Honestly, coming in for the first day of my internship at Livewire I did not know what to expect. It was not only my first internship as a college student, but also my first experience within a new work culture. Before the start of my placement, I had been in Ireland only 6 weeks and was only starting to get accustomed to the way things worked around here.
However, those 6 weeks gave me a positive outlook on Ireland and the Irish so I kept an open mind. I was just interested in how the easy going, casual nature of the people would translate when put up against a more serious professional environment. What I found may surprise some, but it translates perfectly.
Here, I found the balance between getting work done and maintaining a friendly environment like in no place before. Despite serving simply as an intern for a few weeks I did not experience any typical intern tasks such as “go grab me a coffee” or “staple these papers”. Instead I got treated like any other employee, got training on the many programs in use at the company and got to attend meetings for a variety of projects.
My first week happened to be during the Cheltenham horse racing festival. It turned out most of the office had placed bets on the races and therefore, every once in a while, all work would seize for a minute to watch the last part of the more important races. I would have never predicted to learn so much about horse racing during my first week in a non-horse related organization, however I enjoyed every second of it. The fun continued when I learned that it is possible to play FIFA on the PlayStation during lunch breaks.
I also found it extremely easy to find a common ground with all the people in the firm as they all hold a lot of the similar interests. After every major sporting event, I could expect a well-informed exchange of opinions in the office. Some of the people in the office support different teams and might concentrate their interests in one sport rather than another which just enriches the discussion.
Of course, it is not all fun and games, and my time at Livewire has prepared me with the skills I will need in my career far better than any class or course I had taken. I had spent almost three years studying advertising at Boston University yet nothing compares to experiencing the industry and how it operates first hand. As I got the opportunity to work with both the media and non-media teams I could experience both sides of the business.
I was brought onto projects from the very beginning therefore got to see how a simple brainstorming session leads to a completed product ready to be handed over to the client. For most projects my task was research; for example, I had to do market analysis for various events both in Ireland and abroad. This was the right fit for me as a person who was new to Ireland as I got to quickly catch up on the knowledge I was lacking about the market here. Later I had to analyse my findings in a way that could be useful to client when they look for brands to sponsor their events. This allowed me to learn how certain brands want to present themselves based on the types of properties they sponsor.
I believe that being able to take such raw research and turn it into something that can be useful to a client is a vital skill in this business and I’m glad to get my first genuine experience in it. Simply doing research and coming back with unfiltered statistics is not useful for anybody. I learned that the most difficult skill is understanding your client and what they want to achieve in a way that you can deliver exactly what they are looking for. The client works with Livewire in the hope that they will learn the best way to spend their sponsorship budget. That is why it is vital to provide that information as clear as possible.
Something which also added value to my time at Livewire was a course that I was signed up to at the very beginning of my internship. The course was on the future trends of advertising and where the industry is heading. It presented some successful new campaigns that use all the newest tools available to advertisers, such as social media or 360° filming techniques.
The course discussed how to most effectively interact with your intended audience by not only making them hear about your brand but also have a need to interact and engage with it in some way. This was perfect for me as it coincides with what I’m concentrating in at university; new media and advertising. It was exciting to see that what I’m learning in class is beginning to be incorporated in a practical sense into the world of advertising.
Another positive thing that came out of my internship at Livewire was the fact that I had to wake up early every morning; this forced me to acquire a much healthier and more productive schedule. As I knew that I had to go to sleep a lot earlier than when I had classes starting at 11, I had to adjust.
Quickly I realized that the first thing that must go was my tendency to procrastinate. When I knew I could work on my schoolwork well into the small hours of the night, I often did not start on my assignments until late. However, that was no longer an option so I became a lot more productive. I would get started on my work almost immediately after coming home from work. Although difficult at first, it made me feel better about myself and allowed weekends to become that more special as I felt I deserved to relax after a hard week of work. Soon this became more of a routine than something I forced myself to do which made time pass a lot quicker.
As my time at Livewire slowly comes to an end I feel a lot more secure with my decision to pursue advertising as a career.
I find it great that we get to work with many distinct brand types so that work rarely becomes stagnate and repetitive as each client needs something different and wants it presented in a different manner. Another positive for me is the high amount of sport related properties this sort of career allows you to cooperate with.
I have always been a huge sports fan so being able to interact with the sporting world for my job is definitely something that excites me.
It will be sad to leave Livewire mainly because of the very likeable group of people I had the privilege of working with. I leave hoping to at one point be employed at firm with a similar working culture and opportunities to those I found at Livewire.