First and foremost, I am a student. I mean, I have been for nearly my entire life. Sure, I have worked in restaurants and cafés here and there, but I never imagined that I would land the internship of my dreams in my last semester of school. That’s when I knew…this would be my biggest test yet.
How I got here – “Of course, I studied”
I knew that it was time to start looking for an internship. I wanted to gain experience before I graduated from the University of Minnesota–Duluth. As I was scrolling through LinkedIn, a Swim post caught my eye.
“Calling all writing students,” the post read. “We’ve got a new internship available for the fall.”
I started to read more about the internship and one thing that grasped my attention was the emphasis on a “learning while doing” experience. Learning was something I had experience with – doing was something new.
While anxiously waiting for my interview, I decided to study everything I could about Swim Creative. That’s when I came across a blog titled “4 Things You Need to Know About Being an Agency Copywriter.” I read headlines such as “fast-paced” and “be open to feedback” and that’s when I knew, Swim Creative would be the right fit for me.
My “Swimming” Lessons
Ten weeks later, here I am with the opportunity to share everything I have learned as a copywriting intern for Swim Creative.
So, I present to you, my top four “Swimming Lessons.”
Lesson 1: Time Moves Fast. And so Should You.
Deadlines are nothing new to me, but at Swim, the stakes are much higher. Crafting the perfect message takes time and time moves fast. You have to be prepared for things to change and be flexible because that’s the flow of the agency.
Swim Term: Copywriter – responsible for writing the content for digital and traditional advertising campaigns. A person who can find the “nugget of truth” and tell it in an interesting way.
Lesson 2: Ask Questions. Lots of Questions.
I have always been a curious person. It’s in my nature to ask big, and sometimes, unconventional questions. Luckily, this Swim team had the answers.
I worked on projects that ranged from press releases and blogs to social media content and that meant my colleagues at Swim were not the only people that I had questions for. I had the opportunity to interview so many wonderful people such as small business owners, photographers, and lawyers. Each person I interviewed had a story to tell. Asking the right questions gave me the confidence to craft their story.
Swim Term: Communication – giving, receiving, and sharing information that can be in the form of reading, writing, speaking or listening.
Lesson 3: Let Creativity Flow
Creativity comes and goes as it pleases. When it comes, you welcome it with open arms. When it doesn’t, you have to find things that inspire you. Whether it be brainstorming sessions, looking out the window, dancing to some tunes, or hitting up a vibrant coffee shop with coworkers – creativity is everywhere.
Writing copy requires out-of-the-box thinking. That means you should work with it – cut it and play with it until you have words you are proud of.
Swim Term: Creatives – the creative directors, art directors, designers, web developers, producers, and copywriters in an ad agency.
Lesson 4: Copywriting is a Balancing Act.
While being Swim’s intern, I learned that there is a balancing act between work and school. That means planning your schedule when each day arrives. Work and school will always be tricky to navigate, so you have to find your equilibrium.
School gives you the tools to learn, in theory. Swim’s internship program gives you the opportunity to turn that theory into practice. Helping to make that equilibrium a little easier to manage.
Swim Term: Strategy – a plan backed by insight to deliver results that work.
The Results are In…
These “Swimming Lessons” are just a few of the many things I learned and experienced along my ten-week journey with Swim Creative.
If you are considering applying for a Swim internship and learning your own lessons, do it!
Dive headfirst into the unknown, and have faith in the learning process.
About the Intern
Faith Christensen is a recent graduate from the University of Minnesota–Duluth with a degree in communication and marketing. When Faith isn’t writing copy she enjoys live music and spending time outdoors.