Katie Hogue, a senior journalism student specializing in public relations, talks about her summer internship at Starcom Mediavest Group.
This summer I have had the opportunity to intern in downtown Chicago for Starcom Mediavest Group (SMG) as a search engine marketing intern. SMG is an advertising media agency under the larger umbrella of Publicis Groupe.
Working at an agency has been a fun and fast-paced adventure that I had not experienced before working on the client side. SMG is mostly staffed by young professionals and there is always a cool event around the corner, whether it is the Facebook Olympics or free Starbucks every Thursday. While there are lots of vendor perks for people working at SMG, they are certainly earned. The job comes with hours that are not just 9-5 (except for me as an intern) and clients can be very demanding. However, working with multiple clients with different needs is great for gaining a lot of experience very quickly.
My day-to-day tasks working at SMG mostly consisted of working with data for paid search ads. I would pull weekly reports for different ad campaigns my clients were running and provide insights and recommendations about how to optimize each campaign. The three clients that I helped with were Providence Healthcare, Fifth Third Bank and NAPA Autoparts. I also helped create ad copy for the ads we were promoting and keywords people might search on for each campaign.
In addition to various daily tasks, interns were given a capstone project to work on for the duration of the internship. We were assigned to teams of six and given the client Airbnb. Airbnb wanted our help with improving their mobile app and advertising techniques. We researched mobile innovation trends in the past, Airbnb’s competitors and what the future would bring in mobile. We created a plan for Airbnb to become the most innovative app by 2020 and presented our ideas to HR and Airbnb’s representatives.
Over the course of this internship not only have my excel skills improved tenfold, but I have learned a ton about SEM, advertising and agency life. Now that the summer and my internship are drawing to a close, I am excited to see how I can apply my new skills and what the future will hold.
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