I was able to attend my first news conference and be a part of the filming. I helped with the t-shirt design. Most of all I helped with online promoting through the Facebook page. My main goal overall was to work on learning more about social media and how it can be used for business purposes. I was more than thankful to have the opportunity to begin social media for some companies. I also put together a social media PowerPoint that will use for future clients.
My professional and personal development as a person as increased dramatically during this internship experience. I feel as if I gave my all and worked hard on each assignment given to me. At the same time, I learned that it is important to receive as much feedback and criticism as possible in order to create the best materials possible. Hearing how different audiences view my work was important for me to grow as a writer and thinker. I can take my new strategy for being creative into my professional career. I can take the organization techniques I learned as well and utilize them. Being organized in a company is one of the most important things someone can do. If organization is not there, too many mistakes can occur. In this type of work, it is necessary for me to always strive to be a better writer and also to think out of the box in a more creative sense. I think as long as I continue to ask for insight from those who can mentor me and show me how to be a great employee, I can improve my professional performance.
I benefited greatly from this work experience. I learned what it is like to work in a fast-paced environment. I am grateful to have met the different people in my community during client meetings. I have made multiple connections and relationships just from my time at here and could not be more thankful for the opportunity. The attention and guidance I received from the company helped me realize this is exactly what I want to be doing with my career and life.
I am 19 years old, currently a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I am studying Computer Science and Entrepreneurship. Ever since I was a kid (some say I still am a kid) I loved learning about technology and building things. But to be successful, I know I have to also study business. I came to Multimedia Marketing Group(MMG) to learn more about how to handle business, since, after all, this is the business of doing business.
It all starts with what you need and what you want, and then you go out and get that. As an intern at MMG I did not know what I wanted to do at first, the guidance and support that MMG has given me over these past months is amazing. I worked alongside Joe and Susan Arco learning the world of media and all the components that go along with it. My main focus was Social Media and Marketing; I learned a lot about the applications that you can use with different social media platforms and how to boost your brand name with Transmedia Storytelling.
What did I do?
The projects I’ve worked on range from blog postings for companies that work with MMG to going to job fairs and working the booths. I’ve had to learn to do thorough research and make sure my work is perfect and exactly the way I want it because when you post something on the internet, it’s out there. I just finished a series of blogs for MMG’s blog explaining how Neuromarketing and transmedia storytelling are marketer’s secret weapon. I worked two booths for MMG, one for internship and job opportunities at Rockford University and set up the interview process. The other booth I worked with MMG was for event planning, we went to Rockford Housing Authority, who happens to be one of their clients, and different people from business around town came in and asked us about what we could do for them as far as event planning goes. It was great to get experience with networking about the company and what they have to offer. I also had professional headshots taken to accompany my blog posts and to take with me for future reference, while taking those photos, Joe took the opportunity to teach me about photography as a little intro, he taught me about the different types of lights and where you want the shadows and highlights to be at with varying styles of photography.
What did I get out of it?
At MMG it defiantly wasn’t what I expected an internship to be at all. It was inclusive, and I was actually learning things instead of being told to do things. I sat in on conference calls and worked those booths, and it was a perfect introduction because I did not have any knowledge of the Marketing world before this experience with MMG. I think that I did great work and matured in my writing and communication abilities. I was involved in the day to day schedule and had a voice. If you go on the MMG website, on their blog page, you can read the blogs I’ve done and taken credit for. It was a great feeling being able to take credit for my work. I was also enrolled through MMG in a Transmedia course with the University of Sydney, Wales. I’ve had a small introduction to Hoot suite, E-blasts, and different ways to work and talk to my audience as well as a little Photoshop and graphic design. From all these little intros of things I’ve learned has helped me along the way catch things, like if we are promoting something I can look at a photo on a brochure and make sure the lighting and colors all flow well. MMG has taught me a lot in such a short amount of time, but it was all excellent information that I am now able to use in my everyday life as well as my professional life. Joe and Susan mentored me through all of these pieces that I had no idea about, my knowledge of Transmedia, Marketing and everything in between, is because of them.
Shortly after my intern experience at MMG, I came back to be a part of the staffing team as an Administrative Multimedia Marketer and have been enjoying my position as much as I enjoyed my internship.
My time at Multimedia Marketing Group was filled with numerous opportunities for me to gain real-world experience in the field of advertising. Since I took this internship halfway through my educational career, I was still not completely sure about which area of advertising I wanted to specialize in. For a good portion of my college career, I had always believed I would end up in creative. However, the two strategy classes I took in my spring semester of sophomore year ignited a spark of curiosity for a different side of advertising. Strategy, I came to find out, allowed me to not only utilize my creativity, but to also apply my logical thinking skills to solve communication problems. Having mostly been in creative roles in my clubs, I knew I needed to explore strategy. So when I began my internship with Multimedia Marketing Group, I made sure to not only put myself in a position to try out strategy, but to also develop my skills as a creative.
When I began my internship, I was asked to define three SMART goals to work towards during my time with MMG. My first goal was creative-related. I wanted to learn the Adobe Creative Cloud, but I knew I would have to focus on one or two apps, so I chose Premiere and Photoshop. I also wanted to become more well-versed in creative, which would help me regardless of whether I become a creative or a strategist. My second goal had to do with strategy. I wanted to create between one and three good strategies that would immediately spark the creative process, leading to great campaigns that achieve what they intended to do. My third goal was general and pertained to advertising as a whole. I wanted to become a well-rounded advertising professional who could successfully integrate academic skills and practical skills in everyday work. I wanted to be efficient. Most importantly, I wanted to gain confidence in myself and the skills I possessed. In the end, I think I achieved these goals in some form; even perhaps in an unconventional or unintentional way.
The first project I worked on was a documentary video that would highlight all the great services Multimedia Marketing Group provided. I stepped into the project shortly after it had begun. It was still in the planning stages, but it lacked focus. As the designated strategist for the project, I took control and began doing my own research on the company. After looking through the website and having many conferences with Joe, I began to understand what the pillars of Multimedia Marketing Group were. One key theme emerged from all the information swirling around: Multimedia Marketing Group pays careful attention to the quality of the work it produces. And, they never settle for less than their best. This idea called to mind an old phrase I used to hear a former teacher say. The phrase has an unknown author, although it is commonly misattributed to St. Jerome. It reads: “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best.”
To me, this phrase captured the essence of MMG’s business model. So, I decided to use the phrase for the strategy behind the project. I opted to emphasize one specific part of the phrase: “Never let it rest.” Thus the strategy was born. I then gathered more data from my MMG colleagues to both support the strategy and the video. I asked them what extra step they were taking to make sure their work was the best. I used this information in conjunction with that which was already on the website to write a creative brief and a content brief. Once the briefings were approved by Joe and Serena, I began working on the script. I followed the audio/visual template that Joe provided me with. Once I had a complete script, I had it sent off to my creatives, Jake and Blake. After a few revisions, the script was ready for production.
Jake, Blake, Serena, and I met at Multimedia Marketing Group for production day. Joe stopped by to help set up the lights. Jake and Blake were in charge of filming, Serena was both a supervisor and the voice actor, and I oversaw the execution of the project. For the most part, I thought filming went smoothly. There were issues with memorizing the script, and I think I could have perhaps shortened the copy or made it less complex. In the future, if I do end up writing a script, I think it would be good to work with an actor so that I can write a more accessible script.
Once filming and voice recordings were completed, the project was passed off to Jake and Blake for post-production. Due to some unfortunate time constraints, the video was not completed before the conclusion of my internship. Although it is disappointing to not see the end result, I am still grateful for the hard work the two of them put in. I am confident that with proper planning and a better time frame, the project would have turned out great. I know I put my all into the research, strategy, and creative. So, I know it would have been a quality documentary.
This particular project was an excellent opportunity for me to practice strategy. I took over the majority of the campaign process, and I learned a lot by doing much of the work on the front end. And, it forced me to step up and work on my leadership skills. While this was not at all easy to do, I learned a great deal about team dynamics and management styles. This will, of course, benefit my future career. As a strategist, I will have to be able translate research into idea-generating briefs. I will have to lead creatives in a way that does not infringe on their creativity, but that also stays on strategy. I know I will likely be put into other leadership roles, so I am happy to have some real-world experiences to fall back on. I look forward to working with so many talented creative people—wherever I end up.
For the remainder of the internship, I worked on three blog posts for MMG’s blog. I wrote about new business strategy, psychometrics and personas, and a retrospective post on the first phone call. I always made sure to read whatever I needed to fully understand the content I was going to write about, and then I outlined each post before writing them. I was given general directions for the posts, allowing me the creative freedom to make the post my own. I ran each post past Joe, Serena, and Susan, and they helped me revise the post to both fit their vision and mine. I curated the pictures so that the post was easier on the eyes, so that they fit the same aesthetic, and so that they made sense with the copy.
Writing blog posts on a consistent basis was a great way to maintain my writing skills. Coming into this internship, my writing ability was likely my strongest skill set. However, I had never written blog posts for commercial use, so it was new territory for me. By the sounds of it, I did an excellent job with each post, which boosts my confidence in post writing. Regardless of what I end up becoming, I think this is an important skill to have, considering so much of today’s content can be enriched by a blog post. And, generally speaking, any exercise in writing is beneficial to the overall development of my writing abilities. Writing well is important in whatever area I land in. In this way, practicing a creative skill had applications to other disciplines, and, by extent, my life as a whole. This is invaluable, and I am glad I got to practice it and develop it further.
I was also involved in some smaller projects towards the latter half of my internship. Joe sent me a video he made on digital marketing and asked what I thought of it. I reviewed the video and suggested some copy changes that would be more powerful and clarifying, and I was then asked to make those changes. The final version of the video was better; it could capture and engage the audience in an authentic way. Making these changes was another chance for me to “never let it rest;” to ensure the best possible work was being produced. It was yet another opportunity for me to embody my own strategy—and the essence of the MMG way.
I also had the chance to accompany Serena to a Multimedia Marketing Group production at Blackhawk Community Center. This was a wonderful experience because I got to work with one of our clients firsthand. It was eye opening to hear the stories of the students of Launch My Future. It filled me with a lot of hope and gratitude for the services Rockford Housing Authority provides. And, it allowed me to interact with our client’s and their customers. I was able to gain so much understanding of who RHA and their residents are. This type of understanding is critical as both a strategist and a creative. Knowing the audience is the key to making a great campaign. Personal anecdotes do not cut it. To make a good campaign, advertisers need to know the people they are talking to, not just know of them.
Looking back at this summer, I am so happy with the growth I have made. In regards to my SMART goals, they were nearly all realized in some way. Although I did not have an opportunity to learn more about Photoshop and Premiere, I was still able to add to my skills as a creative. Having practiced blog post writing, my skills as a copywriter grew exponentially. So, while I did not make much progress in the Adobe Creative Cloud, I still gained new skills as a creative, which helped me become more knowledgeable in the area. I was able to come up with one stellar strategy, which, in my opinion, is better than three mediocre or just “good” strategies. I was able to even write a thorough creative and content brief, which really forced me to thoroughly plan my strategy, not just simply come up with an exciting creative concept. Lastly, I had many opportunities to synthesize academic and practical knowledge. I was able to achieve that active reciprocal relationship between the two I had so often spoken of. Constantly using my academic and practical experiences enriched my experience and allowed me to gain important advertising skills.
The most important thing I gained from this internship, however, was not new experiences or new skills. Rather, it was confidence. Confidence that I am in the right field. Confidence that I have what it takes. Confidence that I can be successful in such a competitive industry as advertising. Learning advertising in practice is nothing unique. It can certainly be accessible to nearly anyone who tries hard enough to get an opportunity to learn. But, an internship that instills confidence in yourself is life-changing. It is precisely this intangible gain that has the most profound effect on one’s future career. So many times I have wondered if I was where I needed to be; if I had what it took. Granted, this is only the first step into a crazy, ever-changing industry, but I was able to feel like I was where I needed to be and that I can get to where I want to go. For example, it was humbling to see parts of my own creative brief and content brief appear on the website in areas not related to the video. I knew that my “Never Let It Rest” strategy seriously contributed to MMG’s brand strategy, not just an internal marketing campaign. Knowing that I hit the nail on the head with that strategy was a great indicator that I could be successful in strategy. Having not had any experience in strategy outside of class projects, it was so important to me to prove to myself that abandoning creative was not a bad thing. This showed me I still had a place in advertising—just as a strategist.
I believe that competence then follows from this confidence. What is competence without confidence? It does not achieve much. Confidence, then, launches careers. And I feel like I have achieved that in my short time at MMG. I am so thankful for the many opportunities I had to develop as a professional over the summer with Multimedia Marketing Group. I am proud of the impact I had, and I am proud of the work I did. I am already applying what I have learned to the classes I am taking, and I plan to continue this reciprocal relationship between academia and practice well into my professional career.
I created a list of SMART goals to focus on throughout the duration of my internship at Multimedia Marketing Group. I chose many of these goals after looking at Digital Marketing jobs on career sites such as LinkedIn and Indeed. To make myself more desirable in the job market after graduation, I tailored my objectives to meet job qualifications.
My first SMART goal was to have a vast knowledge and skillset surrounding digital signage by the end of my internship. I believe I have met this objective because I can comfortably speak about digital signage as well know how to create content for it. For MMG and our clients, I participated in several projects focusing on digital signage. For our client, Rockford Housing Authority, we established a Digital TV Channel on their website. RHA was already utilizing their installed digital signage screens in their housing, so for this project we found a way to stream what was published on the screens, onto the website. This was important for RHA since we wanted the information that was being provided on the screens, to be accessible for people on their devices as well so they wouldn’t have to leave their unit during the pandemic if needed. Writing the copy for the Digital TV Channel webpage and writing news updates about the channel are examples of some of the work that I have done. I also learned how to create content that would appear on the digital signage stream. The content would include information about RHA programs, news updates, celebrating holidays, COVID-19 information, etc. After doing lots of research on digital signage through articles and attending webinars, I again wrote copy about digital signage to provide on MMG’s new Digital Signage web page. I wrote about the uses of digital signage within several industries (hospitality, entertainment & events, nonprofits, etc.) and how MMG can provide digital signage installation and content curation for clients. The information must be broad enough that it could apply to numerous businesses, but also detailed enough to provide credibility of MMG’s expertise. I then created social media and blog posts to direct the consumer to MMG’s digital signage page.
For my second SMART goal, I wanted to further my knowledge base and skillset surrounding social media’s metrics and insights. I believe this objective was met to the best of its ability. I learned how to analyze metrics on Hootsuite, a content management system we use to schedule all our social media, and on Google Analytics. I was told “to not get too caught up in the numbers” since they are a small business. I learned how to curate content based on what was receiving the most engagement. I am very confident in my content creation skills now, as I have run RHA’s social media for the last few months. There was only one time that I witnessed the utilization of paid Facebook posts. I believe I have a good base for analytics for social media, but to have a better understanding, I will need to continue to review what the differences are in analytics among different social media platforms. While I took the initiative to try and review the analytics, I suggest MMG sit down with their next marketing intern and go over the analytics once a month and review their campaigns and posts to learn how they can increase their followers and engagement for the next month.
For my third SMART goal, I wanted to learn different writing styles and when to apply them. I believe I have met this goal because I have written a lot of different pieces for MMG. I now have experience writing press releases for clients, copy for webpages for both MMG and clients, blogs for MMG, news articles for clients, and social media posts for MMG and clients. Sometimes I would struggle writing from a business standpoint because I am very personable and passionate about certain topics so having to write “professionally” and more generalized was something I had to adapt to. For example, when writing a blog, I would get too personal and opinionated, but for MMG, the blogs need to be reflecting their expertise and their services. My most recent project I worked on; I created a pre-visualization script in the form of a comic book for a marketing promotion for the HACC YouthBuild program. Since this project applies to my demographic (16-24), this project was a lot easier to write.
For my fourth SMART goal I wanted to learn basic Photoshop skills and other applications with Adobe cloud. I did not meet this goal. The original plan was for me to sit down with our graphic designers from time to time to learn different photoshop skills. We did this one day, however, due to technology issues it was not very successful. I was sent some tutorials surrounding the uses of each tools and color correcting of images and while I did watch them and practice, it was hard practicing on my own since I’m teaching myself and was unable to receive feedback like I would have if I was learning with someone. If I did receive an opportunity, it was typically time-sensitive, and I was uncomfortable trying to rush a task that I did not feel like I had enough knowledge for. I know the graphic designers are shy, so I was unsure if this was a factor, but my learning style and the virtual setting was also a factor in me not completing this goal.
My fifth SMART goal was to learn more about Content Management Systems, such as WordPress and be able to create a website. This objective is halfway met. I have used WordPress to upload several blogs and update copy on webpages. I have become very comfortable with the site, but now I am preparing to build a website for a client within the week. I have prepared by watching many tutorials on WordPress and their editing add-on, Elementor on YouTube.
This internship was very interesting to say the least. Not only was my internship completely virtual which is a bit difficult for my learning style, but there was so many outside factors that completely altered my state of mind. Throughout the last 6 months we had the COVID-19 Pandemic, the election, the Insurrection at the Capitol, Derek Chauvin trial, and just a lot of loss and death. It was mentally draining to just exist throughout those times. What made that easier was that MMG is very empathetic and understanding that my mental health comes first and that it was okay to take personal time if needed. Unfortunately, mental health isn’t taken as seriously as physical health all the time so by having MMG understand that was truly everything to me. Even though it was virtual, I still knew the people I was working with, they were more than just a face on a screen.
I think the hardest part of the internship was the fact that it was completely virtual. Before COVID, I was used to being in a team setting in person all the time, so having to adapt to a completely virtual setting with a lot of independence was a big adjustment for me. Because of those factors alone, I grew my time management skills and learned how to truly hold myself accountable to be on-task and complete projects. It was an exchange of trust. I became a lot more confident in myself because I had to be. When you are in person you can have someone over your shoulder giving you immediate feedback whereas the virtual feedback isn’t always given right away. I think my favorite part was going to Champaign, even though it was a long drive, and meeting the HACC clients. Being virtual you can only understand so much, but to speak to Lily at HACC, meet the students in the Youthbuild Program and witness it all in person, gave me such a better insight to the core of who these clients are and the difference we are making to their lives. I can read someone’s mission, and see it, and watch videos, but to feel the energy and all in real time really helped make my internship experience a lot better. I am very grateful for my time at MMG as they have taught me such a wide range of skills that I can now use throughout my marketing career.