We sat down with Sophia Llamas, Visual Design Intern, and Natalie Bacome, Business Development Intern, to find out what it’s really like to intern at Hanson.
Sally: Tell me your current major, school, and graduation date.
Natalie: I’m a Marketing major and Fashion Merchandising minor graduating from the University of Georgia in the spring of 2022.
Sophia: I’m a Graphic Design major from Bowling Green State University also graduating in spring 2022.
Sally: Tell us how you heard about Hanson.
Natalie: I was determined to have an internship this summer, so I applied to about five a day on LinkedIn, and since I’m from Columbus, this opportunity at Hanson came up. At Georgia, they stress having a corporate and an agency internship, so that was another reason I was immediately attracted to this role.
Sophia: I was looking into where other BGSU graphic design students have interned, and Hanson was high on the list. I remember thinking I had to email these people and see when they’re hiring interns.
Sally: Why did you choose to intern here?
Natalie: I went on social media and the culture seemed really strong. I also had a good interview experience and everyone seemed super friendly and personable, and I wanted to get sales and marketing experience too, so I knew it was going to be a really good experience to have.
Sophia: When I interviewed, it was neat to find out former BGSU students work here, because we talked about professors we knew and that got me excited. Everyone seemed really fun. I asked them what a typical day looked like and they joked but also everything they said sounded like something I could see myself doing. From a design perspective, I learned that I could work on a lot of different things I don’t typically work on like motion design and UI that I knew I wanted to get experience in.
Sally: What are some things you’ve worked on so far?
Natalie: Mostly what I do is research new brands that are in our wheelhouse, which has made me realize that there are so many companies out there that I’ve never even known about before. I’ve also done a lot of messaging and other tactics that I equate to the “4 P’s” of marketing that I’ve learned about in my classes—the importance of the right messaging to the right people and the right brand.
Sophia: I’ve worked on some things already that I could be really creative with, like different executions of the Hanson brand for social. I’ve also been able to attend a client meeting and have had the opportunity to work on presentations and other elements of branding, which has been a great experience because in the future I know most companies have brand standards so I’ll be able to understand them on a whole new level now that I’ve worked behind-the-scenes.
Sally: What are some key things you’ve learned so far?
Natalie: A big piece of what I’ve learned is messaging, because people get so many messages on a daily basis, so I’ve already had experience personalizing and making connections. It’s also a whole new skill-set to be able to write about something that doesn’t come to me naturally, which has opened my eyes to new perspectives.
Sophia: I’ve loved my experience here and I feel like this is a great place to make a comparison to when I’m evaluating where to work after graduation. In the future, I can look to Hanson and say “okay, this is how a team should be communicating with each other, this is why we should have trust in each other.” It’s a well-oiled machine here and it’s been great to learn how things are done. From a design standpoint, something I’ve learned more about is animating in After Effects. I’ve also done a lot with animation in different areas, like interactive design. These experiences are helping me learn the full capacity of different software used for design. I’m used to using Adobe Suite, but I’m now learning about how much more is out there in terms of programs like Sketch. It’s good to know there’s more out there besides what I was used to. I feel like later down the line I’ll be more prepared to learn something new.
Sally: What are you looking forward to learning or what are you hoping to get experience in during your remaining time here at Hanson?
Natalie: Ideally it would be really cool to see someone I’ve reached out to come to full fruition in terms of becoming a new client.
Sophia: From what I’ve heard, there’s a lot of exciting projects coming up. There’s an interactive touchscreen experience that I’ll be working on for a client for a tradeshow, which is completely new to me. Additionally, my passions have always been logo and brand package design, so if there’s anything I can do to touch more on those areas, that would be great.
Sally: What do you already know you will bring with you moving forward?
Natalie: I’ve really liked being in the agency environment, so when I’m looking for jobs post-grad, agencies are something I really want to pursue.
Sophia: This has opened my eyes to different ways of going about things. I am going to think more outside the box, because there are a lot of things that have opened my eyes in terms of the “box” that I thought design had to fit into. Additionally, because I’m doing a lot of things related to interactive design, I can pull things I’ve learned into my thesis project before graduating. For example, I can incorporate interactive design into my thesis and even use a tablet based on what I’m doing now. A lot of things I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone to learn are things I’ll continue to learn and will continue to pull into my future projects.
Sally: Is there any advice you can give future interns based on your experience already?
Natalie: Don’t hesitate to talk to anyone. What I’ve noticed here at Hanson is that there are people that have been interns and still work here today. It’s a really good sign of the health of the company and I don’t think you should be afraid to talk to people and make connections.
Sophia: In terms of an internship in general, I would recommend emailing places directly, because I found that I heard back way more frequently that way, so don’t be afraid to reach out. This gives you a chance to be more personal. Anytime you can give a little inside glance into your personality right off the bat, you stand out. For interning at Hanson specifically, I’d say be yourself. Everyone is very welcoming here and super friendly. If there’s something new that you want to try or learn, be true to what your passions are and it can make its way into your work in one form or another. It’s not scary here, no one is going to shoot down your ideas. There’s definitely room to explore your creative freedoms.
Thanks so much for chatting with us, Sophia and Natalie!