Name: Lizzie Mac
Graduation Year: Senior
LSA Major(s)/Minor(s): Communication Studies and Chinese Studies
Job/Position Title or Description: Experiential Marketing + Event Production Intern
Internship Organization: Relevent Partners
How did you learn about your internship?
I learned about my internship by being a Campus Ambassador for one of Relevent’s clients for two semesters and heard about the opportunity through an email blast in my inbox. With my other co-Ambassador, we hosted on-campus events, ran social media events and discussions, developed partnerships on campus, and held Insight Groups for Bath and Body Works. Our job was to give Bath and Body Works a voice to bright, young college women.
I think something a lot of students underestimate is the power of asking. Although I was unsure whether or not Relevent had an internship program, I really enjoyed the people I worked with virtually and admired their work. I decided to ask the Account Executive who oversaw me if they had an internship program, and from there, she set me up with an informational interview which led to the offer. It’s really about making connections, taking advantage of every opportunity you have, and working hard at every task you’re given.
What did you enjoy most about your work?
I really enjoyed their corporate culture, which was young, trendy, “work hard, play hard.” Although the staff and interns worked more than full-time and had events in the evening or on the weekends, it was absolutely worth the great accounts and clients I got to work with. I also enjoyed the accountability and responsibility - interns get to interact with clients, attend events and help in brainstorms. It is very rewarding to see a suggestion you made come to fruition and that makes the client and your employer happy.
How has your experience shaped your academic life now that you’re back on campus?
My experience has really taught me that if I want something, I need to be confident in myself and go after it. My experience emphasized just how important it is to network, as well, and how to be a young professional. In the field I am interested in (Communications), there is heavy (if not, heavier) emphasis on who you know over what you know. The majority of people who are interviewed for Communications-related jobs are those who had a prior connection. Michigan has a lot of resources to help with that like our Career Center and Alumni Association. I am taking a lot more advantage of those things now - being proactive is a huge takeaway from my internship.
Have your career goals and plans changed as a result of this internship, or are they the same? Why? If they’ve changed, describe your new direction. If they’re the same, what excites you the most about this field?
Although I am unsure about event production as my sole industry or career choice, I enjoyed working with clients and experiential marketing a lot. Relevent was a full service and integrated agency, meaning they covered many different realms with a specialization in event production and experiential marketing; I am thankful I got a taste of everything. I had also never lived in a humungous city before, and I instantly fell in love with New York and the fast paced, big city life.
Relevent helped solidify my desires to interact with people and work in account management. I enjoy thinking creatively about individual problems and being the liaison between the agency and the client’s needs. I am so excited to pursue this type of career in accounts for post-graduation. Relevent also showed me how important corporate culture is in determining one’s career. If someone were to ask me before my internship where corporate culture lay on my career needs list, I would have said mid-range to lower-range. Now, it is at the very top of the totem pole.
What advice would you have for another student considering doing an internship?
For another student considering doing an internship, I say go for it and put 150% into it even if it may not your dream internship; it may be the necessary puzzle piece to get you your dream internship/job. Whether its paid or unpaid, close to home or far away, relevant experience on your resume is absolutely priceless and speaks for many more miles than anything or anyone else can. This is the only period in our lives where we get to “”test drive” different industries, cities, lifestyles and careers. Dream big and make it happen - there are resources to help you! I know I owe my entire career in New York to the LSA Internship Program.
Would you recommend your particular internship to another student in your field of study? Why?
I would definitely recommend my internship to another Communication Studies student because it was a crash course into what a real working life in New York was like with a rapidly changing and innovative field. It taught me how to think on my toes, how to act and engage with clients, take the initiative, and it allowed me to work with large accounts and fantastic companies I would not have had the opportunity to work with elsewhere. The people there became my second family in New York and that is something I am very grateful for.
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