Ok, so for starters, I know - I gotta work on my Photoshop skills, but for now, that's the best I got. I mean c'mon, you can't go wrong with a green background and some freshly cropped out eggs. I mean, seriously. The creativity is in my head, not my hands. Sorry!
On to the good stuff though.
So I'm sitting here looking around at some internship opportunities. You're probably asking "why do an internship after you're out of college?" Well, I can think of oh-so-many reasons.
1. Get some real world experience in the industry
2. Network with some big time names
3. Learn from the best in the industry
What are some reasons that a company would want to take on an intern?
1. Good press
2. Newest pool of talent
3. Cheap labor
4. Great coffee
5. Fresh minds
When I think about all these benefits of being and intern and having an intern, I can't help but think of how powerful a business could be if it was comprised wholly of, well, interns.
Here's the big idea.
Start up a company - for this example - we're using an advertising agency. The company is going to be called "The Ad Egg." In fact, we might even go ahead and make The Ad Egg a non-profit ad agency. Well, scratch that, we'll want to make a profit somehow. What is The Add Egg? Why don't we just look at a possible mission statement.
"The Ad Egg's mission is to incubate the young minds of tomorrow and prepare them to hatch into industry through hands-on learning, research and development, and a virtual agency experience."
So wait, this is a pretty much school right? No, not quite. It's much cheaper than a school and requires more work.
Where did this idea come from you might be wondering. Well here's the deal. Ever since my sophomore year in college, I have been looking for an internship. I mean, it's free labor! How could people possibly resist. But the problem is, they did - and they still do.
I've got multiple bones to pick within the area of career development. The first one lies in the fact that there is just too much darn competition out there to work with. In college, I would apply to these internships that would have around 200 kids applying for the same position. They narrow it down to ten, then decide on one or two lucky individuals. I feel great knowing that I made it into two top 10's (even though I didn't get either,) but it really makes you wonder how you can be that #1 applicant.
The second bone lies in the fact that a lot of companies don't even offer internships. I get it, it sucks to train people. As a manager at Hollister it was my job to train the new employees. Not only that, but I had to train the other assistant manager as well, all of which left me feeling a little pissed and a little stressed. I mean, most of us have enough work on our own plates with no time to sit around and tell an intern how to use the company email address. But get this - the better you train that intern, the more he/she learns and excels, the better you look as an employee and the greater chance you have of getting promoted (as the intern takes your position full-time).
So back to the idea at hand. A company full of interns. An agency in this case. Why would companies use "The Ad Egg" for their next campaign? Because they are the freshest minds in advertising. They are cheap. They have great coffee. They are working harder than ever because, unlike members of big-time agencies, they don't have a paying job. Yes that's right. These interns don't get paid. They are doing this all for the experience, in hopes that they will someday use what they have learned in an attempt to land a big time ad job.
Wait a second, wouldn't this hurt the existing agencies that actually charge a fee. Yes and no. Sure the Ad Egg would produce good material (we'd hire the best and the brightest), but agency experience would still be a huge issue. Interns wouldn't be able to compete with the big guns and truthfully - wouldn't have the budget to either. But the fact remains, businesses would still use the interns, because they are free and they are driven. Our point of sale would be - to at least give us a try and if you didn't find a campaign that works, go ahead on with a big name - at least we got the experience.
This is all just a total brain spew. But I think in this economy, investing in a place where great minds could come in, volunteer their time and effort, and work towards a greater goal would find a great home in STL. The opportunity is endless. If we could get companies like AB, Nestle Purina, P&G, Edward Jones, Target, Vi-Jon, and other huge companies in STL on board to help out with this business, host contests, let them play around with their next campaign, give them ideas to work on for the future, host guest speaking at the Ad Egg Headquarters - things like this - would truly help us grads. We are stuck in this purgatory between school and a career and this could finally be our way out.
I could be speaking for myself on this one, but I would love to have a business to go to each and every day. A place where I could gather with other recent graduates, blog, work on advertising projects, network, hear speakers, and get prepared for a future in the industry. I think a lot of people would buy into the Ad Egg. Heck, if we could make the building look like an Egg, I think we'd even be sending more of a message. We'd be passionate, driven, and companies would recruit out of the Ad Egg. It would be a great entry level path for those who don't want to work at Starbucks but haven't found their dream job. Or heck you could even do both, but at least you'd be moving closer towards that dream job in the process.
Enough with the rant, but I want your ideas. Would you volunteer your time with a company if you weren't getting paid? A place where you could develop your skills and work with real companies on real campaigns. A place to spend time preparing yourself and branding yourself for future employment? I know I would, but please, let me know your thoughts because my mind might just be a little scrambled.