Some of you might hear Fast Horse and think of betting at the race track or of the Wild Wild West. I, on the other hand, think of the innovative Minneapolis-based marketing agency situated between Target Field and Club Jager in the heart of the North Loop neighborhood. As part of the second round of the Fast Horse intern-for-a-day program, I, along with three other advertising/PR internship-seeking students (Vince Koci, Grant Spanier and Margaret Steck), joined the agency for a one-day paid internship.
After an afternoon of brainstorming sessions, tours around downtown Minneapolis and completing an actual proposal, I learned a thing or two about making it in the advertising and PR world:
1. Be Proactive: Get out there and do something why don’t you! The world of advertising and PR is a fast one. Seize every opportunity you can, whether that be attending networking events, shadowing an agency for a day, seeking out volunteer and/or internship experiences, or participating in online forums and social media discussions. When you can prove you’re an avid learner who’s eager to get involved with anything that comes your way, you get noticed.
2. Sell Yourself: In a business that’s all about marketing products and ideas, you won’t be taken seriously if you can’t sell the most important person of all – yourself. Advertising and PR agencies seek out candidates who know how to market themselves and know how to do it well. Here are a few tips to get started:
– Start a Blog: Blogging not only showcases your writing ability (an essential tool in the marketing biz), it gives you the chance to prove to potential employers that you’re always thinking, whether it’s about current trends in the advertising/PR world or about your passions and interests.
– Get Social Media Smart: Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are great tools to connect with potential employers and learn more about the industry. Retweet interesting information from companies and agencies you follow, send a direct message to followers with careers you’re interested in learning about, stay on top of industry news and trends and get involved with online discussions.
3. There’s No “I” In Teamwork: In such a fast-paced, creative industry, there’s no room for people who can’t work well with others on a team. After all, the very best ideas are born out of collaboration and the melding of several good ideas into one GREAT idea. None of us knew each other pre-intern-for-a-day, but we wasted no time getting down to business and quickly discovered each other’s individual strengths. Some of us are awesome writers, some of us can edit kick-ass videos and others of us are great at seeing the “bigger picture.” We tossed around lots of crazy ideas (some better than others), and put together a real proposal that we presented to the rest of the Fast Horse crew. By the end of the day, you would’ve thought we’d known each other for years!
4. Network, Network, Network: They aren’t kidding when they say “It’s all about who you know.” One of my fellow intern-for-a-day’ers found out about the program from a Fast Horse employee at a Twin Cities networking event. Others of us have gotten a foot in the door at a competitive agency after taking the time to set up informational interviews and job shadows. We’re all on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, we’re all blogging and we all jump at the chance to attend in-person networking events. Just remember, network to make genuine connections. It’s the quality, not the quantity that counts.
My time at Fast Horse, though short but sweet, not only gave me the chance to meet some awesome new people, it provided me with a hands-on glimpse at the ins and outs of an innovative, up-and-coming marketing agency. Thank you, Fast Horse for the exciting ride!