The Maritz Intern- Luke Gorski

Welcome to Maritz!

Welcome to Maritz!

When you arrive at Maritz Research in Chicago, you will find yourself in a creative atmosphere.  Of the fifty or so full-time researchers in the Chicago office, you will not find one in a suit and tie.  The atmosphere is relaxed, the individuals are open, and you will hear laughter across the office.  That’s not to say the services offered are taken lightly.  Maritz Research works with some of the most established companies in the world.

As a Market Research Intern, you will find yourself indirectly working with many of these clients.  The way accounts are managed is similar to how group projects are assigned in, say, your MKT310 Consumer Behavior class.  Each group, led by Project Managers, works to provide clients with consumer insights that can improve marketing efforts, operations, and product developments.  From another perspective, Maritz’s function is equivalent to the function of the dashboard in your car, providing feedback on forces you may not be aware of but need to know as you drive along.  In effect, it allows it organizations to make informed decisions.

This information is gathered using Maritz’s ability to collect massive amounts of data through customer experience surveys.  In order to understand a client’s customers, Maritz utilizes mobile, phone, and online.  As an intern, I have learned the benefit of integrating surveys into marketing efforts and making them simple to complete.  The demands for data vary, and Maritz conducts “continuous” and “ad-hoc” studies.  These indicate the type of data being collected.  Continuous research conducts interviews over a long period of time whereas ad-hoc research focuses on a specific need and generally refers to a single survey.

Day-to-day activities will vary and are rarely predictable.  Depending on the client report you are analyzing, your tasks will be unique because each “dashboard”, returning to our earlier analogy, will be uniquely tailored to each client.

The Internship Desk at Maritz

The Internship Desk at Maritz

There is a core set of these tools with which you will need to familiar.  The first of these is Microsoft Excel.  You may be assigned a research assignment that requires you to collect the number of national units, or locations, of a restaurant chains.  Collecting the data using Excel spreadsheets allows you to then sort it and draw from it simple statistical information.  You will also use SPSS reports to further analyze data and draw from it insights. The results and insights are visually presented using PowerPoint graphs.  As an intern, you will be responsible for checking these PowerPoint presentations for grammatical and statistical errors.  In other words, you perform the last quality checks before results and insights are presented to clients.

This internship offers a fantastic opportunity to understand how a market research provider functions.  Maritz exposed me to the ins-and-outs of surveying customers.  It has also provided excellent opportunities for networking with senior researchers.  In conclusion, market research is often the first step taken by organizations looking to move in a new direction.  As a Market Research Intern at Maritz Research, you will be intimately aware of the trends and directions different industries are choosing, sometimes before the industries themselves.

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The Communications Strategies Group Intern- Amanda Elsasser

Amanda Elsasser intern at Communications Strategies Group

Amanda Elsasser intern at Communications Strategies Group

 A Day in the Life: Communications Strategies Group

It’s a typical hectic Monday for this Marketing Intern.  At Communication Strategies Group, Mondays are often a blur with the amount of activity that goes on.  I wake up and slowly prop open my laptop to see how many work emails I need to respond to so far.  Today, four messages by eight a.m.; it’s going to be a busy day.

You might be wondering what I’m doing still lying in bed at this time on a workday.  Well, Communication Strategies Group is a very small, boutique PR firm in downtown Chicago.  The company is run completely by two powerful women in a crowded cubicle.  Thus, I work from home as nearly all of the work I do for them can be done anywhere that I have access to my laptop and some imagination.

On a typical workday, I’m trying to promote or garner interest for a client cause, event, or product.  Currently, some of our clients are the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, Libman cleaning products, the Hope Institute, and a renowned Veterinarian, Dr. Royal.

Thus, I’m creating captions for photos of Girl Scouts at an event at the Allstate Arena.  I then get on the Internet and sift through Cision, a database that contains the contact information of a number of media outlets.  Once I’ve found a list of editors for local newspapers, I send them an email with the picture and caption attached and ask that they consider publishing the photo.  Once this is sent out, I will need to do follow up calls to each of the editors to ensure that the information was received and gauge their interest in publishing.

Another typical task I’m responsible for is writing news releases and pitch letters to promote client events.  Once I have a release written, I will send it to the appropriate editors, as well as submit it to local online news sites.  Patch.com, the Daily Herald, and Triblocal are the most commonly used sites to post events and announcements for our clients; so much of my day is spent submitting posts here.

On the few days that I do go in to the office, it is only for meetings with clients or to prepare for an event.   On Wednesday, one of our clients is hosting an event that should be an awesome experience.  The Hope Institute is a nonprofit organization that benefits children with Autism, and they are doing a large fundraiser, in which they are raffling off a number of amazing prizes.  The grand prize, however, is a 2.5 million dollar condo in Gold Coast, and the media is meeting us at the house on Wednesday to kick off the event.  This will be my first event, and I am thrilled to get to be a part of such an awesome cause.

Honestly, I am learning so much.  While it is nice to get the opportunity to work from my couch, it also takes a lot more motivation and self-discipline.  Additionally, I am a people person, so I do miss that daily interaction with coworkers that I’ve had in positions in the past.  Thus, so far my internship at Communication Strategies Group has not only taught me about the public relations industry, but also taught me a little bit about myself.

Tribune Media Intern- Fernando Martinez

Tribune Tower

Where I work!

The alarm clock goes off, I get dressed for my internship, take the train into the Loop, pick up my morning Starbucks, and walk through the gold-lined revolving doors of the Chicago Tribune’s Tribune Tower, a stone building dating back to 1925. After scanning my security badge at the front desk, I take the stairs up to the second floor and walk down the hallway to sit at my desk, joining the rest of the marketing team. The first thing I always see when I walk to my desk is my nameplate,

“Fernando Martinez, Advertiser Marketing Intern.”

In a normal day, a typical advertiser marketing intern such as myself can go to one or more meetings, use a few different syndicated data tools, and even have some creative fun with putting together some ad sell sheets. Every day different members of the team go into meetings with clients that are small to medium size business owners, and sales team representatives. Interns get asked to sit in on them to find out more about the needs of clients who want to advertise with publications of the Chicago Tribune, and getting the chance to ask the clients questions that could help with their solutions. Once all the right information is collected, you will use several different tools to pull syndicated data.

My desk!

My desk aka data central!

Such data can range from the population of a certain radius in the city to demographic information down to the finest specification. The amount of data that can be pulled is huge, and it never ceases to amaze me how specific I can get. One of the fun parts of my internship comes from creating the sell sheets that the sales reps can take back to the clients, which will ultimately seal the deal with the client. The sales rep may have done a great job selling the goods to the client, but it’s up to the advertiser marketing team member to pull the right data and tell the story in a way that would compel the client to advertise in the Chicago Tribune.

Chicago Tribune, a division of Tribune Media Group, ranked eighth largest newspaper in the country by daily circulation, and owners of several radio and TV stations, along with other newspaper such as the Los Angeles Times. Currently the Tribune Media Group is in charge of the advertiser marketing needs for twenty-five different publications, gaining an annual revenue ranging from five to thirteen million dollars. The immediate team itself consists of another intern, ten full-time employees, and myself.

cake for RedEye birthday

One of the perks- cake day in celebration of the RedEye 10th Birthday!

Anyone who asks me how I like my internship, I answer the same way; “I love it.” At first I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I applied to it, but after being there for a while and getting the hang of things, I really enjoy what I’m doing. I get to learn so many aspects of marketing every day. I’ve learned things that range from using technical computer programs to pull large amounts of data on just about anything, to learning how to effectively tell a story using that same information. Every day I feel like I learn at least one thing that I never knew before, and probably wouldn’t have learned it had I never got an internship with the Chicago Tribune’s Tribune Media Group.