Category Archives: Intern tips

The First Week of a Martino Flynn Intern

Coming into this internship, I had no idea what to expect. I had never worked in an office before and felt a combination of nerves and excitement as I walked through the doors of Martino Flynn on my first day.

My nerves turned into excitement as our supervisors, Rose and Nick, described the energetic environment of the office. They encouraged us to introduce ourselves to the staff and to seek out as many experiences as we could. We headed out on a tour of the office, and as we passed by each desk, we were greeted with a warm smile or an excited “Welcome!” Not only is the office a friendly environment, but it’s also designed to enhance creativity and collaboration. After showing us the two cafés and several lounge areas, we were encouraged to explore the office and use these areas for meetings, or just a change of scenery.

I made my way to the open concept PR “hub” where I had my own desk, and quickly felt at home. With a layout similar to a newsroom, it’s easy to get to know your co-workers! On my first day, I was put in charge of all of the Greenhouse Program’s social media platforms. I made my first content calendar to plan the content being shared on the brand’s Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages. After developing content, I learned how to use social media software to queue my posts and analyze the data from each one. Quickly, I learned how to compose a work order for the MF Art Department intern to generate graphics to spice up my social media posts and increase engagement.

Throughout the week, I was included in more meetings than I can count. I was invited to a brainstorm session in which I was encouraged to throw out some of my own ideas, and saw how research on the existing culture of a brand and its competitors is used to generate new content. I gained insight into the media list creation and preparation for a large press release distribution in a meeting with Megan Connor Murphy, director of Public Relations and social media. I even sat in on a PR update with one of the partners, and saw how co-workers kept each other in the loop on numerous ongoing projects.

As I got to know the other interns, I found that they, too, were immediately brought in on projects in their departments. The Broadcasting intern, Matt; Accounts intern, Kelsey; and Art Department Intern, Courtney, learned firsthand how to set up a successful client shoot. Matt got to film some B-roll; Kelsey learned about the intricate details that make up a successful print advertisement; and Courtney made an appearance in an image for a campaign! Chelsey, another Account Intern, researched market competitors to identify current market trends in over-the-counter products. And Ivy, the Copywriter intern, wrote several taglines for a new client product, which impressed the Creative team.

All of the interns agree that Martino Flynn is a truly integrated firm in which we will have the opportunity to learn and experience many aspects of the industry. Since the interns are included in all social events of the office, we are able to connect with and gain insight from many people (and eat a lot of delicious food)! After a week packed with opportunities to learn from the projects I was included in and from the employees at Martino Flynn, I’m looking forward to what the rest of the summer will bring.

How an Internship Builds Confidence

We’ve all been through it at one point or another– the nervousness that comes with an unfamiliar situation. As you enter through the golden gates to adulthood and are given greater responsibilities, feeling nervous is unavoidable. Perhaps one of the greatest examples of this feeling is applying for your first internship or job. It can be nerve-wracking; that first application sent out, the initial contact for the interview, the awkward waiting in the lobby and, of course, the hopefully not-so-sweaty handshake. Blurred apprehension at its finest.

But it’s all worth it in the end. Once you dress up, show up, nail that interview, get the job, and do well at it, the confidence that radiates from you as a result is an invaluable asset. This newfound confidence will help you further enhance your career experience, time management skills, and networking abilities.

BIGGER RESUME – College students indulge in activities that boost their engagement in the community and build their personal brand. Having a resume helps to define your worth and an internship is a vital piece of the equation. Being able to say I’ve done research, worked in a team, and shadowed intelligent marketing professionals at an agency looks great for future employers and sets me apart from my peers. For example, I can definitely say that I feel more confident having Martino Flynn’s name on my resume because of its recognition.

BIGGER SCHEDULE – Second to being nervous, the next dark cloud of emotions is feeling overwhelmed. This summer I interned three days a week and worked in retail the opposite days. On top of that, I juggled a summer class and my social relationships. Life has been a whirlwind of events this summer, but it has allowed me to manage my time efficiently. (Note: This may or may not include a series of color-coded calendar reminders and nicely prioritized to-do lists!) But now I know my limits and when I need to simply say, “No.” It’s made me more confident in knowing that I can take on a lot and still succeed.

BIGGER NETWORK – People understand that everyone has to start somewhere. As an intern, the key is to stay proactive with projects. For example, I’ve initiated some informational interviews across all departments, asked to sit in on meetings, and wasn’t afraid to say, “I like your shoes!” to someone I hardly knew. By doing so, I’ve established relationships with very down-to-earth, kind professionals that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my career.

Being a “big person” can be exciting. You juggle all sorts of tasks, you connect with intelligent people, and you adapt. You may not always know what to expect, which can cause those nervous feelings, but you walk away feeling more confident. My internship at Martino Flynn has opened my eyes to the real world and I’m proud to say this experience will help me in my future.

Stepping Out: Transitioning from Campus Life to the Agency World

As I close in on the second half of my college experience at Cornell University, I’ve been thinking about what I have experienced thus far. I’ve learned a great deal about the intricacies of communication; I’ve spent countless hours studying in the library; I’ve even worked on projects with looming deadlines. The only thing I haven’t learned, that no one can learn in a classroom, is what it’s like in the “real world”. Diving head first into the marketing agency realm is no easy transition and it can certainly be overwhelming. But thanks to internships such as the Greenhouse program here at Martino Flynn, I have been able to get that experience firsthand.

Once I was able to get past the initial shock of a drastically different environment, I found incredible learning opportunities. At some places, interns take on menial tasks like running back and forth between the coffee machine and the printer. However, my experience at this agency has been quite the opposite. Greenhouse interns work on real client projects alongside experts, manage individual tasks given to them by project leaders and learn what it takes to be part of a truly integrated company. Although Cornell has taught me many different aspects of communication, hands-on experience is an essential next step to prepare for the real world after graduation.

In the public relations department specifically, I have had the opportunity to develop my writing and marketing skills by writing press releases and pitches, creating social media content, and conducting research for client projects. While these important tasks may at times be daunting, I am quickly learning how to stay on my feet and manage my workload in such a fast-paced environment.

Martino Flynn also stands out among other internships in that it allows its participants to dive into many different facets of advertising. Being at a full-service, integrated marketing firm, I am able to focus on public relations work, but also can explore my other interests in creative design, digital media, account management, or whatever else I may be curious about. The people here are so welcoming and supportive; they truly represent the Greenhouse metaphor of nurturing us intern “seedlings” to learn and grow in a personal, collaborative atmosphere.

After being in the Greenhouse program for a few weeks now, I can truly say that this experience is a great addition to my collegiate studies in preparing me for the corporate world. What I once thought was overwhelming is now within my reach. One of the first things I learned here at Martino Flynn is to not be afraid of taking risks. With an enthusiastic attitude, a goal-oriented strategy, and a personable disposition, I’m learning that you can succeed in anything you put your mind to. I am really excited to see what is in store for me for the rest of the summer at the agency. I know that however we contribute, we will be able to make a difference. Because at Martino Flynn, interns do great work.

Greenhouse Update

Things are looking good. Our topic is set, the workload has been divided and everyone has been plugging away to bring all of our efforts together as a completed product.

I’m speaking, of course, about our Greenhouse project. As we are editing and preparing for the final presentation, a weight on our shoulders grows heavier with each passing day. It’s not that we are procrastinating; it’s that we are driven by our desire to please the partners. We’ve built up an image in our minds that they will not hold back and, if given the opportunity, they will tear our presentation apart with no remorse.

The partners are more pleasant and inviting than this, but the image we have constructed is certainly an excellent motivational tool.


I must say that it is fascinating to see different elements from different departments come together. Each intern in their respective department has been contributing in the ways that they know best. There is so much that I want to tell about what we have been doing, but that would ruin the final presentation. Don’t worry, for you’ll find out soon enough.

Next week we plan to complete our project as well as polish our presentation. Normally, with an important deadline looming so close in front of me, I would be panicking, but for some reason I feel at ease. Is this some sort of new found confidence? Am I that comfortable in this new setting? Who can say? What I do know is that I’m having fun and learning a lot at the same time.

What more could I ask for?

Stay Hungry: Swallowing Good Ideas For Great Ones

In the creative process, brainstorming is arguably the most important aspect. No matter how you do it, coming up with new, innovative ideas is always the challenge of a creative in any agency. However, the truly vital part of brainstorming, and the hardest to master, is the ability to find a good idea and make it better.

Throughout your thought process, you will come up with 20 terrible ideas for every good one. As you do this more and more, this number will reduce and reduce because you will learn how to think creatively in different contexts. The best creative will not only reduce the number of bad ideas, but they will learn to push through the good ideas to make them great. Here are a few techniques to help you try to get to this point:

1. Rewrite your idea or tagline, headline, etc.

Your idea may already be a great one but you can’t see it yet. All it could take is rephrasing your idea or headline for you to see what you are truly driving at. Until you get really good at brainstorming, this might mean rewriting your topic or phrase 15 different ways.

2. Narrow your idea or phrase down to one sentence or line


Simplify, simplify, simplify! When in doubt, it’s always the best choice, especially in this field. This will keep your message on point and easily understood. Don’t make the consumer jump through hoops to make the connection you want them to. Always remember, the simpler, the better.

3. Look through old campaigns

You would be surprised how quickly your mind can get ideas from great campaigns. Sometimes when you see a truly great idea, you can see in your mind how the creative got from one thought to another. Just seeing these connections come to life, whether it’s your product or not, really does help your mind get started thinking in the right way.

These are just a few of the many ways to brainstorm that have helped me come up with ideas or headlines when I’m stuck on a project or want to make my idea better. There’s always another perspective to look at the same idea. The key is finding it and using it to make your idea better. But there’s only one way to get better at these techniques: practice, practice, practice!

Seven ways to network your way to a job with LinkedIn

As you may have heard before, networking is the name of the game. If you are a recent graduate looking for your first full time job, you are going to need all the networking you can get. Luckily for you, LinkedIn is as an easy tool created to help you network with past and hopefully future employers.

Here are some tips on how to make (and get) the most out of your LinkedIn account:

1. Make connections.

Professors, co-workers, employers, and classmates—all can contribute to your job search by referring you to people they may know are looking to hire someone just like you. But remember, the site is a professional network, not a social one.

2. Get recommendations.

Good recommendations on your account is another easy way to advertise yourself and attract employers, but make sure they are all from professional contacts and not friends or family members. The more you have, the better (some say having at least ten is a good start). If you recently left an internship or job, get one as soon as possible so the person’s memory of your work is fresh in their brain.

3. Read email alerts.

Make sure your e-mail alerts are turned on. You’ll be notified when employers in your field are hiring and get a head start on applying for the position.

4. Join groups.

Joining groups can link you to professionals within the same groups, especially if you participate in discussions to get yourself noticed.

5. Follow companies or organizations of interest.

When following a company or organization that interests you, it allows for you to receive breaking news and up-to-date information on the organization. Which will be a good thing to keep up on if you are trying to get hired at a specific company. Following your school on LinkedIn will let you know where recent alumnae have started their careers.

6. Constantly update your profile.

Always keep your profile up to date, completed and filled with key search terms. Employers are constantly sifting through profiles to search for the perfect candidate, and yours may be skipped over if it is lacking your most recent internship or your full set of skills. Not to mention, when an employer receives your resume the old fashioned way, they might look you up on LinkedIn and want to see even more details about you and your experiences.

7. Search for future career paths.

Look at profiles of those in positions you want someday. You will be able to see what skills they have listed—along with previous positions they have held. This is a great way to get a sense of what direction you should take your career in order to land this “dream” job.

If you haven’t already made an account, do it as soon as possible to begin your professional networking; it may make all the difference someday when you’re applying for the job you’ve always wanted.


Tips for Team Building

Are you one of those people who dreads working in teams? Have you ever had a bad experience working in teams? Team building is an important element in any environment. It encourages self-development, helps improve communication and leadership skills, and gives people the opportunity to work closely together to resolve complex problems. Team building can be challenging and frustrating, however it can also be beneficial, exhilarating, educational, and the outcome can be very rewarding. Here are some helpful tips that can help create a better team experience:

1.)  Clear understanding of goals: It is essential that team goals are clear and understood by each team member. There should also be complete clarity of each team member’s responsibilities. Team members should be assigned to tasks, which bring out their unique skill sets and strengths. What’s nice about teamwork is one person’s weakness can be another person’s strength, so each individual compensates for another’s weakness, creating a balance.

2.) Create a comfortable environment: Team members should get to know each other before diving into a project. Opportunities for extra social time will help build trust, encourage communication, and create a less intimidating and more comfortable atmosphere.

3.) Create team norms: Team norms are a set of rules or guidelines a team establishes to shape the interactions of team members. Norms are usually developed early, possibly during the teams first meeting. Norms are important because they help standardize what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Every team member should agree with the norms and follow them throughout the duration the group is working together. More norms can be added to the list as the team discovers they need more guidelines further down the road.

Examples of team norms:

  • Team members will speak respectfully to each other and will not talk down to each other
  • Team members will not interrupt one another
  • Meetings will be held weekly; team members are expected to have completed their outside work
  • Decision making will be done by consensus otherwise, majority will rule
  • Conflicts will be resolved between the team members involved

4.) Actively participate: Don’t hesitate to speak up! Remember, each team member should be respectful of each other’s ideas and opinions. Creativity comes from exploring different ideas and tweaking them until they accomplish the goals of the project. Actively participating also includes making sure you are contributing to the team and your portion of the project is completed on time. The outcome of your work will impact the success of the team. They are counting on you!

5.) Monitor team progress: Many times groups will lose the main focus of the project or assignment. They get too caught up in smaller tasks and make decisions that don’t align with the overall mission and goal of the team. Teams should regularly monitor their decisions to ensure they align and support the main focus of the project.

6.)  Addressing conflict: Recognize conflict early and confront the individuals involved. By not confronting the conflict at an early stage will only allow issues to build up and create more serious problems in the future.

7.)  Challenge each other: Respectfully challenge each other’s ideas. Ask team members why they believe something should be done a certain way or why their idea is better than the rest. It is okay to disagree and explore alternative solutions. This can help energize team members and examine ideas more in depth that can help lead to the best possible outcome.

8.)  Team feedback: Feedback helps us see ourselves from the perspectives of others. Teams should give each other constructive feedback to gauge each team member’s performance. It can help team members recognize areas for improvement so they can work on improving their skills. Be open minded about feedback, don’t take it personally. It will help you become more aware of your actions and benefit you in the long run.

9.)  Empower each other: Never miss opportunities to empower team members. Show appreciation and compliment each other on a job well done. It will help boost team confidence and encourage a positive atmosphere.

10.)   Have fun: Although teamwork and team building can be challenging, it can also be very rewarding. Not only will you be exposed to learning new ideas and perspectives, but you will be able to build your personal network for future references.


Benefits of Internships

Internships help prepare the younger generation for the big transition from classrooms to cubicles. In school, students are always told they have it easy in comparison to the real world, but what exactly awaits us in the real world and how can we best prepare ourselves for it? One possible solution, internships.

When most people picture an intern, they picture the theatrical version of a young college student running around an office with coffee spilling every which way. Overwhelmed with phone calls, and stacks of papers drowning themselves in their desk, which is not a very appealing image. This is not typically the case. While I am not glamorizing the role of an intern, I am simply suggesting the benefits are often overlooked. Interns are gaining real world experience, something their friends back at home lounging around the pool may soon come to envy. When graduation comes around the corner, everyone lines up with their carefully edited resumes, dressed in their most professional clothes, waiting to impress companies during their highly anticipated interviews. What more than often impresses the employers though is past experience; having a grasp on the workplace and the demands that come with it.

Today everything is about connections, who do you know? You’d be surprised how far you can get simply from building and maintaining relationships. Not to mention your reputation, how you present yourself and the impression you leave. People talk and people listen, but make sure they are listening to positive things pertaining to you. Success in your internship can make you memorable to employers. If you did a particularly good job, they can help set you up with another company, or their own, helping you down your very own career path. This will provide a smooth transition from the help of professionals giving you tips along the way because after all, they went through the same experience at one point in their lives.

Many college students, maybe yourself included, are very indecisive. Often doubting their decisions, changing their mind, and second-guessing themselves. It is rare you find something you love and have a passion for straight from the gecko. Often, you will experience several wrong turns to ultimately find your right path in life. If you find you have not quite reached your destination yet, don’t get too frustrated. You are not alone. Internships are a great solution to this. They allow you to dip your feet into the water without making a permanent commitment and helping you realize what you like and what you do not like. Last summer I was able to intern at an insurance company, unsure if it was the right path for me. I am glad I tried it; it helped me understand what I should be looking for in a job and what skills will help me get there.

Above all else internships help you gain confidence. Work experience is the best way to do this. Networking with real employees, and learning to sell yourself forces you to act professionally. Along the way you learn tricks of the trade and constantly improve upon yourself in a professional way. It may sound silly to stress things such as eye contact, shaking hands and breaking informal habits such as “um” or “like.” Without using these informal habits, it can make you appear worlds apart in the professional world during the ten minutes you get to impress that employer.

Simply put, with the economy today the job market is competitive as ever; an internship can never hurt you so why not try it out for yourself?


Inspiration Station

What inspires you? Is it Music? Is it loved ones? Perhaps it’s the urge to succeed? For me, inspiration is a dizzy mind and a cup of coffee strong enough to power the sun’s backup generator – or at least that’s what it is this morning.

I started my day as I would any Tuesday. I gave my alarm clock the stink-eye until it finally took the hint, I grumbled to my reflection as I tried talking my hair into cooperating on a humid day, and I set out to begin another productive workday at the agency. Only this Tuesday was a little bit different.

After our usual all-staff meeting wrapped up, Kevin shared with us a video that has been causing a stir in cyberspace. It features a compilation of insightful Mr. Rogers clips, organized into an auto-tuned song. We were informed that this video was an example of how inspiration can come out of anywhere. And, as silly as it was, it proved just that.

The message of the song can be delivered in one line: “Did you ever grow anything in the garden of your mind?” Excellent question, Rogers! Being an intern at the Greenhouse, I immediately dug the garden metaphor. But it’s much more than that.

Take a second and answer the question. Have you ever grown anything in the garden of your mind? Regardless of how you answered, remember that there’s never a shortage of inspiration. Is it a dull, rainy day? Or is it an opportunity to sit down and get that blog started? Is it a blank piece of paper? Or is it the bare throne of ideas for that campaign you’ve been working on? I wouldn’t say inspiration is hiding in every corner. I’d say inspiration is sitting right there in front of you, but it’s too shy to introduce itself.

Figure out what gets your gears turning, and milk it for all it’s worth. That makes it sound easy, doesn’t it? Well it is. Some people have the tendency to sit around and wait for inspiration to strike. But believe me, that is the least effective way to do it. All it takes is one little idea, one lyric from your favorite song or, if you’re like me, one sip from the world’s strongest cup of coffee to get you going. The rest is history.

Each idea is a seed. Every twist and turn your idea takes is a root. It may take a day, it may take a week, but when you get there, you’ll know. And if you follow my advice, you’ll be able to marvel at the beauty in the garden of your mind.

Watch the video here!

If it hasn’t been done, it’s worth doing

Many people find comfort in the norm. Why stray from what you’re familiar with if you’re content with how things are? If it’s not broken why fix it? This has not been the mindset in advertising.

With so many brands and products in the world today it’s easy for a message to get lost in the madness. What had initially drawn me to advertising was that new, innovative, sometimes crazy ideas are not only accepted, but are encouraged. You need that creative idea, regardless of what medium, to make your message stand out and be heard.

This way of thinking has been very evident here at Martino Flynn from the very start. When the Greenhouse interns pitched some ideas to the creative director for an upcoming campaign, the idea that caught his attention was the one we had almost thrown out, deeming it “too crazy.” Hopefully it won’t come back to bite him, but realizing what ideas thrive here are sometimes the ones that seems the most far-fetched.

Playing it safe with ideas that have shown results in the past is perfectly fine. But the large impact ideas are the ones that the world has never seen before.  It’s all about willing to take the risk to try that something new.  Ideas such as the Old Spice man, McDonalds interactive billboard, and Dunkin Donuts NYC graffiti mural are often the most memorable and most talked about. Taking the chance on something new can have long lasting positive results. The never been seen before is what gets people talking.

-Mike Parrone