“It’s Been a Month—Now What?” Newhouse Alumni Offer Internship Advice
By Daniel Denning
On certain Thursday evenings throughout the semester, Newhouse NYC students have Director Cheryl Brody Franklin’s Internship course, where we talk about our internships and often hear from alumni in the field. On Thursday, February 16th, we attended a panel called “It’s Been a Month—Now What?” with five Newhouse alumni who shared their backgrounds and offered advice about our internships and the job search.
Each of these successful individuals shared helpful advice for students of all majors. A big thing many of them talked about was how to handle downtime at our internships and how to make the most of our time there. The following are some tips each of them shared that I personally thought were really helpful or enlightening.
Sean Silva (Account Supervisor at Prosek Partners): Many professionals don’t have time to stay up to date on the latest industry trends, so locating and sharing articles about these topics is invaluable. He likes to see how well interns work in teams. You aren’t in a competition with the other interns, you should be working productively together with them. He also shared an enlightening quote: “Standing out is blending in.”
Annemarie Norris (SVP, Group Director, Behavioral Planning at BBDO): As an intern, if you are being underused, volunteer for things that are going on. Listen in on what is happening and try to locate an opportunity to get involved. Use any opportunity you can to get out of your desk and find ways to get engaged in conversations about the work.
Andy Meyer (VP of Original Programming and Head of Video, Townsquare Media): Everything you have to do, no matter how trivial it is, do it the best it can be done. Also, listening and learning is just as valuable as doing. Ask yourself what you’re interested in doing at your company, engage in conversation with the people who do that, and listen to them. Getting to know your company well, understanding its products and services, and following all of its social media are also valuable ways to stand out at an internship. Bringing all of these items up in conversations flatters managers and shows how interested you are.
Madina Toure (Politics Staff Writer at Observer Media): Brainstorming ideas is one of the best ways to spend one’s time when there is nothing to do. For journalism and marketing positions, brainstorming in downtime is always a good way to take advantage of your time.
Gabrielle Frank (Health & Wellness Editor at TODAY Digital): Whenever you have a pitch, especially for writing/journalism internships, make sure it is well-researched and a great idea. If you are going to pitch an idea in a meeting, it is usually a good idea to run it by your supervisor first to get their input and they will hopefully help you and support you with it during meetings.
At the end of the panel discussion, each of the alumni broke off with students by major to talk about more major-specific topics of interest. Being an advertising major, I sat in Annemarie Norris’s panel, where she helped clarify what exactly she does as an account planner. “We help shape the brand’s story and bring that to the creative team,” she said. It’s all about knowing what’s going on in the world and making it relevant. She has a lot of experience in the advertising world, so it was really enlightening to hear her stories.
Overall, there was something to take away from each of the alumni. Seeing people who went to the same school we went to and are successful is always very motivational. I know their words are all going to be in the back of our minds during our internships this week, as we try to make the most of our experiences.