Be a Pea!

Responsive image

Be a Pea!

          A little over a year ago, I sat in Strozier library a troubled man. Troubled, because the Advertising major accepted me a year too early, and the accelerated timeline of getting an internship, growing my experience, and entering the workforce weighed heavily upon my shoulders. I sat at my laptop scrolling through local businesses, wondering if any of the companies I came across would take interest in a 19-year-old with little experience, limited industry knowledge, and (as I often worried to myself late at night), questionable talent. Fortunately, I had two things going for me: a heap of ambition and a nifty blue suit my parents had gifted me, the perennial coming-of-age symbol that said “Go forth and prosper, my son. Go forth, and try to get off our health and auto insurance as soon as possible.” With these assets in mind, I began writing an email to The Pod Advertising.

          This undertaking was more difficult than it sounds, due to my immense phobia of writing emails. I don’t think I’m alone in this; as part of a generation that communicates through 140-character sentences and disposable images with a 10-second lifetime, email awkwardly straddles the line between formal and casual, antiquated and modern. Besides obsessing over the right salutation and signature, I tried to communicate my admiration of The Pod's work, their youth, and their ideals. I’d struggled with my decision to pursue a career in advertising due to the populist delusions that often accompany college students, so an agency whose motto is “Doing good work for good people doing good work in the world,” was right up my alley. After the umpteenth proofreading, I pressed “send,” and was elated to hear back several days later for an interview.

          I suited up and biked to a cute brick house with green accents on Park Ave, the home of The Pod at the time. I interviewed with Deirdre, a former content director, and Kristin, our VP of Digital Services. Unlike my past interviews, where I had to fake my enthusiasm for the opportunity to flip burgers or make sandwiches, everything about this was genuine. Deirdre took me on a quick tour and I met Sam, the CEO, who complimented the email I sent. Even if I didn’t get hired, this was a victory in itself. But after submitting some writing samples and waiting a couple days, I opened my inbox to a congratulatory email from Deirdre. I was ecstatic.

          On my first day, I was fully prepared to make copies, clean, any of the “typical intern work” I’d seen depicted on TV. Instead, I was given the job of analyzing clients and their brand identities, and producing my first social media content plan and a radio script. I even had a temporarily-vacated office to work in. It was immediately clear I’d lucked into something special. Of course, I worked in anxious fear of my coworkers for a few months. I don’t think I’ve ever met a group of people friendlier or more generous, but being a writer, face-to-face social interaction is at the bottom of my skillset. I’d watched too many workplace television shows to immediately grasp that the strict implications of “hierarchy” I had in my head were not present here.

          Since then, much has changed. A few interns and employees have come and gone. Deirdre, my original supervisor, left for LA to pursue a career in film, a fitting statement of the underlying ambition in everyone that works here. We have a new temporary office, and plans are in motion to increase the scope and vision of The Pod. I’ve gone from a content intern to a part-time copywriter. I regularly attend and enjoy the office lunches that originally had me worried about overstepping my bounds to attend, bounds that only existed in my head to begin with. Most importantly, I’ve learned so, so, so much. Mark Twain says about experience: “A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.” In my classes, I’ve studied quite a bit of cat-dangling. At The Pod, I’ve been dragging that poor kitty around regularly. Mountains have become molehills, with new peaks to climb every day.

          If you’re looking for an internship that will simultaneously challenge you, encourage you, support you, and teach you, look no further than The Pod Advertising. Give us your ambition, your neurosis, your huddled talents yearning to break free. #BeAPea