Name: Mario Parker ’18
Major: I graduated from FIU in Spring 2018 with an undergraduate degree in mass communications with a concentration in the advertising-creative track. My minor is e-marketing and social media analytics.
Where did you intern?
I’m interning as an AdFellow in New York! AdFellows is an immersive 8-month industry fellowship program that offers an integrated client and agency experience. Diverse college graduates are provided with access to an incredible network of professionals and hands on experiences across Verizon’s several marketing functions – from creative, media, public relations to experiential. It’s like an additional year of school, but with real world experiences.
What do you do there?
Every two months, I rotate to a different agency where my role and responsibilities change. This is one of the many reasons this fellowship is unique and valuable. My current rotation is at Verizon. I was placed with the creative strategy department — where I’m helping to compile competitive analyses, give recommendations for upcoming campaigns and ensure any creative work is brand compliant.
How did you get your internship?
While competing in One Club’s Summer Creativity Boot Camp, I had the opportunity to apply in person. One Club is a non-profit organization that recognizes creative excellence in advertising and design. I encourage everyone interested in this industry to get involved.
What projects do you work on?
At every agency, there were different tasks, ranging from social listening for a brand to research and data analysis.
What is the coolest thing that’s happened during your internship?
I got to witness a major Super Bowl commercial before it aired!
What do you like most about your experience?
Being able to experience unique roles at different agencies and seeing how they came together in order to creatively execute a campaign. Also, how helpful and dedicated the program leads and partners are. They go above and beyond in all aspects of the program, making sure we are developing our skills and applying them successfully.
What have you learned about yourself?
The realization that in order for things to change for me, I have to change. Having the courage to go after the experiences I want to gain and be exposed to is what led me to where I am today. It makes me really excited for what the future holds.
How are you expanding your professional network?
Attending events that are specific to the career I want to pursue has expanded my network greatly. I am around individuals who are there with the same purpose, similarities and ambition. This makes networking more natural and casual.
How is it helping you prove yourself in the “real world”?
The only person we need to prove anything to is ourselves; so, find the internal challenges you want to overcome and do them – because in the end, you’re the only “real world” worth proving to.
What advice do you have for those beginning the internship process?
Be purposeful when seeking internships. Don’t just take any position. Ask yourself if this experience will help you get closer to the work you find interest doing. Also, be prepared. Luck favors those who are prepared. Study the organization, the culture and the work they do.