5 Ways My Internship at High Five Media Made Me Fall In Love With My Major

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

Pro Tips:

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. 

When it Comes to Social Media, Just Pick One

When it comes to social media, you should pick one platform and grow

Social Media is no longer something cool your business should have, it’s essential.

But with Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, Instagram stories and Snapchat, it’s hard to know where to even start your social media marketing efforts. Often business owners make the mistake of spreading themselves too thin where it comes to social media that they are everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

Allow me to unpack this; if you are posting for the sake of posting on multiple channels, you are probably not saying anything of value to your customers. If you are not adding value, entertaining or informing customers, what’s the point of posting? Social media is an invaluable marketing tool but only when it’s used correctly and unfortunately, often business owners don’t use it to its full potential.

So here’s what I’m proposing to small business owners: Choose one platform and master it.

Running your business is a lot to chew, adding social media management of four different platforms on top of an already full plate is only going to leave you feeling drained, not to mention it won’t yield you any positive return on the time invested. Choose one and make it your focus for the next month. You probably have a favorite platform, or at least one platform you are most familiar with, so go with that and immerse yourself in learning everything you can about it. Make sure the platform you choose is where your customers are. For example, if your customers are mostly millennials you’ll have better luck catching their attention on Instagram than you will on Facebook. That’s what you're after at the end of the day: Attention. Research where your target market is spending most of their time online and go there. Understanding your audience is everything when it comes to digital marketing.

This is good for two reasons. First off, there’s only so much time in a work day and the last thing you want is to spend hours scheduling social media posts, after all you’ve got a business to run! By choosing one platform you’re going to streamline this entire process and cut out the time you’ve been allotting to this side of your marketing. Secondly, by choosing one you’re going to going to get pretty good at it. You’ll learn optimum posting times, what kind of content works well on the platform and you’ll be able to study how your target audience is reacting to it. Not all platforms are created equally, so what works on Facebook won’t work as well on Instagram. By focusing your efforts on a single platform rather than cross posting, you are becoming more aware of what works and what doesn’t. These details are what yield results, so it’s worthwhile to read up on your platform of choice and stay updated as they are constantly evolving. The social media landscape is a tricky one, one that’s changing more and more every day. Being up to date will ensure your marketing efforts are effective.

If this still sounds overwhelming and you simply don’t have the time or desire to immerse yourself in the world of social, we are happy to take this marketing piece off your plate. The content team at High Five Media Group is full of social media experts who pride themselves on staying up to date on all the latest social trends. We love all forms of social media and have accumulated knowledge over the years on how we can use these platforms to find your business tangible success.


High Five in the News

Hello again, we couldn't be happier you've decided to continue reading our posts.  Here's a little update we can't help but brag about. Our very own photographer, Jonathan Burkhart, was selected as the number one Instagram account to follow in Oklahoma by a little publication you may have heard of...TIME Magazine. To say we're over the moon with pride is an understatement. Here is a press release detailing the achievement.

Can you blame us for bragging? 

High Five Media's Photographer Selected in TIME Magazine's Top 50 Instagram Photographers to Follow

Oklahoma photographer, Jonathan Burkhart, picked by TIME Magazine as one of the 50 Instagram accounts to follow.

High Five Media's photographer, Jonathan Burkhart, was part of TIME Magazine's top 50 Instagram Photographers to Follow for his excellence in social media and photography. The list includes one photographer for each state, with Burkhart representing Oklahoma. Burkhart is a Choctaw, Okla. native, one of ten siblings and has over 55K followers on Instagram. As a photographer for marketing company, High Five Media, Burkhart is able to expand his photographic portfolio. 

"I never really thought about TIME Magazine ever looking at my work, or even knowing I was alive," said Burkhart. "I'm still kind of shocked, but I'm also really honored that such an institution noticed and appreciated my work." 

Burkhart began working for High Five Media in May 2015 and takes photographs for both the company's magazine, Linked, and for clients. On Instagram, his specialties are portraits and landscape, though at High Five he is able to expand his repertoire to include food photography, business photography and videography. 

"At High Five Media, I'm able to continue working and growing as a photographer," said Burkhart. "I'm able to have freedom to express my creativity and vision." 

"Jonathan is awesome," said Earle Haggard, partner at High Five Media. "He captures things on his camera that others standing beside him are unable to see. His talent far exceeds his experience and his age. I am so proud of him not only for accomplishing this honor from TIME magazine, but also for the humility that he possesses all the while. We feel so fortunate to have Jonathan as a member of our High Five team."