A Message to Students, Host Companies, and Faculty Advisors:
Even though internships have been a part of the higher education scene for a long time, there is still confusion, inconsistency, and lack of understanding of what an internship should be. The following information is provided in an attempt to provide a standardized template for an internship, be it with an advertising agency, a media company, or a brand's marketing department.
The goal, over time, is for everyone to accept these templates as the industry standard, thereby assuring a consistently high quality educational experience throughout the Portland advertising community. There is already interest nationally in these standards.
Students are urged to take this template to their host company as a way of communicating the student's and the University's expectations.
Host companies are urged to review this template to make sure they are willing to invest the time to deliver the experience as outlined.
Faculty advisors are encouraged to use the template for management and evaluation purposes.
The internship described below is expected to be a 10-11 week experience earning the student a graded three (3) or four (4) credit hours and requiring an average of 12-16 hours per week spent with the host company.
This internship is an educational experience, intended to provide the student with an overview of how an advertising agency operates, plus practical experience in an area of interest. To be consistent with Department of Labor guidelines, the internship should be broad in scope and not designed to replace or provide additional agency staffing for routine, repetitive work.
During the term of the internship, there should be one executive at the host company who acts as the internship supervisor. This executive should have the responsibility and authority to assure that the internship provides the opportunity for the following list of learning objectives and activities to be accomplished.
- To gain a complete overview understanding of what functions are performed in an advertising agency.
- To understand the working relationship between the various functions in an agency.
- To understand the working relationship that the agency has with its clients.
- To understand the working relationship the agency has with the advertising media and suppliers.
- To perform specific tasks in at least one area of interest that will significantly enhance the understanding of that function.
Interview the agency CEO on issues such as agency history, philosophy, vision, areas of expertise, approach to new business, etc.
Observe and participate in an internal research meeting, a start-work meeting, and a strategy/planning session.
Observe a client work meeting and presentation of creative work to a client.
Draft functional documents (such as a conference report or campaign brief) for an account manager.
Interview the Media Director to obtain an overview of what the media department does.
Observe a meeting between media staff and account executive.
Observe a meeting between media staff and a media representative.
Prepare a media estimate using media reference materials and services such as Strata, Neilson, Arbirtron, and SRDS.
Prepare an insertion order from an approved estimate.
Reconcile a media invoice with the agency insertion order.
Tour a major radio or TV station including the sales and promotion departments.
Discuss with the account planner or researcher the research tools used to gain insights into the target audience.
Observe the development of a research-driven creative brief.
Interview the Creative Director to obtain on overview of what the creative department does and the guiding creative philosophy.
Observe and participate in a concepting meeting with a creative team.
Observe an internal presentation meeting where initial creative concepts are being shown to the account executive.
Discuss with a senior art director and a senior copy writer, the important aspects of art direction and copy.
Visit a photo shoot, commercial shoot, or a radio recording session.
Production and Traffic
Track a real print job from approval of creative to delivery.
Visit a printer during a press check.
Visit the production facility of a major radio station, television station, or independent studio during the recording or editing of a commercial.
Track a real broadcast project from approval of creative to delivery of spot to stations.
Observe the estimate approval process.
Observe the development of web site and web advertising strategy.
Interview the PR Director to obtain a management level view of the relationship between advertising and PR.
Observe and participate in PR department activities to understand the application of various PR tools and services.
Interview the Director of Accounting to better understand various agency compensation practices.
Walk through the billing process and an actual billing with the Account Executive of a major client.
Fill out a time sheet on a regular basis.
Maintain diary of daily activities. This diary is for reference purposes when preparing the final report and may be requested by the faculty advisor.
Check in via e-mail with faculty advisor once a week or more to report progress, or lack there of, in accomplishing the above list of activities and objectives.
Arrange (at faculty advisor's request) a tour of host company and meeting with the general manager.
Submit a final report summarizing the highlights of the internship relative to Learning Objectives and list of prescribed Activities. This report should not exceed five pages and should be reviewed with faculty advisor as part of the final evaluation.
Have the host company supervisor complete a sealed evaluation form to be submitted by the student to their faculty advisor with their final report.