My Takeaways from my Summer at Of the Sea

When I was younger, I thought interns were people who got their bosses coffee and got little in return (I watched way too many movies). However, this is such a false depiction. In the real world, interns get to see what it’s like to collaborate with others and gain experience in a specific field through accomplishing challenging tasks, contributing ideas, and interacting with a team. This internship has given me a glimpse of what it’s like to work for an advertising agency.

I chose Communications as my major because the opportunities are endless. Since there is so much you can do with it, I wanted to get an internship to gain experience and get exposure to working within my field of study. I’ve taken a few marketing classes, so when this internship opened up I thought it would be a great opportunity to gain hands-on experience. This being my first one, I went in not knowing what to expect. Now I can walk away and say that I have learned so much about marketing and social media in the advertising world. Here some things I’ve learned this summer:

  1. What it’s like to work with a small team

At Of the Sea, there’s only 5 employees. Although each person has a specific position, each person has multiple roles. Although I was a social media intern, I was still able to help them accomplish internal tasks that they might not have had time to complete on their own. I enjoyed working with a small amount of people because it was a much more personable experience, and I always knew what I should be working on. I was able to attend weekly meetings and recognize the importance of collaborating with others and addressing concerns. 

2. How to develop social media strategies for clients

I was able to look at social media strategies for clients like Barretend, the Gateway City Deli, and Jamestown Brewing Company. Looking at different strategies for different businesses shows that each is unique in their own way. With social media, it is so much more than taking pictures and posting them at random times. It is so important to set goals and have an idea of what personality and voice you want to portray. This affects the overall feel of the page and specific content and captions. I was able to research ideas for content to accomplish those goals, and came up with a list of content for each client. I also worked with Kaylyn to develop a social media strategy for Whiskey Folks, a company that Erik recently started. 

3.  How to develop a LinkedIn account for a business

One of the projects I was able to work on was creating a LinkedIn strategy for Of the Sea. As the intern I was able to spend time researching more about LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows companies to recruit employees, show promotions of current employees, as well as updates of what the company has accomplished. I created a LinkedIn presentation that showed what we could change about our current page and what to do moving forward. This included figuring out a target audience, incorporating hashtags into posts, connecting with clients, and posting recent promotions. Simple changes like adding a slogan to the header photo clearly communicates with viewers what we are all about in a visually appealing way.  After examining what other businesses were posting on LinkedIn, I found ideas for content and frequency of posts .

4. What is discussed in a Brand Workshop

After a brand workshop with one of their clients, I copied all of the notes down onto a Google doc and was able to see what was discussed during the process. They addressed questions like: What do we see? What do we believe? What do we stand for? What do we feel? What do we hear? They also discussed “We Believe” statements. This has shown me that rebranding is a process that takes hours of thought. There are many components that go into developing a company’s vision and not everyone will always agree. I was also able to sit in on a client interview as a part of the brand development process. 

5. That there is always room for improvement!

I’ve learned that there is nothing wrong with making mistakes or having to fix something. One of the projects I worked on was a Social Media Brand Guide booklet for our social media clients.  I made the original on a google document and the layout and design did not look very professional. To fix this, Kaylyn helped me create a new layout on Canva. I added the content and pictures and it looked so much better than the original. I also worked on an Office tour video that Of the Sea will show their clients so they can find our office more easily. When I was editing, I realized we needed to go out and reshoot certain parts to make it look better. Having some video experience, I knew that reshooting is a part of the process and is sometimes necessary to making the video look how you want it to.

Overall, this internship has been a great learning process. Whether it be developing a social media strategy, researching social media trends, or creating content to give to clients, I have been able to partake in a variety of tasks that have tested my creativity skills.

I met some great people along the way too!