Advertising senior Monica Fleming gained exposure to the media industry strengthened her public speaking and presentation skills, and gained personal and professional confidence all in one short summer at Starcom USA in Chicago.
Starcom, USA is a media and advertising agency that specializes in technology and data. Fleming said throughout her internship with Starcom, she developed an unexpected interest in the technology sector.
As a digital media intern, Fleming would work on individual projects and reach out to partners such as Spotify, Pandora, Yahoo and Google in order to track impressions based on whether they were over or under expectations for that month. If impressions were under, she would negotiate another campaign to try to increase exposure.
One cool aspect of Fleming’s internship was that she exclusively worked on the Wrigley Company account, and the digital delivery team, giving her a lot of experience. Along with keeping up with competitor’s campaigns, like Starbucks and Skittles, she also got to practice her presentation skills.
“One of my goals was to work on my speaking skills,” Fleming said. “I started out with giving short presentations to my team on industry news, AP trends, actualizing budgets, media tools and sponsored post commercials. Each week I would add more and more and I started to notice how comfortable I was getting. I think what helped me is that in the beginning, I told myself that everyone was an intern and in college at some point and not everyone was always great at public speaking. It takes practice.”
Starcom helped Fleming grow both professionally and personally.
“At the beginning of my internship, I was definitely more timid,” Fleming said. “You don’t always know what the boundaries are when starting a new position. If you would have told me all of the things I accomplished and the experience I gained at the beginning of my internship, I wouldn’t have believed you.”
One of the things Fleming strived to do during her internship was always keep busy and always ask if there was anything more she could be doing to help her team.
Fleming also wrote biweekly newsletters for her team, keeping them up-to-date with Adweek tips, fun facts about people on the team, and other news and information she found during her research.
“I was surprised at how many moving parts there are when you are working in media,” Fleming said. “I once took a media planning course and it was kind of intimidating. I never really saw myself doing a lot of programming, but then I found that I really like the media landscape. This summer my focus was what’s happening now and the newest trends associated with that.”
Fleming said her biggest piece of advice would be to get comfortable with being interviewed. She suggests trying to do as many interviews as possible to practice and improve your skills.
“By now, I feel like I have it down, especially with phone interviews. I got more confident and in the end, those practice interviews prepared me for my interviews with Starcom,” Fleming said.
Fleming also recognized that her educational experiences helped her to get the most out of her internship.
“In the end, I think MSU definitely prepared me for Starcom,” Fleming said. “And ComArtSci prepared me well for different aspects in the media industry.”
By Meg Dedyne