Ad Intern Life
A retrospective from Intern Copywriter Brigid Carney
TAKE 1: It Begins (Week 1)
Graduation is a “strings attached, no more” accomplishment. At least that’s what I believed. You bid adieu to tedious homework assignments and countless weeks of final exam study — wholeheartedly ready to breathe a sigh of relief. Yet, before you’ve had a chance to finish exhaling, you’re immediately thrust into another exhaustive project: the search for your first I-graduated-now-what job. For many, this new project arrives at the very moment your diploma is within reach. Like an ominous cloud, poised to rain on your subsequent celebration. For me, this cloud lingered, and after what seemed like months of application submissions and phone calls, I finally found what I was looking for as an Intern Copywriter at Havas Helia.
To be sure, I was definitely nervous. But, my first few days at Havas Helia couldn’t have been more positive and reassuring. For one, there’s a great selection of tea here. Yes, tea. As a self-proclaimed caffeine addict and tea-litist, this was critical, and I was thrilled to know that my caffeine needs would be more than satiated.
For another, the people are great. Seriously. Everyone I encountered has been down to earth, bright, and energetic. Furthermore, teams across all disciplines appear to seamlessly intermingle and collaborate, cultivating a fresh and genuine work environment.
As part of the creative team, I immediately began participating in the daily morning sync, a morning team standup designed to kickstart the day and get us all started on the right foot. I also started participating in various introductory and project-focused meetings where I was able to learn more about what Havas Helia does for its clients.
And within the first week, I was already digging in — onboarding to clients that I would be working with during the program and conducting research for a social media plan. It was all very exciting!
And looking back on week one, I’d say the most important advice I could give any new intern is to savor every minute as an opportunity for growth.
TAKE 2: The End (…but not yet)
We constantly strive for a clear understanding of the future; using statistics, fortune tellers, and BuzzFeed quizzes to predict and define our lives. Usually, these methods prove to be a bit faulty, but that’s the beauty of life. We can never truly anticipate future outcomes, so we might as well embrace the opportunity and see where it takes us.
A CONFIDENCE JOURNEY
And that’s precisely how I landed my copywriting internship with Havas Helia. Or at least I think that’s what happened. With my lack of agency experience, I assumed I barely had the resume to qualify. Regardless, Havas Helia took a chance; later they’d tell me it’s because I did my research and wowed them on the call when I spoke with great familiarity about each of their clients (pats self on back), and the Senior Copywriter was enamored by my affinity for the Oxford comma.
However it happened, once the door was open, I jumped right in.
And by jumping in, I mean really jumping in — without years of experience, self-confidence, or any knowledge of the big-name client pitch happening within my second week on the job.
From sitting-in on concept meetings to writing video ad scripts, I witnessed how an agency comes together for the pitch. I remember initially feeling entirely overwhelmed — believing I wasn’t prepared or good enough. But before I could allow my thoughts of inadequacy to consume me, I was surrounded by experienced and patient guidance.
That’s the thing about Havas Helia, everyone here is always rooting for you, and that gave me a huge confidence boost.
I’m lucky to have been working under and with people that I feel are truly brilliant and 100% genuine. To say I’m grateful for their collaborative and open minds is an understatement — this couldn’t have been a better introduction into the agency world. As a young writer and professional, I have learned a lot in the last few months, all due to the genuine inclusivity here. The potlucks and happy hours don’t hurt either.
During my time at Havas Helia, I gained useful practical copywriter experience, learning to balance an array of projects and successfully following brand voice and tone across multiple clients. I’ve fine-tuned my editing skills and honed my attention to detail thanks to countless channel banners, email templates, and web assets in need of proofreading before the final delivery. Through learning how to write for a variety of clients, I was able to discover new writing styles and break outside of the constraints I built for myself; developing a stronger portfolio and skillset in the process.
I know my time at Havas Helia was an experience of a lifetime and I am truly grateful. If you’re looking for an internship: 10/10, would recommend. In fact, I’ve extended my internship commitment and will be around for just a little while longer.
To view Havas Helia’s available creative, client services, tech, and strategic internship opportunities, click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Internship opportunities are typically available at the start of each season.