Even in the last semester of her senior year, Nicole Rossi didn’t choose to slow down. She interned full-time at the experience marketing agency, George P. Johnson. Rossi graduated in the spring semester of 2018 and has since moved up into the role of Event Services Specialist, where she does live marketing for companies like IBM, Honda and Under Armour.
Making the jump after graduation into working full-time wasn't too difficult for Rossi since she was already familiar with the agency through her internship. When asked to explain how the Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations helped her adjust to agency life, Nicole explained that “college was like being a fish in an aquarium while working in agency is like being a fish in the sea- everything just happens on a much larger scale.” She said that the advertising program prepares students for working within an agency by teaching them how the business model works. However, unlike in college, the stakes are a lot higher. Every decision, no matter how seemingly small, can have a domino effect on the agency’s campaign and ultimately the experience they create.
Nicole came across the opportunity through one of her professors, Dr. Cunningham, who suggested a list of companies to look into. “George P. Johnson stood out to me because it had the largest scale of clients and it was somewhere I could gain experience with recognizable companies,” Rossi recalled.
Nicole’s advice to current and future interns is all about maintaining a strong work ethic. “Say ‘yes’ to everything that comes your way,” Rossi said. She highlighted the importance of being open to anything when entering a new company because creating connections and working on diverse projects will prove to be helpful when it comes to moving up the ladder. In her case, Nicole’s willingness to work made her an indispensible team member, and her value as an employee was noticed by coworkers who then made the recommendation to hire her full-time.
Rossi remembers regularly asking for feedback on her work and wondering how she could improve. “Asking anything goes a long way and taking an interest will get you far,” she noted. Nicole also recommends speaking with employees who were former interns. She says they are a great resource because they know what it takes to get hired from an intern pool and are more than willing to give advice to those who want it.
For Nicole, attitude proved to be everything. If there was just one important takeaway, Nicole said this about internships, “Treat them like an extended job interview. Take it seriously. Keep in mind that you took the opportunity to intern from someone else, so don't waste it.”