10 Things I Learned As An AA At Warschawski

Arianna Silvestri

When I was searching for a summer internship, I knew exactly what I was looking for in an experience. I wanted to gain experience and further my skills in public relations and marketing. I wanted to expand my knowledge of different aspects of this career and get real, hands on experience so I could learn by doing. And through it all, I wanted to be supported.

From the minute I stepped into Warschawski’s office, the energy was undeniable, and I knew this was where I was supposed to be for the summer. From my first day, this internship has been everything I hoped it would be and more. If you’re looking for what I found, then look no further. Here are 10 things I learned during my summer at Warschawski (W).

1) Microsoft Office is your new best friend

Word! Excel! PowerPoint! I have used them every day since I started my internship, which makes me grateful that I had a lot of experience with them in school. If you have not used these apps lately, take some time to practice and brush those up.

2) Sometimes, you do math!

This one threw me for a loop! Odds are, if you’re using Excel, you’ll need to do (wait for it…) math – which was something I didn’t expect when I decided to major in public relations. If you’re anything like me (meaning math was not your first love), this may come as a shock. Just breathe through it and remember to use your best friend: Google.

3) Your fellow teammates are your unit – take advantage of it!

Coming from San Francisco to Baltimore for the summer, you could say I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. All I knew was that the W was a warm, friendly and caring place. My fellow AA’s and W teammates helped make my experience at Warschawski even better than I expected through our teamwork and close friendship. I learned so much from all of the professional and personal life lessons.

4) Let the creativity flow

Sometimes, your brain feels blocked, and you need to take a break. That’s okay! One of my favorite things we (the AA’s) did when feeling this way, was taking a 5-minute break to draw a picture. It may sound silly, but it helped get the creative juices flowing and added some inspiration to my work.

5) Research, research, research!

No matter who your client or what the project is, at some point, you will end up doing research. In this case, research is a very broad term when considering all the different tools you may use. At the W, I was able to conduct research through surveys, online digital marketing tools, Google tools, and asking the team for their input.

6) Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Going into an internship, you may assume that you must “prove yourself” constantly. Be confident in your abilities and know that the team chose you because they felt you were a great fit for the position. That being said, never be afraid to ask for help! I have literally never met a nicer group of people than the W team. The entire team is on your side and interested in helping you with anything you may need – from the CEO to the other AAs.

7) Digital marketing is a part of the new wave – and you better grab your surfboard

While I was focusing primarily on marcom throughout my internship, the W team helped me establish a well-rounded view of integrated marketing, understanding how each discipline plays an integral role in a strategic approach. It wasn’t until my internship that I realized what a huge impact digital marketing makes on the traditional structure of public relations and marketing. My advice is to dive into digital marketing as much as you can: read articles and listen to podcasts to stay current on the latest trends and get Google certified. Leaving my internship with a certification in Google Analytics and SEM Rush, I feel prepared to incorporate a foundational knowledge of digital in my future PR career!

*Note: While I pursued the Marketing Communications track within the AA Program, there is a Digital track available that specifically focuses on digital marketing, as well as a Design track so you can learn all things creative! The best thing is that whatever track you take – you are always exposed and immersed in all parts of the agency so you will get a comprehensive view on how everything works together.

8) Take charge of your experience

Is there a project you would like to get involved in? Maybe a different aspect of marketing you want to try out? If you want to learn, ask! Every team member at the W is more than willing to help you learn and grow as a professional. However, in a professional setting, it’s important to take the initiative, especially in such a fast-paced environment, and go after the areas you want to grow in and learn more about. So, be proactive and express your interest to the appropriate team member and ask how you can get involved.

9) Social media says more about your company than you may realize

Our job as marketing professionals is to ensure our clients are engaging with their target audiences in a positive way – to ultimately achieve a business goal. Part of the research I previously mentioned involves taking a look at our clients’ social media accounts, website and all things digital. If a client hasn’t posted anything on a social platform or blog recently, or worse, has no online presence at all, it could be a missed opportunity. One of my favorite social media tools is a social media vault and posting calendar. A client can use a social media vault to log into all social accounts within that one place. From there, the client can utilize a posting calendar for scheduling posts at strategic times throughout the day. The use of these social tools makes the process of consistently posting on social media platforms much easier.

10) If you do it right, your team will be like your second family

One of my favorite lessons I’ve learned while at Warschawski, is the importance of teamwork. In an agency environment, you work very closely with everyone in your office, and there are times when projects require all hands on deck. This collaboration creates a strong bond throughout the office and makes for an amazing work environment. I have been grateful every day for the past three months that I get to work with and learn from such an amazing team. The W takes it one step further and really makes you feel part of their family. This was especially meaningful to me as I was in a new city away from my family. I loved being part of the W Family!

If you’re interested in becoming an AA, I know you’ll love it! Learn more about how to apply here.