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Fingerpaint Intern Chronicles Virtual Internship Experience

June 17,2020

Editor’s note: In the wake of COVID-19, Fingerpaint pivoted its yearly summer internship into a virtual program, keeping its commitment to the 23 college students who were offered paid internships across its offices. Megan Kirkbride, an intern in Fingerpaint’s Conshohocken office, will be keeping a weekly blog about her experience.

Week 4: Moving Along Quickly

I can’t believe it’s already been 4 weeks since I started this virtual internship at Fingerpaint. Things have really started to ramp up with the intern project, and the short holiday week made for an action-packed time trying to get everything done in just a few days!

Week 4 was filled with a lot of logistics surrounding the project, including assembling and sending out a creative brief to our nonprofit client. I also worked with the project management team to come up with an outline of tentative dates surrounding the project to send over to the client to review.

In addition to the creative brief, the other interns and I have all been working on a presentation for an additional project, which we will present to the managers early next week. We are really looking forward to hearing their feedback so we can take their suggestions and implement them to expand and improve upon our existing ideas.

Although it was a short week, we managed to get a lot done on the nonprofit project and to get started on another portion of the documentary series the team is working on. I was able to help import audio files of casting interviews into a transcription software program that will give us full transcriptions for our team to look back on and reference in the future.

The next few weeks are going to go by even faster than the first few, and I’m really excited to see how the nonprofit project works out. This experience has been such a unique and great opportunity to help me understand the process for projects like the campaign we are working on.

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Week 3: Planning and Executing

Every week continues to teach me new concepts and applicable skills that are useful when working in an online environment like this virtual internship. So far, the experience as a whole has been smooth sailing, and I attribute that to the team at Fingerpaint making a conscious effort to ensure the other interns and I have everything we need to be successful. Weekly check-ins are something that have been really helpful, and it’s nice to know that the team is prioritizing our well-being throughout this virtual experience.

Early in the week, I had the opportunity to learn more about Fingerpaint’s process as a whole, and this was really helpful in seeing where and how projects are routed through an agency. The team is also hard at work planning an impactful documentary series that I have been given the opportunity to help with. I have been able to sit in on client calls and learn as much as I can about the process of planning and executing a major project like this.

This week has primarily been focused on kicking off our summer-long project for the nonprofit organization we’re working with in the Conshohocken office. I’ve been communicating with the client to ensure we’re aligned on timing and the next steps of the project. My team and I have been working on a creative brief to explain the overarching concept of the project as well as detailed specifications and milestones that need to be achieved.

While we’re still in the initial phase, we have made a good amount of progress over the last week on this project. We put together a slideshow deck to present to our managers in order to help them visualize our ideas more clearly. This meeting was really important and helped a lot with ideating a more cohesive, all-encompassing theme rather than a handful of separate ideas. The feedback they provided allowed us to come up with a really great idea for a campaign that we feel will be really helpful for the organization we’re partnering with.

I’m very excited to see what the next few weeks will bring with regard to our nonprofit project; I’m eager to hear what the client thinks of our ideas and how they will implement them alongside their ongoing campaigns. It will be interesting to see what kind of feedback they have in terms of how our idea fits within and/or expands the scope of what they initially had in mind.

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Week 2: Collaboration Is the Key to Success

My second week at Fingerpaint has been a great opportunity to learn and adapt to the ways in which an agency operates on a day-to-day basis. I’ve also had the opportunity to start on a few major projects in addition to a few minor tasks to help my managers with their work.

I’ve had a chance to get to know the other interns more, and we are all currently collaborating on a summer-long project. Fingerpaint pairs up its interns with a local nonprofit to perform pro bono work for them. Because of the ongoing pandemic, we are looking into virtual alternatives to events they would normally hold during this time of year. Our biggest challenge so far is coming up with creative ideas that will be engaging and helpful for everyone involved. This past week, we all met virtually to discuss and brainstorm ideas regarding the creative project. The virtual collaboration is proving to be easier than expected, and it’s allowing all of us to work out ideas faster than we may normally be able to. This entire experience is showing me how efficient and effective virtual collaboration can be if it is utilized in the right ways.

We then took our ideas and presented them to our managers to get their feedback on which ideas seem like winners and how we should expand on them before sending to the client. Their feedback taught me that combining some of the ideas we have for the project would make it more cohesive and overarching. Getting constructive feedback from the managers has been immensely helpful in allowing me to think through the team’s ideas more thoroughly and start creating a more organized approach to our client presentation in the upcoming weeks.

My job (as the account service intern) is to make sure these ideas are relayed back to the client in a way that will best show them the work we can do to help improve their company. Over the next few weeks, I will be working closely with Amber, our project management intern, to achieve successful communication between the client and our internal team.

This week has also been really fun as we learned about the ins and outs of pharma marketing, including the ways in which the FDA approves creative materials and the regulations that companies must follow. Additionally, I’ve learned about the creative process that goes behind developing and executing these materials, such as commercials and websites.

I was also fortunate enough to sit in on the Pride Month Panel here at Fingerpaint. It was an amazing experience. It’s important to me to see a company take the initiative to create a positive and inclusive working environment for all of its employees.

Overall, the people here are making a really great effort to give all of us the best possible experience we can have and allow us to learn and grow through this unique opportunity. I’m looking forward to kicking things off with the client project starting week 3 and continuing to expand my knowledge with the agency.

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Week 1: How is this going to work?

At the start of this year, the last thing I expected was to have the opportunity to participate in a virtual internship.

My first week at Fingerpaint has been an experience like no other. It has given me the opportunity to see how an agency operates through a different lens. After working on the client side of the pharma industry last summer, I wanted to experience the agency side and work more closely with the creative process of marketing.

I was definitely skeptical coming into the internship. I wasn’t sure how effective the communication would be between myself and the people I was going to be working with, but Fingerpaint as a company has made a valiant effort to communicate as effectively as possible and support myself and my teammates through this process. The amount of communication and reminders to ask questions has been really helpful, and their willingness to answer any and all questions we have assists us in learning as much as we can.

My interaction with the other interns has been fun, and we all get along really well! With the way the internship is structured, we all need to work together as a collective team, so communication and cooperation are vital to the amount of success we all will be able to achieve.

Working remotely provides all of us a very unique experience to develop skills we might not otherwise develop during a traditional internship. This poses a few questions for me, like: Are virtual internships the new way to go about exposing students to the real world as workplaces transition more into remote working? Will this opportunity give us a leg up on this new generation of remote working?

I’m very excited to work with my team at the Conshohocken office on a number of projects this summer, and after my first week, I can confidently say that I didn’t need to be skeptical. I really look forward to continuing to learn and dive in to the virtual side of this great opportunity.

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