By: Gabrielle Hefner
If you didn’t already know - High Five Media Group is different. Intentionally.
Summer 2017 has been a major step toward adulthood for me. As much as the transition from my flexible college schedule to a forty-hour work week was a shock to my system, it was completely worth the loss of sleep and coffee overload! Instead of spending my entire summer soaking up the sun poolside, I got the opportunity to experience what a typical day truly looked like at my dream job.
It would be difficult to sum up an entire 240 hours of an experience, so instead, I’ll reveal to you how High Five made me fall even more in love with Advertising in 5 ways:
The People - As cheesy as it seems, my coworkers were a great example of a “work family.” Everyone instantly welcomed and respected me as if I had worked there forever. I never felt inferior like the stereotypical intern does. Their diverse personalities came in handy for collaborating and kept the office dynamics interesting. This amazing team has spoiled me.
The Work - Since the first day I started my internship, I was entrusted with big responsibilities. The best part was that my position was taken seriously and I wasn’t just running errands or doing busy work as I expected. I was assigned to the Content Department and was immediately depended upon to get my tasks done efficiently. From social media strategizing to helping create content, each project I was assigned was significant. In the beginning, I feared that the expectations would exceed my capabilities and I wouldn’t be working on creative projects using my graphic design skills. I couldn’t have been more wrong. High Five challenged my creativity, and assisting in graphic design was a significant part of what I did. Besides my weekly content duties, my schedule often allowed flexibility for me to join the video team for various shoots, which became one of the most memorable parts of my internship. There was enough balance of exposure to each department that I now feel confident going into my Senior Advertising courses and ultimately into my first job post-graduation.
The Reward - As I reflect on my time at High Five, I’m overwhelmed by my accomplishments. I compare my internship to my friends’ that are working unpaid and overtime with none of their work even presented - just to work for a recognizable agency in a big city. I never expected to see my name in a byline on published articles, hear my radio scripts as I’m driving, or watch myself act in a film, but that’s the result of working for an agency that’s different. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have been pushed out of my comfort zone every day and exposed to as much as possible in 7 short weeks. My initial reactions when something new was asked of me compared to how I felt after I completed it is the reward I’m talking about. I appreciate the intimidating unfamiliarities that turned into second nature. Overall, I have expanded my knowledge in the field, acquired new skills, and am confident that I chose the right path.
The Growth - Growth is in High Five’s name. It’s just a silent G-R-O-W-T-H, pronounced /ˌhaɪ ˈfaɪv/. I didn’t expect my capabilities to flourish as much as they did in such a short amount of time, but growth can be infectious. The expansion of High Five’s client base, work-space, and race toward the top created a current that carried me along with it. Getting to evolve with them gave me the chance to see the reality of the journey toward a vision, making me love advertising more.
The “WHY” - If you’ve seen Collateral Beauty or know anything about advertising and marketing, this is familiar to you. I have several “WHYs,” but for this point, I’m specifically referring to why I chose advertising, why I look forward to work, why I don’t want my internship to end, and why I chose High Five. Advertising is a perfect harmony of creativity and problem-solving, which is WHY I chose my major. The environment keeps me inspired, excited, and engaged, so that’s WHY I look forward to work. The fulfillment of seeing a client’s mission accomplished, enhancing my professional portfolio, and the momentum I’ve gained is WHY I don’t want it to end. I had many opportunities for an internship this summer, but after considering the options, I wanted a hands-on experience in every facet of the industry, and that’s WHY I chose High Five Media.
To fellow interns: Work hard - it will be noticed. Embrace the challenges - there will be some. Prepare to grow beyond your expectations - you will. Your coursework has prepared you, so be confident and completely immerse yourself in the field. The internship goes by fast because time flies when you’re having fun! P.S. - Earle will keep you on your toes.
To competing agencies: Dare to be different. Dare to give your interns more responsibility than they think they can handle. Dare to treat your clients like they’re your only client. And dare to take risks towards growth. At High Five, they’ve created an environment where the employees lift each other up. When you walk in the doors as a client or intern, the creativity and inclusiveness are noticeable and impressive. This is how they intentionally stand out. High Five has shown me what a successful advertising agency should look like. I credit and thank them for making me fall even more in love with advertising.
Ending this with a *high-five* of course.