Not In a 'Major' Market? Impress the Interns Enough to Come Back

Portland Agencies Put Aside Difference, Let Students Get to Work

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Doug Zanger
Doug Zanger
Ed Herinckx, president of HMH, was impressed by the scope and depth of the talent. Kent Lewis, president of Anvil Media, was awed by the passion of the talent and agencies. The interns themselves felt as though they were getting a profound opportunity to learn and contribute at the same time. The client was thrilled at the level of work it received.

So went the second go-around of the Portland Advertising Federation's comprehensive COLAB internship program this year.

For six weeks, a group of highly qualified (and passionate) interns from around the country had the chance to work with 10 Portland agencies, of varying size, for Columbia Sportswear, the client who was the beneficiary of this year's program.

One of the interns (from Chicago) mentioned that this internship was beyond what she had expected. She said that while her colleagues and peers were fetching coffee and bagels at their internships in Chicago, she was able to work on something real. She also said that everyone was willing to drop everything when she had questions. Yes, it will help her book and résumé, but it was nice to hear that Portland's agencies made COLAB a priority and gave her tangible experience. She could be back in Portland after graduation and that would be quite a testament to what our city's industry and people are all about.

Portland's advertising agencies, like those in other cities, has a strong sense of community. Still, since we're considered a bit of a creative hotbed, there's plenty of competitive spirit as well. What impressed me most is that, even in the face of a challenging times, all of these agencies came together and were honest and sincere in their desire to create a truly world-class experience. In fact, Ed Herinckx and Kent Lewis were adamant about growing momentum for the program by continuing to mine talent from all over the country.

I'm unabashedly proud to be a Portlander. And, with COLAB, I'm even more proud to be part of a community like this. PAF won't settle for anything less than the very best opportunities to keep us all moving in a productive and vibrant direction and COLAB is testament to that.

And I can't wait to see what's up PAF's sleeve for year three of an amazing internship program.

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