Internship Recap: Ian McMurray, Writing Seminars / Film and Media Studies, ’15
1. Where did you intern?
I interned at a company called Gazoozle, a small independent marketing and advertising firm located in Burbank, CA. It was a pretty cool place; despite its size they had an impressive number of clientele ranging from start-ups to huge corporations like Disney.
2. What did a typical day look like for you?
All the interns had exposure to the various positions at the firm, so every day was a little different. I worked most closely with the head of Gazoozle’s creative and social media department. I wrote a lot of copy for various clients, ranging from Facebook and Twitter posts, to website revisions, to revisions of mass emails sent to various schools to recruit campus brand ambassadors. I did work for other departments, as well; I worked with the HR head to recruit interns for the fall, find models for various client photo shoots, and made cold calls to various restaurants and entertainment venues for clients like Buzztime and Enplug. I worked with campaign launch to create a promotional campaign for Disney’s release of Maleficent DVD, which was wild.
3. What was your favorite part of the internship?
Getting to pitch to Disney was definitely a unique experience, I can’t believe I got to take part in it as an intern. But honestly, my day-to-day “favorite” aspect of the internship was the general atmosphere of the office; all the employees were very nice, welcoming, and relaxed. The office was super contemporary, and gave off a laid-back atmosphere. We were encouraged to take breaks when needed. I think that the firm made an effort to follow the emerging trends of office culture, which focuses more on employee happiness and individuality, and I thought that was really great.
4. What was the most valuable lesson you learned?
Probably the concrete differences between “marketing” and “advertising”. Before working at Gazoozle, I thought the terms were fairly synonymous, and I actually suspect that the misconception is fairly common nowadays. “Advertising” leans much more towards the creative; coming up with re-brands for companies, designing logos, slogans, working their social media, things like that. “Marketing” is more the business and analytical aspects of clientele representation; it’s all about numbers, and how can we best sell the product, not merely raise audience awareness and interest in the product. Marketing often deals more with designing public stunts or promotional opportunities to actually get a product sold. Luckily Gazoozle has strong foundations in marketing and advertising, so I obtained exposure in both areas.
5. Most embarrassing moment on the job?
Two moments stand out to me—one is unprofessional, and the other is more like a party-foul. The first time I simply wasn’t thinking, and mentioned to our campaign launch director that I didn’t like how one of our clients had re-branded themselves. Two days later, I learned that the company had not suggested the idea for the re-brand, but that the campaign launch director had—that was painfully awkward. The other, funnier moment was on my last day. Someone brought in donuts, and midway through the morning the office wanted to have a donut-eating competition. For some reason they thought I would be a good competitor. They were wrong. We were timed to see how many donuts we could eat in one minute. I only managed to get one down. My opponent ate three.
6. Would you recommend this internship and why?
I would—I had a lot of fun, and learned a lot. Moreover, I felt that I was actually trusted with work that was important, which was flattering, and not something you get in a lot of internships these days. I definitely gained skills that I can take with me, and apply to many careers.
Ian McMurray is the Co-President of the Johns Hopkins Film Society and Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Film Festival. For information on how to become a member, and for meeting dates, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the first JHU FS Screening of the year, “Hot Fuzz” presented in Shriver, August 27th at 9:00 pm. All the cool kids are going.