By Maria Yaitanes
When the pandemic hit the nation, it felt like the power went out everywhere. My junior year in the vivacious and brilliant environment of Boston University turned into monotonous days in my childhood bedroom. Each day lost its special uniqueness of normalcy – the uniqueness I never knew was there until it left. However, just about when I started studying for fun (I mean, what else was there to do), good news breathed life into my Gmail: my copywriting internship at Triad Advertising was still on.
Receiving Triad’s email gave me a kick that only great opportunities can provide. In pure child-like excitement, I ditched Netflix and prepared the materials for a remote internship. Although I had never worked at an agency before nor a remote one, the thought of working with Triad’s experienced and collaborative team replaced all doubt with hope.
The hope was not unfounded. My internship contained irreplaceable opportunities, lessons and connections that I am forever grateful for. Thanks to the wonderful individuals at Triad, I look to the future with confidence in my abilities and determination to think success in everything I do.
Triad gave me the most integrative education about agency life. Instead of making masked coffee runs or placing Postmates orders, I had the chance to work on real client projects. As a copywriting intern with interests in both copywriting and account service, Triad provided me with opportunities to experience both firsthand.
In account service, I participated in virtual client calls, research proposals, client scouting and preparatory research for creative projects. Watching the research and client meetings grow into creative masterpieces was incredibly rewarding and educational. I learned the best practices for client relationships as well as how to dig deeper into research. It was awesome. Plus, our Director of Client Service Stacy Danner has a great sense of humor, which we all need during this time.
In terms of copywriting, I had the honor of working with Stephanie Kessler, our Creative Director, and Amy Podeszek, our Creative Coordinator, on a diverse array of projects. From writing thought-leading blog posts to concepting COVID-19 materials for senior living and higher-ed, Triad gave me a wholesome perspective into how copy operates and adapts with various industries. I even had the chance to see my ideas come to fruition in a direct mail campaign for Grace Management and helped with video production for Curry College!
No words can express how thankful I am to have participated in this internship. I have grown not only as an aspiring writer, but also as a team member and human being in general.
Listing everything I learned at Triad would look like one of those endless scrolls you see in the movies; it would never end. However, I can narrow down five things I have learned from everyone at Triad that I plan on using in my daily life and future career.
1. Being a Part of a Team is More Than Showing Up
By working in both account service and copy, I witnessed firsthand how effective teamwork changes the game. Triad has big agency ideas with the heart of a small agency, and this appears especially in its internal environment. No matter how big or small a project, everyone at Triad gives their 110% and always helps other team members when they need it. As a result of this culture, Triad creates work sculpted by organization and radiating with dedication.
2. Say What You Need to Say, Then Say it Right
Through working with Stephanie and proofing projects before print, I learned that a quick tweak of a word or phrase can transform the messaging completely. Especially in short format copy, it’s important to get the necessary information across and say it in the right words. As a writer, this lesson bolstered the effectiveness of my writing. Each and every word has a purpose and selecting the most impactful ones is the copywriter’s superpower. Thank goodness for thesaurus.com.
3. Research Inspires
When one thinks of research, flashbacks of 9th grade biology and uncomfortable lab goggle marks may come to mind. However, preparing research proposals and conducting research for creative projects taught me that research is the gold mine of creative inspiration. After all, how can you speak to the target if you don’t know who they are and what they like? Knowing what’s already out there helps open the doors to what could be.
4. Speak Up
Part of what makes Triad special is its consideration for each and every person’s ideas. As an intern, I never expected my ideas would matter. However, when I finally got the nerve to speak up, I realized that everyone has something to bring to the table (even me). The Triad team listened intently and considered what I had to say. I plan on not only voicing my ideas in the future, but also being an ear that listens to others.
5. Be a Human First
COVID-19 disrupted everything, and I believe we’ve all changed as a result. Masked interactions, distanced gatherings and Zoom fatigue created a disconnect between individuals and their communities. Being a human, or displaying empathy and genuineness, fills the gap left by social isolation with common ground. I learned this while watching the Mirren Live conference: “We Oversee Hundreds of Agencies Around the World: Here’s What’s Working. What’s Not,” where industry leaders discussed the importance of communication in a virtual world. Frequent phone calls, check-ins and flexibility strengthen the client-agency relationship, as well as the employee-agency relationship. While Mirren brought this to my attention conceptually, Triad’s small agency attention and heart embodied how being human makes all the difference.
Triad Advertising has been a remarkable experience that I will remember forever. As a rising senior and incoming Vice President of Boston University’s AdClub, I plan on applying the lessons and experiences from my internship to make this year, and years after, the best they can be.
Thank you to everyone at Triad who welcomed me with open (virtual) arms, listened to my ideas, and advised me on best practices. I wish you all the best, brightest, and safest future.