Wouldn’t you think that in these days kids with solid educations would at least understand the meaning of operating as a digital agency? Wouldn’t you think that an individual would have a firm grasp on how the agency teams function and communicate, if they are really interesting in pursuing a career in digital marketing? Most of these kids think that once they are in, and their internship is over, they will be joining an elite club of conversationalists that foolishly like giving money away. Sure most interns headed in the right direction don’t think in this manner, but when potential interns motives are questioned you just have to take note of it.
Awhile back a colleague and business partner of mine was eager to train and develop a new talent setting out with her career path in digital marketing and media. Her thinking was that the best way to go was to learn from an agency style of doing business, and get the perks up front. This wouldn’t be a bad approach if this particular individual had any real world agency work experience. After all, the interview that was being conducted was for the position of intern. Most often internships do not pay any salary, therefore good interns and committed interns are hard to come by. By asking for signing bonuses and other financial perks we know that this individual does not have any work experience with a digital agency. In life just as in advertising we must be honest with ourselves in order to achieve the best results.
What kind of systems will I be learning? Or, how many of your clients will I be working with? These questions would have been more favorable. The intern’s experience is a learning experience. Getting into an internship program without a plan, real interest, or any dedication is not impressive.
I believe the conversation and interview went on for 20 minutes or so. The interviewee finally realized that her interview was taking place now over the phone. The question came up, “What exactly is a digital agency?”, the interviewee asks. The standard explanation was given with all the perks and benefits. I believe my colleague said that, “she sounded amazed by how efficient a digital marketing agency could be run from remote corners of the planet.” Through all of magical word play and explanation the intern still asks my colleague, “So do I have to come to LA everyday, or are you going to drive down to San Jose?” His response was, “No, don’t worry about it. I’ll fly down there out of the sky like George Jetson and meet you there.” Very soon after my business partner made this statement the interviewee knew that she was being sent packing. The interviewee really did not have an understanding of how a digital agency operates, she only pretended to understand. She knew she was in over her head.
As the questions got deeper and the miscommunication was put in play she quickly made up an excuse get off of the interview call. She may not have been able to grasp the concepts of working remotely and collaborating with teams all in different physical locations. She may have been unable to make quick independent decisions. Unmotivated, who knows? She may be somewhere in San Jose waiting for my colleague to come down out of the sky in a Jetson mobile to meet her.