I work for a small advertising company located in Northbrook, IL called Reklama Media Company. There are about 30 people working at the company, with about half being eastern-European (Polish, Russian, Ukrainian). Reklama is a premier multimedia marketing company, offering expertise in local marketing, advertising, and multicultural marketing. It is one of the top media companies in the North Chicago Metropolitan area, specializing in the Eastern-European, Hispanic, and American segments of the market, operating businesses in publishing and broadcasting.
Coming into the job, I was very nervous and timid, as anyone would be starting a new job with unfamiliar faces, tasks, and objectives. However, with time, I grew to love every single person I work with (some more than others, of course) and grew to create amazing relationships and bonds with my coworkers. Because I am a marketing & design intern, I understood that I would be communicating daily with those I work with and eventually understood that building trustworthy and loyal relationships within the company, especially because it is such a small company, is crucial to getting my tasks done and accomplishing not only my goals but the company’s goals as well.
You may ask, what does it mean to be a marketing AND a design intern? Well, I am a mixture of both, so I get to experience a little bit of both worlds. Currently, I am a marketing major and a graphic design minor, so this position worked out perfectly for me. Regarding the marketing side, I work hand-in-hand with the marketing team (about 10 people), where communication and patience play a key role in accomplishing any/all goals. Because I am an intern, at times I am all over the place. One day I can be working with the marketing team, helping generate new, creative, fresh ideas for our newspapers and magazines, and the other day I am asked to manage our social media accounts and update them with new promotional/marketing content. One day I can be helping the marketing director come up with the content for new media kits, and the other day I am asked to research potential clients who would be interested in advertising any of their products/services and contact them to try and sell advertise space in our newspapers and magazines. Basically, I get to experience various types of marketing throughout the week. This is very beneficial to me because I get to witness, understand, and experience much that marketing has to offer.
So, what’s the other half all about? Well, as a design intern, I work hand-in-hand with the design
team and aid in the page design of our magazine called R Local Town as well as the Russian and Polish newspaper (Reklama Newspaper and Chicago Rewia Newspaper). I meet with the creative director and the other 3 graphic designers at our company once a week who all assist and work together to plan out the page layout for the magazine and the newspapers. As soon as we have a set plan for what pages the editorials/ads will be on, I begin designing the magazine editorials. Usually I get assigned anywhere from 5-10 pages to be designed in the span of 2 weeks, depending on the issue. After I finish with the magazine page designs, I report back to my creative director and go over the proof of the page layouts I designed before finalizing it and sending the magazine to print. My creative director critiques my work and gives me helpful feedback to any changes or additions he considers is needed. Meanwhile, during the design of R Local Town Magazine, every Thursday I responsible for designing the Polish Newspaper called Chicago Rewia. Again, my creative director gives me the page layout and I go ahead and design the newspaper. As soon as I finish, I e-mail him a proof, and of course, he gives me feedback, I finalize the newspaper, and it is ready to go to print by Friday morning.
I consider myself lucky that I am able to experience both the marketing side as well as the design side at the same time, as both are a true passion of mine that I am pursing early in my life. Being an intern at Reklama Media Company has taught me so much and has given me an opportunity to experience different aspects of marketing and design and made me truly understand how interrelated the two are. It has taught me to grow, accomplish, and accelerate within the company and to remain focused, calm, and patient in a fast-paced working environment. It has taught me how important being an intern is, even though I am constantly being told what to do and don’t really have a set plan for my tasks and objectives every day. However, being there for almost a year now and proving myself to the company landed me a full-time position after graduation, which I am more than thankful for. The importance of starting early and obtaining an internship to gain that experience early in life has proven to be absolutely crucial. I have made so many new friends and have built so many new relationships, that it almost makes me laugh at how nervous I was coming in to the job. But I realized that it is okay to be nervous. In fact, it is a good thing – because everything new is nerve-racking, but it is also very exciting and opens a door for new opportunities.