Agency Summer Interns Say the Damnest Things

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NOELLE WEAVER: Last week I was again reminded that in this industry, everyone, no matter who they are or where they sit, may have surprising and inspiring things to teach you.

Summer agency interns, for instance. This group, more than others, always seem optimistic and ready to jump into this business head first. And always with a smile.

They make me envious. Remember entering this industry fresh out of college, thinking that nothing could ever stop you, that you had a lot of brainpower to give, that your ideas were going to change the world as we knew it, that clients would fall in love with you and that there were no ceilings to bump you head on?

But, as we all know, from years of experience, this isn’t always the case.

I remember sitting in a new business meeting at the age of 23 [there to click through the powerpoint] while a bunch of executives ran through some preliminary thinking on teen video game rental. I didn’t agree with what they were saying –- but I was too young and too scared to speak up and share my own experiences.

Think about the young intern outside your office. When’s the last time you stopped by his or her desk to ask ‘What do you think?’ Or invited them to a meeting? Remember how anxious you were to get involved and how happy you were when someone took the time to let you?

To our own Interns this summer, Eugene, Chris, Shannon and Jennie I say ‘thanks.’ This past Monday they presented a look at the current and future landscape of social marketing. There on a slide, buried deep within the deck was a bullet point that simply said: “Gen @ wants to feel that the brands they support are also brands that support them.” And I thought what a simple but brilliant insight! [And shh! I’m already using it in another deck!]

You know, we can read all the industry and consumer research reports we like, pore over teen magazines, blogs and chatrooms –- but we too often forget to take the time and use the resources right under our own nose.

The 20-something intern, the one who stayed ‘til midnight more than once making a binder of briefing materials for you, may have one little thing they say –- one little insight –- that will surprise and delight you and most of all, drive the winning idea.

So cheers to them –- the future of our industry –- and the future of great thinkers, creators, innovators and so many other things.
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