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The Newbie: Life as the Digital Media Intern for Lever Interactive

By Colton Curtner –

Colton Curtner, Digital Media InternHi, my name is Colton Curtner, and I am the Digital Media Intern for Lever Interactive. I am a senior at Illinois State, studying marketing, and I was desperate to get real world experience. What better way to get experience than to intern for a company?! Well, here I am, getting experience, and so far, it has been so much more than I had expected!

Lever Interactive is a digital marketing agency that provides several services to companies looking to increase their digital presence, including (but not limited to): paid search advertising, search engine optimization, social media marketing, etc. As the Digital Media Intern, my program provides me both sufficient knowledge of each type of service Lever provides, and then practical application—where I get to execute projects and help with client accounts.

What does a typical day look like for me?

I arrive at the office for my 9 a.m. start. The environment at Lever is very welcoming, so I usually make sure to greet everyone as they arrive. From there, my first tasks include logging into my computer, checking my email, and starting up my training programs. I need to be certified in Google AdWords, a program that allows you to create and manage online advertising, so most of my first week has included this training within my schedule.

On Mondays, there is a company-wide meeting at 10:15, which basically gets the teams to touch base on certain topics – anywhere from client information and adjustments, to weekend festivities and current events. After that meeting, my first week has included one-on-one meetings with separate team members. Each employee specializes in a certain area of digital marketing, and the purpose of the meetings are to get me an overview of their job and how I will be incorporated later in the program. Some of those meetings have included SEO overview, Google Search/Display overview, and many other marketing categories. It has really impressed me how knowledgeable each employee was about their field, which is a testament of why this agency has been so successful over the years.

These meetings last until about noon, and then I take my lunch break. I think it’s safe to say everyone loves lunch. After my 30 minutes of gluttony, I am invited to sit in on business meetings and conference calls, where the real magic happens. One of the meetings included Lever learning about new technologies that provide advanced reporting capabilities, a key component that is needed to show the clients how their advertising campaigns are performing. With the conclusion of those meetings, I would go back to my desk and finish working on any assignments I had been given, one of which is this blog! Finally, right before I head home for the day at 5 p.m., I clean the conference rooms and the kitchen, a simple and fast process to ensure the office stays nice and dirt-free. A good day’s work has been complete!

Advice for Other Interns

I know a lot of individuals who are reading this may be looking for an internship themselves or already have one, and based on what I’ve experienced so far, I have a few tips to give:

  1. Establish relationships. Remember, it is not all about what you know, but also who you know. Establishing quality relationships with your fellow interns and colleagues will ensure that you don’t just leave with knowledge, but connections.
  2. Ask questions. You are there to learn! Your colleagues understand you are not coming into the internship already a professional, so acknowledge that, be humble, and speak up!
  3. Help with the little things. Clearly, you aren’t going to be a wizard your first week, so do anything you can to help the employees do their job more efficiently, until you learn enough to start your own projects.

This has only been week one of my internship, but I feel that I have already developed tremendously, both professionally and personally. I am thankful that I wasn’t thrown into the fire with a host of untaught assignments, but rather trained and eased into projects that are relevant to my career goals. As the weeks go on, I know I will become more involved, and with that there will be many more updates to come!

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