Summer 2016 Interns Make their Final Splash at Garfield

Posted by Larry Garfield
Sep
06
2016

This summer, our awesome interns rocked the concept of “work hard, play hard” here at Garfield — kicking ass on several projects from research to design, copywriting, and strategic planning. They had a blast squeezing as much productivity, creativity, and fun out of every moment, and each left their mark on the agency.

Take a look at how our interns carved out their paths at Garfield.

 

Sam DiGaetano | 21 | Pennington, NJ | Account Strategy Intern | Rider University | Entrepreneurial Studies and Sports Management

How did you first hear about Garfield Group?

I found the Account Strategy internship via an online search of the company itself when I was exploring internships near my hometown, but I’ve been hearing great things about Garfield for a few years now — my sister Alexa is on the Account team! I asked her a bunch of questions about the agency, loved what I heard, and decided to apply.

What influenced you to apply?

As an Entrepreneurial Studies and Sports Management double major, I thought the agency environment would foster my ambitions to learn about the marketing industry as a whole and bolster my experience in the field.

My interest in marketing actually began when I started working, both for TaylorMade as a Private Tech Rep and at a local golf course as a caddy. To be successful, I had to learn how to market myself, the technology, the equipment, and the club for which I caddied. This interest in the field and Garfield Group’s great reputation influenced me to apply.

Describe a typical day for you at Garfield Group.

A typical day at Garfield Group may not actually be “typical” at all — marketing keeps you on your toes, making you think, learn, grow, and better yourself and your work as a whole. One thing was consistent, though: I’d always begin by grabbing a fresh cup of coffee from the Keurig and strolling by my friendly coworkers on my way to my desk.

I’d then open my laptop, take a seat, and plan out my tasks for the day. I love the fact that the team embraces music — Bryon has bumped some awesome tunes! It’s a great stress reliever and motivator during the process of building a competitive deck, researching our clients, or helping someone with website QA. I was also invited to attend meetings with the Account team which included internal reviews of work or discussing and planning how to approach a new project. Once 3:00 rolled around, I could always safely say I had a busy, productive day!

My ‘Create Brand Action’ Moment

I felt like I contributed a lot to the team with something others might find deceptively basic: competitive decks. These lengthy, in depth, and detailed presentations provide important information for client acquisition and the launch of a marketing overhaul or program add. I felt directly involved in strategy and planning by gleaning unique, valuable insights that helped set the tone for client work.

What ‘G’ Did for Me

I’ve refined my time management and multitasking skills while earning exposure to PR and media programs, professional communication tactics, editing skills, and how to acquire, keep, and please clients with solid work that meets their goals. The small-business feel and tight-knit team is so welcoming, and there’s an obvious friendly vibe across the board. I’ve learned more about marketing than I could by only taking classes — there’s nothing better than real-life experience in a field you hope to enter one day.

MovinG Forward

I’ll never forget the opportunity Garfield afforded me by letting me work in the agency and growing my knowledge tenfold. I will be continuing my undergrad degree and will graduate in the Spring. I hope to land a job with a company that boasts a strong, engaging company culture like that of Garfield Group.

Tips for Aspiring Garfield Interns

Dedicate yourself to learning about each and every client you come in contact with (whether it be directly or indirectly). The comfortable yet motivating environment at Garfield Group fosters this ambition to learn, and your coworkers absolutely want that for you. Open up and ask questions — it shows you want to better understand the task at hand and the industry as a whole, but in the end, it also makes your experience that much more valuable.

Finally, enjoy your time here. It comes and goes quicker than you will want it to, so make the most of it and get involved!

‘Perception-Changing’ Motivation

"The best way to predict the future is to create it.” This quote rings true throughout all of life, but it especially applies to professional situations. If you want something, go get it. If you want a bright future, create it through hard work and diligent dedication. Garfield will help you create your path to success, but the more you help define it and bring it to reality, the more you’ll get out of it.

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Erika Lynn | 22 | Flemington, New Jersey | Graphic Design Intern | James Madison University | Graphic Design & Integrated Advertising and Corporate Communication

How did you first hear about Garfield Group?

While on the lookout for an internship for this summer, I came across Garfield Group’s listing for a Graphic Design intern through an online search of advertising, marketing, and creative agencies in the area.

What influenced you to apply?

I knew that I needed to have an internship this summer, but I wanted to work for a company whose work inspired me and provided the opportunity for me to learn. When looking through Garfield Group’s well-designed website and work examples, I could instantly tell that this agency is full of talent and passion for what they do.

Describe a typical day for you at Garfield Group.

My days at Garfield Group were spent working on a variety of design projects including logos, invitations, magazine advertisements, mockups, and web designs. I worked closely with the two Art Directors, Mike and Meg, and with the Creative Director Bryon. I sat in on project kickoff meetings and learned about the full process of a project lifecycle, from the initial strategy to the creative design. If I ever felt a lack of creativity or inspiration, a cup of iced coffee usually did the trick and helped me get back to work!

My ‘Create Brand Action’ Moment

I worked on a project that involved designing a concept for an event, but this concept needed to execute into an invitation, digital communications, and a poster. After working with the client to get to a final design, I was able to see my work printed which showed how the selected colors popped against the background. Seeing a design printed out is a totally different experience than seeing it just on the screen, and it made me feel more proud of my design and excited to get it in front of the client.

What ‘G’ Did for Me

Through my time here at Garfield, I experienced firsthand the tricky transition from design student to design employee. As a design student, while you have some guidelines, most of the projects you work on allow for full, out-of-the-box creativity and rely heavily on your opinion alone. Being a designer in the real world requires you to listen to what the client is asking for, and they might not always choose the design option you personally liked the most.

Garfield Group gave me this real-world experience, and I was able to adjust quickly to meet the needs of the clients for the projects I worked on. The best advice I took from this experience was that your portfolio can be full of the projects that weren’t selected, if that’s what you want. Just because a client didn’t choose the option that you feel showcased your most creative work doesn’t mean you have to get rid of it forever. Any project you work on throughout your time as a designer can be added to your portfolio, which down the road could help you land that next project or job.

MovinG Forward

After I graduate from James Madison in December (YAY!), I will be on the lookout for a full-time position as an entry-level designer. Although transitioning into the real world may seem a bit scary, I know that my time at Garfield has prepared me by giving me the knowledge of how an agency runs and a taste of what my first job may be like. I will be able to use this experience when interviewing for future potential jobs, and I now have some new additions to my portfolio!

Tips for Aspiring Garfield Interns

Be prepared! Make sure you have an organized digital portfolio that showcases your best work, and be ready to talk about it. Throughout my interview process for a summer internship, I realized that after every interview I went through, I felt more and more comfortable talking about my portfolio. I knew how I wanted to explain my projects to my interviewer, and I felt more at ease when answering their questions.

Once you land the position, make sure you come into your internship knowing that you are working among a group of very talented people who have many more years of experience than you do. Take their input, learn from their advice, and most importantly: show them the creativity that you have to offer!

‘Perception-Changing’ Motivation

“If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, in the end, you’ll succeed.” I have looked at this quote for the past few years as a goal to work toward a career that I love and am passionate about. For me, I am passionate about design and having a job that I love which also allows me to fully use my creativity in design. That’s what will make me feel successful.

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Brittany Eifert | 21 | Burlington, NJ| Copywriter Intern | Rowan University | Public Relations & Advertising

How did you first hear about Garfield Group?

I attended a Professional Speed Networking event at Rowan back in spring where I met Garfield Account Executive Alexa Hunt.  

What influenced you to apply?

I connected with Alexa on LinkedIn shortly after the networking event at Rowan. Alexa kindly messaged me and told me to feel free to contact her with any professional or work-related questions I may have. A couple weeks later, Alexa shared on LinkedIn that Garfield Group was in search of copywriting interns, so I took her word and immediately applied!

Describe a typical day for you at Garfield Group.

I’ve learned that when you work for an agency, no day is exactly the same — and I love that. I normally come right in, turn on my laptop, and check my email for any new projects or updates. Some days I attend meetings where we discuss copy and design ideas for client projects. Throughout the day, I work on various tasks such as researching client projects, developing creative copy, and completing QA for websites. A daily cup of coffee and small talk with my cube mates make each day feel complete.

My ‘Create Brand Action’ Moment

Recently, I helped make copy edits for a client website. I spent most of my day organizing sentence structure, fixing grammatical errors, and rewording sentences to make them more appealing. I feel this was my “create brand action” moment because I made significant changes to large amounts of copy, which would later be made publicly available. One of my professors taught me that in the our field of work, it’s important to deliver value to clients by helping their brand look and feel its best, and I feel I was able to do that with this project.

What ‘G’ Did for Me

My experience as a whole has been nothing short of awesome. My internship here helped me improve my professional communication skills, become a better editor, manage my time more wisely, work efficiently in groups, and have a more open mind to creativity. From making copy edits to developing creative copy to attending meetings and sharing ideas with fellow employees, I have grown accustomed to the professional working environment of an agency. In addition, Garfield Group taught me to be more comfortable with, and open to, constructive criticism. I feel that I earned true insight on what it’s like to work in the professional world.

MovinG Forward

Following my internship here at Garfield, I will mainly focus on PRomo, the Rowan PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) newsletter. This includes developing creative copy and design ideas, gathering writers, and preparing a calendar of deadlines. As Publications Editor of PRSSA, I will be heavily involved throughout the school year. Each month, I’ll edit the articles written for PRomo, put the designs and copy together, and send the final pieces to the printer. Although I will be fairly busy come the beginning of the school year, I am up for the challenge!

Tips for Aspiring Garfield Interns

When it comes time for your interview, be certain to bring a portfolio of any copy/design work you’ve completed (e.g., school projects, previous internship projects, freelance work). Your main goal is to stand out. You want to show Garfield what makes you unique and why they should choose YOU for the position (e.g., involved in related campus organizations, able to manage time wisely, open to new ideas, a team player).

If you land the position, come ready to think creatively! It’s important to understand that each client is unique in its own way, so make sure to change your “brand hat” for each client. You want to get inside the heads of clients regarding what messages they want to convey to their customers. Overall, be yourself, and have fun with the work you do. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas!

‘Perception-Changing’ Motivation

“The expert in anything was once a beginner.” -Helen Hayes

This quote inspires me to always work hard in anything new that I try. When I first started at Garfield, I felt slightly nervous because this was my first internship. I remembered, though, that each employee here was once a beginner at Garfield, and with time, everyone grew to be in the positions they are now. From my first day as an intern at Garfield to now one of my last, I feel that I have grown and learned so much about the field of work I aspire to permanently get into. Moreover, I am no longer a “beginner” intern!