It has always been a goal of mine to have an internship before graduating from college. Internships are one of the best ways to gain experience, apply what you have learned in classes to the real world, make connections and establish professional references. This semester is unlike any other due to a worldwide pandemic, and I knew finding an internship may be particularly challenging. I was excited and very grateful to hear from Kelly at Maximum Design and Advertising offering me an internship, and I am confident that this internship will help grow my marketing, communication, and design skills.
As a Communications major, I have studied Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) as my main area of focus. IMC is a planning process designed to assure that all brand contacts received by a customer or prospect for a product, service, or organization are relevant to that person and consistent over time. IMC combines powerful communication and marketing strategies together to make brands succeed. Within IMC, my classes such as Message Design, Campaign Design, Strategic Writing, and Brand Strategy & Research have all prepared me for this internship experience. In these classes I have learned about strategies in developing messaging and campaigns, effective design, writing research proposals, and creating brand identities, just to name a few. Additionally, my courses in Graphic Design have given me experience using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
There is a stigma at my school that Communications is an easy-out degree. I wish I could count how many times I have been asked, “what will you do with a degree like that?” or “what do you even learn about in class, how to talk?” Concerned parents groan with dread when their child tells them, “I’m going to study Communications!” The idea that someone studying Communications doesn’t learn anything useful and it won’t help you get a job could not be farther from the truth. Everything I have learned in my Communications courses has prepared me for the internship I have at Maximum right now.
At Maximum we’re creating “places,” we move people, we reach people in their current locations and entice them to change: to alter their lifestyle and surroundings. The company motto of “we turn a point on the map into a place in someone’s heart,” is a perfect example of how effective communication changes mindsets.
Now imagine this being your job during unprecedented times like the one we are currently in because of a pandemic. We have to be flexible, focused, and respond well to changes in the way people communicate. We have to understand what clients want, and what they fear.
The key to achieving this is being a clear and effective communicator. Good communication elicits a reaction in people. Doing this well is what I have been studying my entire college career and strive to continue doing for my professional career. At Maximum, I am experiencing firsthand how being a strong and effective communicator changes the mindset of people in a positive way.
One of the strongest ways to grow your skills while still in college is through an internship. Internships allow students to gain hands-on experience and apply what they are learning in class to real life situations, and this opportunity will set you apart when applying to jobs after graduation. At Maximum, I get to put my strengths to work by creating artwork, ads, social media content and communications. I am learning new marketing strategies and seeing how the strategies I have learned in IMC classes manifests in a marketing agency setting. I also get to attend meetings with the team and with clients, and therefore learn by observation. This allows me to see marketing strategies explained to clients, and even better, watch how they contribute to the growth of a client’s company. Strong, effective communication makes a difference in every aspect of a project from internal team collaboration exercises to final campaign pitches. As they say here at Maximum, “it matters how you say a thing.”
I am excited to continue to grow my skills during my internship at Maximum. I feel very lucky to have this opportunity to learn about successful marketing strategies as well as communication tactics from the experts here. I am gaining valuable experience that will prepare me for my career. During an internship you get to learn about a variety of things and decide what interests you most, as well as discover where your strengths lie. Getting to be a part of the exciting work that happens at Maximum during this time is something I will never forget.
Olivia is a senior at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, majoring in Communication Studies and minoring in Studio Art. Her areas of study include Integrated Marketing Communication, Brand Strategy, Graphic Design, and Photography. She is a Wilmington, North Carolina native. Olivia joins Maximum as their Fall 2020 Intern. She is looking forward to seeing how her school knowledge blends with real-world opportunities at Maximum.