Chad is an intern at Rockfish Interactive this summer. Chad just graduated from the University of Arkansas, this is his first guest blog for Intern Queen!
When I started my internship two weeks ago with Rockfish, I figured I was going to spend a lot of time memorizing things like how to work the copy machine and how Fred in cubicle C preferred his morning coffee. I mean, that’s what interns do…right?
Not necessarily. Not if you’re at the right place, anyway.Here are my three tell-tale signs that you’re in the right internship:
1. Co-workers are asking you how you like your coffee.
Being recognized that you’re there to learn is critical to getting the most out of your internship. There’s nothing wrong with starting at the bottom, but if most of your time is spent running errands, what are you really getting out of the experience? It can also be a little overwhelming stepping into a company as an intern, so co-workers offering their help from the get-go (even in the form of coffee) is a good sign that you’ll be supported throughout your time with them. Fortunately, my experience from Rockfish has been just this. From the very first day I was stunned not only by the amount of enthusiasm and creativity that surrounded me, but everyone was so friendly and welcoming. Kenny Tomlin, Rockfish founder and CEO, even took the time to sit down and personally get to know the new interns. I was referred to as “Chad,” not “hey intern,” and I immediately felt like I was a part of the team.
2. You’re too busy doing client work that you don’t know how to work the copy machine.
I’ve always been a firm believer that the best way to learn new things is by getting hands-on experience. As an intern it is important to understand all you can about how to do your job. Be proactive –whether you are shadowing someone or sitting in on a conference call, always find someone to learn from and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Now I’m not one for clichés, but when I say that I “hit the ground running” from day one at Rockfish, I mean it. Before I knew it, I was working on real projects for real clients, and my feedback was actually being taken seriously. In the ever-changing world of technology and social media, I am learning new things every day, and that’s what makes the experience so unique and valuable. There’s no book to go by, so it’s up to you to solve problems by being creative. More importantly, I’ve been told from the beginning that there is never a dumb idea. It doesn’t hurt that you have a little fun while you’re doing it, either (who ever thought you could get paid money to create a “Twitter Party?”). By the end of the first week I had learned more than an entire semester of college could account for, and I never once touched the copy machine.
3. The company you’re working for has serious growth potential.
Being able to compete in the advertising and marketing industry these days isn’t exactly easy. Let’s be honest, with the rise of the internet, smartphones, social media, TiVo, etc., traditional advertising is becoming less and less significant. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It just means that, whether you like it or not, businesses and agencies have to open themselves up to new opportunities to reach consumers. One of the main aspects that attracted me to Rockfish in the first place was how rapidly the company has developed since it started in 2006, in addition to its future growth potential. Rockfish is much more than a traditional advertising agency or a technology firm. Mr. Tomlin will tell you that Rockfish is an “idea evolution company,” serving our clients by being a full-service digital innovation partner that integrates strategy, creative and technology to produce digital solutions. After being around all of my motivated co-workers and seeing their desire to succeed and make the company better, I soon realized how in just five years’ time Rockfish had grown to more than 150 employees in three different locations and earned honors such as OMMA Agency of the year (2010) and a place on the prestigious Ad Age Agency A-List (2009).
I’ll be working alongside eight other incredibly talented and creative interns this summer (three at each location: Rogers, AR, Cincinnati, OH, and Frisco, TX). We are nine people who are fully committed to RockFish development and learning everything about it. We want to get the most out of this summer experience and have a little fun along the way. If you’re interested in following our journey this summer and learning more about what we do, follow us on Twitter at @RockfishInterns. We promise to keep you entertained!