What I Learned Interning at a Digital Agency

Editor’s Note: Zak graduated from the University of Toledo on August 2. The following is excerpted from his marketing class senior project. From all of us at Hanson, congratulations, Zak!

Move from Alabama to Ohio for an internship? Yes, it was an opportunity of a lifetime that I was determined to build on. In 2011, I transferred to the University of Toledo and became a Hansonite to learn the digital landscape. Following my internship, Hanson offered me an opportunity to become a part-time strategy coordinator while finishing school, and I jumped at the chance. And now, post graduation, I’ve joined the Hanson team full-time as an account manager. I’ve learned so much since I first arrived.

My first project with Hanson involved creating a promotional video for TEDxBGSU, a local TED event that was self-organized by students at Bowling Green State University. I collaborated with the team to help conceptualize the treatment, and worked on-premise as a producer during the four-day shoot at BGSU.

As I transitioned into the strategy coordinator position, I participated in an exciting project to create a wayfinding kiosk to help travelers navigate at the Columbus Airport. I assisted in designing wireframes that aligned with user’s tendencies while using the self-serve device. This project provided insightful intel around human interaction with touch-screen kiosks.

The social media engagement for the Jamie Farr LPGA Golf Tournament last summer was a fantastic experience. As part of the social team, I helped develop an exciting Facebook and Twitter brand voice to engage fans, businesses, charities, golfers, and the local community. Our strategy themes included delivering live scoring updates, unique stories, and player conversations for followers to engage. The project was a great success!

My first account management role included delivering a spectacular and unique brand-enhancing website for the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department. Steve Hanson’s vision for the new TFRD website was influenced by the dedication that our local firefighters have to keep us safe daily. He challenged me to lead with inspiration while managing day-to-day activities including budget planning, task coordination, and deployment scheduling. It was a privilege working with the TFRD’s information officer Matt Hertzfeld. We completed a responsive website that the whole team found rewarding.

My UT coursework and Hanson work experience has been monumental in so many ways. I’ve developed a variety of skills, including account management, business development, proposal writing, project planning, content development and management, social engagement, user interface wireframing and QA testing. I’ve been inspired to pursue a marketing and advertising career. The satisfaction I’ve directly received at Hanson stems from the great thinking and execution that we provide our customers everyday. The rewards are hard to match, thus my passion for digital marketing is motivated by seeing happy clients at the end of every project. Although I can’t predict the rest of my career path, I know that Hanson and UT have been the catalysts to a successful future.