Last summer, TAI creative advertising student Jennifer Nelson worked as a Copywriting Intern at McGarryBowen’s headquarters in New York City, NY. Internship experiences can give you a greater understanding of how a large agency functions according to Nelson.
“I was hired as a Copywriting Intern so I was responsible for writing headlines/taglines/commercial scripts, concepting ideas, assisting my Art Director partner, and working on the summer-long intern project,” Nelson said. “I was put on the Chevron and Brand USA accounts, but I ended up working on mainly Chevron as well as a bit of United Airlines. There is a commercial that will air for the Sochi Olympics this winter and I helped write the script!”
Nelson learned many important skills from this internship, but she claims that by far the most important skill she learned was working with others. She partnered with a talented Art Director intern and worked on every project almost entirely through collaboration. “If I needed help with a headline, I would ask for her opinion. If she was stuck on some art, I would give her ideas,” Nelson said. Through this method, Nelson was always prepared for client meetings.
Every day was different depending on Nelson’s schedule, but she typically got to work at 9 A.M. and headed home at 6 P.M. Once she got to the agency, she made herself oatmeal and coffee, checked her e-mail for any meetings she could have, and talked with her intern partners about their plan for the day. In the mornings, she and her Art Director partner gave each other feedback on their concepts and worked on them until lunch. Sometimes the interns had informational meetings that allowed them to learn about the different departments and roles within the office. For lunch, she typically ate outside with the interns and then headed to a client meeting.
One of her favorite memories from her internship experience was working with other interns to present an Intern Project to the agency. “It was basically a campaign pitch for Champion. The interns were split up into three teams so it got pretty competitive,” Nelson said. “To set my group apart, I wrote a rap for us to perform at the beginning our presentation. We received a huge round of applause as well a couple chuckles. A few of the executives even praised my rap writing skills when we finished.” This experience allowed Nelson to sharpen her presentational skills.
Nelson has learned how to be a good team player from her advertising classes, and this helped her be the best partner she could in the internship.
During her internship, Nelson primarily worked with the Chevron creatives who became like a family for her. Nelson and her Art Director partner developed concepts for Snapchat games, videos, gifs, and more. Nelson also worked on a Chevron STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) event for women in Washington D.C. “That was super cool because I learned so much about the rich history of women in STEM,” Nelson said. “My partner and I ended up having the most accepted concepts for both Fresno and STEM on the team!”
This internship gave Nelson amazing opportunities to create work, and was therefore allowed to experience the duties of a copywriter. In the future, she sees herself working for an advertising agency in a big city as a copywriter.
Advertising students are strongly encouraged to complete an internship prior to graduation. The hands-on experience allows students to learn about the advertising industry outside the classroom. Nelson highly recommends TAI students to apply for McGarryBowen’s summer internship!
Check the TAI Weekly Update for current internship opportunities.