When I started off as a college student, I always asked people what I could do to increase my chances of finding a job right after graduation. Often times, I found that the only advice they would offer me was to have a couple of internships under my belt. Now, I’ll admit I was always turned off by this idea. I wanted to get advice that would help me sneak my way to the top without having to do an internship. Mainly because as a broke college student I wanted to find a job where I would get paid; and not a non-paid internship where I would deliver coffee to a snobby boss who was too cheap to hire an assistant and settled for an “intern” instead. Fast forward a few months later and here I am, sitting at my own desk doing a paid internship for a kick-ass agency full of warm-hearted goofballs I’ve had the blessing to know and learn from.
This internship has been the most real experience I’ve ever had. I don’t run out to get coffee, I don’t alphabetically sort number files (crossing my fingers this isn’t a real task people have to do if so I’m so sorry, come intern here), or pick up anyone’s dry cleaning. You get pushed outside of your comfort zone and you get actual agency stuff to work on. They try to make this as close to a real agency experience as you could possibly get, and jump at any opportunity they have to help us grow and develop our skills.
On top of doing what they can to help us learn, they throw away the basic “intern” title here and give us a cooler name. They call their internship program the Talent Accelerator Program, and refer to us as Accepted Protégés (AP). As a Creative AP, I work alongside three other talented individuals, the Media AP, the Digital AP, and the New Business AP. My first time going through the program they had all of us work together as our own miniature agency to complete a task assigned to us by the department heads. Once the task was completed, we presented it to the agency as a team. While this may sound intimidating, and it was, it was actually a great learning experience. Thus, leading to me begging them to let me come back for another term so I could continue to learn from them.
The best part of being an intern here is that it isn’t all work and no sleep. In fact, it consists of some pretty fun perks. On top of getting to learn the ins and outs of the department you’re in, you also get to be part of the agency’s culture. They have a membership at a gym that holds private yoga and TRX/circuit training classes for the Civilian team. These classes are held on the last Friday of every month. In fact, most Fridays are notoriously known as “Fitness Fridays.” A Fitness Friday is a day where the agency dedicates an hour to go outside, take a walk, play some bocce ball, and get active. But, not only do these guys know how to fitness, they also know how to feast. The occasional devouring of blocks of cheese and trays of meat on Fridays is hands down one of the best perks. Did I mention they bring in the cutest dogs ever? I basically live a life of intern luxury here.
I’ll admit that my idea of what it would be like to be an intern was completely wrong and I’m eternally grateful that it was this group of people who proved it to me. Getting hired for this internship has been one of the best things to happen to me and one of the most crucial parts of learning who I am and what I want to do. For all the students out there still rolling their eyes at the thought of an internship, unroll those eyes and come intern here. Let Civilian blow you away because holy guacamole, THESE PEOPLE ROCK!