This fall, I have had the good fortune to intern with Creative Distillery as the social media marketing intern. As I am nearing the end of my time at Creative Distillery, I have so much to reflect on!
Learning about the advertising and marketing business while simultaneously writing copy and creating content for clients has provided me with countless opportunities to gain new skills. My time spent at Creative Distillery has challenged me to dig deeper to find ideas below the surface level and reach for something more meaningful and effective.
I have loved being able to see how my psychology background plays into the world of communications. My research in a social psychology lab while at the University of Mississippi focused on biases, judgments, and perceptions, and it has been fascinating to see how these psychological factors play out in real-world scenarios. This base knowledge has been reinforced at Creative Distillery because I’ve realized just how much attention to detail is required to ensure that the message you are crafting is specifically tailored for a client’s target audience. The ability to put myself in a consumer’s shoes to imagine how he or she might perceive an ad or social media post is both incredibly interesting and equally challenging, and this is a skill that I am hoping to refine more every day.
The whole team at Creative Distillery is very knowledgeable and talented in what they do and, in turn, generous with their time when relaying information and explaining new concepts to me. They have graciously let me have my hand in many of our client’s projects, which has given me the chance to expand my range in terms of understanding and communicating the message that each client wishes to convey. I’ve learned that a supportive environment is certainly not something to take for granted.
I have also really enjoyed the laid-back yet structured atmosphere of Creative Distillery. Team meetings are insightful and autonomy in the office gives freedom for in-depth exploration and creativity. It is evident when you walk in the loft that innovative ideas are buzzing, and it’s hard not to be inspired in such a fantastic space. And, luckily for me, I am surrounded by people who understand the importance of a good cup of coffee (or two!).
From debating what to name our team meetings and deciding on a blood drive campaign name to researching perfect proposal spots across the nation and putting together Goodwill “Glam Girl” outfits at local Goodwill stores (and everything in between), there has yet to be a dull moment throughout this internship, and being able to shake it up has always kept things exciting and entertaining. The level of creativity that this type of position allows for is something that I never imagined a job could have, and this makes me enthusiastic to continue pursuing a career in communications.
I will take away many invaluable lessons from this internship, and I am grateful to have had so many wonderful opportunities for growth and learning with patient guides to help me through the process. Whatever the future may bring, I will look back on my time at Creative Distillery with fond memories of my time spent there and thankfulness for the knowledge that I have gained.
Although I am only half way through my internship, and have barely scraped the surface of my career as a graphic designer, I already feel as if I have learned more than I imagined. In school, you are limited to learning the basic tools that prepare you to succeed. However, you are not exposed to real life situations. Being able to work with and learn from professional designers and project managers has been an experience I have not received in school.
This internship has been, and continues to be, what I would have hoped for and more. It was extremely important to me that I get an “in job” experience before I graduated so that I could learn as much as I possibly could before starting my career. Going into this internship, I wanted to be like a sponge. I wanted to listen, learn and soak up every possible piece of information thrown my way. Fortunately, I have been allowed to be just that, a sponge. That is my favorite thing about this internship; I have not been treated as a mere ‘intern’. In the first week, I was tested to get outside of my own personal design comfort zone which was a little tricky because in school we are given free range as far as design elements go. I had not worked within a predetermined color scheme and type family. As the weeks progressed, I have been introduced into a variety of projects from social media graphics, logo branding, and client research.
Darren and the team here are always encouraging, but also push me to become a better designer. Every intern is always concerned with not wanting to ask too many questions, but at Creative Distillery, questions are encouraged. Darren wants me to learn. I have told him I’m interested in owning my own firm one day in a major city. Since then, he has taken the time to teach me a little about the business side of running a company. I am thankful for this, because it is something a lot of bosses would not do for their interns.
When you mistake work for fun, you know you’re where you’re suppose to be. I lose track of time daily because I get caught up in designing. I forget I’m at ‘work’. Being able to do something I love is very important to me, and I am thankful I get to do that here. I am also incredibly grateful for this internship, the atmosphere it creates, and what I have already learned in these short three weeks. I look forward to acquiring more skills in the weeks to come!
Design major students with excellent class work are encouraged to inquire about an internship at Creative Distillery. Email your portfolio & resumé to Ashlee to see if you might be a good fit!
I graduated from Mississippi State University this past December 2013 with a degree in Graphic Design. I decided one night to email Creative Distillery and see if they had any positions available. Darren emailed me back the next morning and I was in his office showing him my portfolio that same day!
Immediately, our talk was so encouraging, and he was also very helpful in pointing out the areas of my work that I needed to spend more time on. Because of the attitudes of everyone on the Creative Distillery team, I knew this would be a great place to learn and grow. I knew that I could ask questions without being looked at like I was crazy, and that is something that is so important in an internship! As a designer, there are always new things to learn.
Most of my personal and school work consists of designs, branding, and color schemes that I created myself. In school, I didn’t always have conform to any type of existing box of boundaries. This isn’t a bad thing necessarily, but I felt like I needed to be more versatile in showing I could produce a larger variety of work. I needed to be pushed to be creative in other ways than what I was used to in school.
This internship has pushed me out of my box and into learning how to push creativity within already existing brand identities. I have been able to do hands-on work with multiple clients doing a variety of social media graphics, logos, advertisements, and other print materials that each had their own existing brand. This internship has showed me how important it is to be a versatile designer, and how that doesn’t mean you have to compromise your own creativity. I learned how to bring my own creativity into these projects in a different way - that’s a challenge in itself!
There were days that I felt so stuck on the simplest designs, and everyone was always there to help me push my creative process, work through those technical design blocks, and grow as a designer. It was such a great experience getting to work for real clients and learning that process from start to finish in the “real world.” Another thing I loved about Creative Distillery is their approach with clients. They truly care about keeping real, long-lasting relationships with the people they design for and that is something that I really appreciated.
Overall, I am so thankful Creative Distillery gave me the chance to intern here. I have learned a lot, and they were so wonderful give me projects that helped push me as a designer. They are a sweet bunch of folks here!
We look for intern candidates that have completed at least their junior year of college. We've got opportunities for graphic design, web design, social media marketing, copywriting, and project management internships. Contact Sarah to apply!
My time at Creative Distillery has come to a close, but what I’ve learned over the past two months has been more enriching than any education I could have received in that same timeframe. The saying, “You’ll learn everything on the job,” has proven correct throughout my experience here. My education has given me the basic tools to get started, but working with professional designers has been the kind of learning experience that you just cannot obtain in a classroom.
One of my favorite things about this internship is the fact that I never actually felt like an intern. Forget the coffee runs, (except for the daily two o’clock espresso, which was a shared duty) printing paperwork and busy work. The Creative Distillery team welcomed me with warm smiles and encouraging advice. I was given a variety of projects and assignments which ranged from client research, assisting with logos, Facebook graphics, and weekly advertising. Not only did I pick up some cool new skills during this internship, but I also got exposure to different areas of design and how a business is run.
Here are a few things I’m taking away from my internship this summer:
The graphic design process is a journey of lessons in things that work, things that don’t, and many other behind the scenes insights you don’t often get to learn in school. There were quite a few times when I felt “stuck” on a project and wasn’t sure what to do next, but Darren always encouraged me to push through it and I’m glad I did. It was hard at first, but many failed attempts on a project are how you learn to move on to better work and better things.
At first I was a little nervous to bother anyone with asking questions, but I soon realized that Darren and the whole Creative Distillery team wanted me to ask questions. They were here to help me learn and grow as a designer and a professional.
I learned not just about graphic design skills, but also how accounts are managed and how designers and writers work together to deliver passionate work for clients. Seeing how to communicate with clients in a professional way isn’t something you can learn in school, either. It was so eye-opening to see how a creative firm works behind the scenes.
You can only get so much experience while studying in school; the rest has to be gained out in the field. You have to put yourself in places and positions, interacting with the people around you. I am fortunate enough to have done just that at Creative Distillery.
Interested in interning at CD? We have openings in design, social media copywriting, and business development. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started for Fall 2013.
When I tell people about my social media internship at Creative Distillery, I always get the same reply—“Social media as a job? That’s so cool!” And it’s true. It is cool. However, coming into this internship I had no idea about the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes when it comes to social media marketing. It’s not just about tweets, Facebook posts, and Pinterest boards. It’s also about the idea, message, and the goal behind each tweet, post, and board. The fact that there is a clear purpose behind the content of each social media post as well as the way each post is written was something I had never considered before this internship. Each client and brand has a distinct voice and a distinct purpose. Although this was something I hadn’t considered when it came to social media, it instantly made sense to me as a communication studies major who constantly discusses matters of intent, rhetoric, and word choice (among other things, of course).
I analyze posts, taking into consideration the numbers and statistics (click-throughs, engaged users, etc.) and thinking about why a post did or did not appeal to the intended audience, or why a specific pin on Pinterest had hundreds of more repins than the others. These are factors that constantly have to be considered when dealing with social media marketing.
Toward the beginning of my internship, Melia and Darren also asked me to research social media law, knowing that I was considering going to law school in the fall of 2013. They are constantly making an effort to introduce me to other aspects of their business as well as trying to cater to my interests. They want me to get as much out of this internship as I can, which I appreciate as a soon-to-be-graduating senior who has comprehensive exams coming up and whose time is scarce. I love learning new things and not wasting time.
Ironically, I now am not planning to attend law school in the fall but am now going to attend Emerson College in Boston for marketing. This internship has definitely played a part in steering me toward a marketing graduate degree instead of a law degree. I like what I do here, and I am excited to continue learning both in this internship and through my graduate program.
Want to be a social media marketing intern with Creative Distillery? We're looking for a good person for Summer 2013 and Fall 2013 semesters. E-mail us at info AT creativedistillery.com and tell us about yourself to apply!