Dear Future Content Intern

Dear Future Content Intern,

    Now that the Launchpad internship is drawing to a close, I can officially say I kind of know what I’m doing. It took a little bit of trial and error to get the hang of it. So let me save you the trouble and share my seasoned expertise with you.

    You are not simply creating social media content for projects assigned to you, but you are also responsible for the Launchpad Blog. You assign, write, edit, and manage the content for the blog. More importantly you must understand and write according to the voice of the blog. This was probably the most difficult part for me, not simply because I had to find it myself, but because I also had to also communicate that to my fellow interns. To help explain, I’ve attached past blog posts that illustrate each point I’m making.

  1. Be imaginative - As interns of a full-service digital agency, our primary objective is to be imaginative in everything we do. And that includes our work for the blog. Take ordinary office topics and reimagine them in a way that hasn’t been done before. Maybe you found a conversation with your mentor particularly inspiring and want to share. Or maybe taking  selfies in different locations in the office seemed like a great idea and you wanted to write about it. Find your inspiration. Be creative. And write to your heart’s content. 

  2. Cater to the audience - We aren’t writing for the folks that run Fortune 500 companies. We are writing for ourselves and for our peers. I bet that as you were scrambling to get ready the night before your first day on the job, you were scrolling through the Launchpad blog. Remember yourself then and think about what you would have wanted to read. Would you want to read about the last dip in the stock market or why playing volleyball with your co-workers is awesome? Yea, I thought so.

  3. Be casual and conversational - Since we are targeting our peers, we need to write as if we were talking to them. This rule not only applies to your writing style, but also the format through which you want to tell your story. This is where your personal brand can come to life. Save the “thou” and “whilst” for another time and express yourself through memes and GIFs if it feels right. You already got the position, so let there’s no need to continue to impress with formalities. Instead dazzle with your unique perspective. 

  4. Tell a story - Perhaps the most difficult part of the blog is remembering to engage the audience through storytelling. You need to reign in your creativity and construct it, not only imaginatively, but also coherently. Tell your story from beginning to end, always asking why? Within an agency there are so many stories to tell, whether that’s the transition from intern life to agency life, the first week of Launchpad to the last week, or the concepting process from brainstorming ideas to giving the presentation. Find your story, ask yourself why you are interested in writing it, and WRITE.

  5. Tie it back to HLK - While this may be the most obvious, it still needs to be said. This blog celebrates your creativity, but there must be some connection back to HLK. You can’t simply write about your last Chipotle burrito because it tasted good. Maybe you discovered that a Chipotle burrito is really a metaphor for the diverse talent in the office (the Creative team is the guac that’s bursting with flavor while Account Management is the tortilla keeping everything together). Whatever you decide to write about, make sure it somehow reflects the culture at HLK as well as your personal experience and the lessons learned. 

    You are a reflection of the agency and are given an opportunity to have direct contact with others to express your personal experience as an intern of HLK. This is your chance to teach, tell a story, and exercise your creative abilities in anyway you choose.

May the creative force be with you.


Current Content Intern


Cheers to Launchpad

Two months ago, most of what I knew about an internship came from episodes of The Office and visions of Anne Hathaway sitting at a desk as Meryl Streep walked by throwing things at her in 'The Devil Wears Prada'. While I have always known that these ideas weren't accurate, it couldn't be more untrue about the way things are for an intern at HLK. in light of this, I've formulated a few of the assumptions I had made about my prospective experience six weeks ago and paired them alongside truths about my time at HLK. If this doesn't give you a good idea, then who knows what you'd do with a creative brief.


What I envisioned....................What I experienced

coffee runs for boss....................................mentor offering me to use Keurig in her office at any time

writing content that will never be read...........getting constant feedback on the blog from mentors

huge, intimidating meetings........................small, interesting meetings with all questions welcomed

designated desk with no optional work areas.......freedom to work on a bean bag or ride the trike

miss my pup all day...............................distract myself with the dogs of the office wandering around

constant monitoring of my work process...............meeting with department leaders to share ideas

eating alone at my desk......eating with other interns on the mezzanine with a skyline view of STL

going to the gym on Monday night..........playing sand volleyball with coworkers on Monday night

being told "that idea sucks"................being told "i like that idea, maybe you could push it further..."

refilling my water bottle midday...........................meeting in the kitchen for a sangria tasting midday

intimidated by the task at hand...............................working with mentors that guided me throughout


Team Quasar cheersing to Launchpad

While a bad internship might make for a good sitcom or dramatic movie, a place where I've made connections and friends while being challenged and creating awesome ideas that I'm passionate about with the occasional opportunity for sitting outside with a beer during lunch break sounds like a much better life experience.


So, cheers to Launchpad.



The 80/20 Rule

Regardless of your role at an agency, nothing is more important than being able to manage your time wisely. Those were a few wise words taken from Patrick, our strategy mentor, during the first week at HLK. At this point, I think I can vouch for that. Most things in life (effort/work, reward/money, output/time) are not dispersed evenly. Some things in life contribute more than others. I could create a long, elaborate post on this topic, but I'm not one to contradict. So, when you begin to feel overloaded with work or stuck on a small detail of a project, it is important to remember the following things:


1. Majority of results come from a minority of inputs.

2. Focus on the 20% of things that make a difference instead of the 80% that doesn't add much.

3. "Work smart on the right thing"


Okay, you get the idea, I'm saying the same thing over and over. If you didn't read anything in this post besides the sentences in bold above, you'd still be well on your way to understanding time management. The other 80% of the content supports, but isn't necessary to, the success of your understanding the importance of time management skills. And so, in the spirit of the topic, I digress.


All Systems Go

After getting cleared for takeoff, Launchpad’s second cycle is off the ground! Although the first week consisted mostly of meetings and copious amounts of coffee, Team Quasar is off to a strong start. We were able to learn a bit about the dynamics of each department here at HLK, pick the brains of our mentors and view some past work before being assigned our first client brief. We learned about everything from time management to industry lingo, as well as a bit about our mentors themselves.

The great thing about the Launchpad Internship is that our mentors are different each session, demonstrating the depth of knowledge and skills that each employee exhibits here at HLK.

Since last cycle has already acquainted you with the dogs of the office, we thought it was time we introduced you to their owners. You know, a few of the people that actually make things happen around here.

Without further ado, we present you with this session’s Mission Control.

Cecilia, Account Management Mentor for Stephanie

• With 14+ years of marketing & advertising experience, Cecilia is proof that positions are earned through dedication to client relationships and long hours, not just something your entitled to upon graduation.

• As a liaison between client and agency, it is important to be able to defend the agency’s work. Have a rationale. Have answers for the client.

• A "retainer" is a word that refers to a client that pays on a regular basis rather than a project basis.

Ross, Art Direction Mentor for Justin


• When told that ‘your brief is showing’ it means that your creative execution is literally a repetition of your strategy: this is a big no-no.

• As an Associate Creative Director, he claims that the most rewarding aspect of his job is being pleasantly surprised by creative ideas from his team even more than seeing his own work come alive.

• Ross is actually his middle name. He walks exceptionally fast. He's a Webster University alumnus and also has experience with the Webster University account.

Jamie, Content Development Mentor for Lauren

• If you ask her a question, don't expect an answer because she will probably answer by asking you a question.

• She believes the content team could benefit from organization similar to the workings of a newsroom.

• She’s done almost everything. Before taking a content role, she worked in account management. She also has experience with strategy, media planning and buying, research, analytics… the list goes on.

Patrick, Strategy Mentor for Jenny

• Patrick seems to know when he has shifted too far off-topic and will stop mid-sentence and say “..but that's a story for another time..”

• The most important consideration for a strategist? Stay objective.

• Claims the 80/20 rule inspired by Pareto's Principle is a great time management philosophy, but that's a story for another time.

Andrea, Research & Analytics Mentor for Emily

• Targeting philosophy is to find the BEST people at the CHEAPEST cost.

• The transparency that an analytics dashboard provides is often scary to the client.

• She stresses the importance of the ability to work with a wide variety of personalities, not taking anything too personally and listening well, all of which are vital for success in this business.


Jill, Media Buying & Placement Mentor for all

• She's very sad that HLK does not currently have a media intern, but she gets all of us instead!

• Media people really do get to meet cool people sometimes (Jimmy Fallon, for example.)

• Claims the job has truly strengthened her negotiating skills in her personal life.


Maeve, Copywriting Mentor for Nick

Sadly, we did not get to have a one-on-one meet with Maeve, but here are some things we’ve gathered:

• Maeve is a master of voice, both the literary and literal kinds. When she read the HLK philosophy aloud during orientation, all of the interns were moved.

• She’s a part of the HLK volleyball team that plays on Monday nights at Trueman’s.

• Her dog, Murphy, is the only one that has had the courage to approach the Launchpad Intern Room, which is perhaps the official approval we needed.

If there’s one thing that we have learned from our orientation at HLK, it’s that everyone here is incredibly welcoming and more than willing to give each of the interns the best learning experience possible.

Besides a job, what more could one ask for?