I am about to wrap up my internship at The Martin Group, it feels as though I started just yesterday but I reflect upon these last few months and cannot believe how much I have learned and grown. Coming into this internship, my knowledge of an advertising agency was based on a few introductory classes and watching hours of “Mad Men”. While these resources are incredibly helpful, there’s nothing like being a part of something to truly have an understanding of it.

As a graphic designer with ambitions to break into the creative department of an agency, I would typically only have the experience of sitting in front of a computer creating in my own little world. While I love that aspect of the field, I have had the opportunity to see so many different aspects of the creative side, through this internship, that I would never have been exposed to. I feel that this is a unique perspective to have and I am incredibly grateful for it. My supervisor is a creative supervisor with a background in graphic design. She has been  incredibly insightful in this area but her job consists of much more than the day to day design tasks. She oversees concepts for all types of creative including print ads, radio spots, television spots and large scale branding campaigns that encompass all of those elements and more. Because of this, she has exposed me to a little bit of everything. I accompanied her on client meetings, vendor meetings, recording sessions, on-location television commercial shoots, presentations and more. I have become very familiar with different industries in the area including the healthcare industry due to visiting several hospitals so often, as she oversees the accounts for Kaleida Health and ECMC. The exposure to this variety of experiences has been really eye opening to how much more there is to advertising and the creative roles within it that I did not realize previously. Before this internship, my focus was strictly design but now I see the potential to use my skills and creativity in many other ways as well.

Of course, among all of this, I still had the ability to hone my design skills and produce a piece that I can place in my portfolio going forward. The Martin Group has been in the process of rebranding themselves over the course of my internship, since this was so new they did not have many of their materials in place. My supervisor gave me the task to create an intern on-boarding kit for future interns, since one was not in place for me and I had the perspective of an intern. I had to design this in line with their new brand but also think outside the box and create a functional, yet visually interesting piece. I spent a few weeks looking through new branding materials and becoming familiar with the parameters of their brand in addition to determining the most important of information to include. I used this to design a multi-page packet that was on-brand yet reflected my own design aesthetic that would be informative to a new intern at the agency. I went through many revision stages with my supervisor and she provided me with valuable feedback that helped me focus my design and sharpen my eye for the future. This is a piece that I can show to future potential employers to demonstrate my ability to design for a real brand that goes beyond a school project.
The goal of my internship was to get a feel for the advertising world and confirm my desire to pursue it as a career path. I was simply intrigued by advertising before, but now I feel as though I can confidently become a part of it. I have learned so much about agency life in general, but also about the advertising community and market in Buffalo. Advertising is an incredibly hectic and competitive industry, it is not easy to get into or be a part of. However, this hectic atmosphere excites and intrigues me and I am constantly finding myself wanting to know and experience more of it. My internship this semester has confirmed the path I would like to pursue as a designer and I feel very fortunate to have gained the experience and made the connections that I have these past few months being a part of The Martin Group.