My Internship Search Experience

I’ve always found weightlifting as a great parallel to life. Life, like weightlifting, takes consistency and doing things with proper form and full repetitions. In real life, cutting corners will leave you disappointed in your results or even hurt. Personal records are something people strive for in weightlifting, as well as in life. You follow a plan and test yourself by getting under the bar and seeing what you have. There are three things that can happen under that bar. First, you complete the rep with little to no resistance. Congrats! All of your training and hard work paid off. The next option is you get through the rep but really struggle at some part. You find out where you have to improve and go from there. The last option, and most painful, if failing at getting the weight up. You find out you have bitten off more than you can chew and need to go back to train with a better focus. This summer I got under a new bar and wondered which one I would encounter as I undertook my first internship. 

I first interviewed for my current internship last year for my sophomore summer. The interview went well, but Jeff Ryznar, President of 898 Marketing, informed me that he was looking for someone with a few more relevant classes under their belt. I felt the weight fall on my chest but knew the power to lift it was in my own control.  

Jeff let me know that he would love it if I reapplied again in the summer after I had another year of classes completed. This exchange really stuck with me as I could tell he was being genuine. Through the next year following my first interview, we kept in contact with each other. Around January, I got an email saying that 898 Marketing was again looking for summer interns and since I had applied and met them for an interview last year, the email continued to say if I was still interested they had a spot available for me. I was thrilled and immediately replied letting them know I was interested in the position and subsequently accepted it. This exchange only reinforced my initial thoughts about Jeff and 898 Marketing as a company that I had after my first interview. First rep completed.

During my internship search, I knew I wanted to work at a smaller agency, as this would be my first internship and first time in an agency setting, I felt smaller would be a better fit for me, instead of a larger corporation or agency. 898 Marketing was the one that checked all the boxes for me. It is a full service agency, allowing me to work on different accounts across many industries. It also exposes and allows me to work on the different services that the agency offers. At 898 Marketing, I also get to interact with the company’s leader every day.  My personal spotter would be the guy leading the entire operation. I don’t know too many places where the interns report and interact with the CEO daily. I just could not see that happening if I worked at a larger agency or a corporation’s marketing department. Another rep completed.

Obviously, when I accepted the internship offer in January, I did not expect a global pandemic to interfere with my internship. As the pandemic set in I got an email reassuring me that even if we were still in quarantine, the internship was still on and we would begin doing work remotely if necessary. This was a huge relief to me as friends of mine had received emails from much bigger companies informing them that due to Covid-19 they were no longer having summer interns. Another rep completed.

On my first day, I was nervous. It was my first time in an office setting and my first “professional” job. All of my anxiety melted away during the onboarding where it was made evidently clear that, even as interns, we were part of the 898 family. One of the things that Jeff mentioned was that, now that we were a part of the 898 Marketing family, he would always back us up and was there if we needed anything. This was a huge reassurance and further confirmed to me I had made the right choice. Oh, and I also won $100 on my first day!  No seriously!  It was amazing.  Easiest rep in the set.

When Jeff said we were now part of the 898 family he was not exaggerating. The office is an open floor plan with everyone sitting at three long tables. Jeff’s desk is in the corner, three feet away from everyone else – not in his own office away from everyone. Jeff has truly cultivated something special at 898 and I’m glad to currently be a part of it.  First set complete.

So far my “training” seems to be paying off. I feel I have my feet firmly planted shoulder width apart and I haven’t crumbled under the weight yet. It seems like I’ve made it to the bottom of the lift and I’m bracing, waiting and ready to explode up through the bar on my way to a new set, learning how to be the best and strongest version of myself.

About the Author

Patrick Thomas is currently a Marketing Intern at 898 Marketing.  As an intern, Patrick is gaining valuable experience with strategic development, creative concepting, research, market analysis, video production and effective account management and presentation skills. Patrick is a native of Youngstown, Ohio, and a dual major in Strategic Communications and English-Professional Writing at Miami University of Ohio.