The following tips have been gathered from people in the agency who recruit and manage interns. They come from different specialisms so the specifics might be slightly different but the overall attitude, you’ll find, is quite similar.
First things first, when you come in for an interview you might meet the head of the department or someone in their team who will be your ongoing tutor. To make a good impression, try to go beyond reading our website. We like to hear about interesting projects you’ve made and stuff that makes you excited. We’re particularly interested in the odd and obscure habits, interests and stories that makes you who you are). The internet is powered by idiosyncrasy so we like our people to match.
A lot of the people we meet already have a bit of a portfolio going. We know it’s hard to show “work” and we’re not asking for that. But making a card for your gran’s 70th is something to show off if it innovates and has creative merit. Do you write a blog or have you started a quirky Instagram movement? Have you sent a strongly worded but craftily copy-written message to the CEO of Facebook? We’re keen to see it. What are the consequences of these initiatives? Did your gran laugh? Did Mark change the feed algorithm in response to your missive?
When you join Poke as an intern, be demanding. We have some solid processes in place for new interns, but if you feel you’re not getting what you expected, let us know. Make a plan, chat to your tutor and set objectives. The worst is when you spend your entire day “desktop researching” stuff without saying a word to anyone. We want people who are curious and driven and who demand respect for the gems they find, invent or enable.
Be interested and interesting. Poke has a strong collaborative culture. We are a nice and open group of people from over 20 different nationalities working hard together. Think about what you can bring to the mix. What can others learn from you? What can you learn from them?
We have a library and it has some great books in it. Ask to borrow them (but be sure to bring all back) and read when you get a chance. Ask your tutor for their favorite books, ask them what they’re reading now. Look for the magazines we stack on our desks and bring some you’d like to share. We’re always up for a good new read. If you’re not a reader let’s swap podcast tips so we have another informed mind to crack concepts.
Take notes and recap what you’ve understood to your tutor. We definitely don’t believe asking questions is a bad thing. Miscommunication and the fear of clarifying things can only lead to bigger badder things, so if you think you did not understand something, ask.
Help us fix things. At Poke, we like to optimize so if you think there’s something that can work better let us know. We know our Instagram is not great. If you have an idea, we’ll let you fix it for us.
Create culture. Poke prides itself in being an agency full of great people who like to get involved in stuff, whatever it may be. From table football tournaments to Pokeflix & Chill (our movie night) to Swedish midsummer day celebrations, Pokers put a lot of effort into creating excuses to get together. Come up with a nice way of bringing Pokers together. Small tip: the more competitive it is, the better.
Spell correctly and align properly. This may seem too pernickety but here’s the thing: bad spelling is just not ok. There’s spell checkers everywhere and there’s no excuse for not proof reading your work. And if you’re hoping to present your ideas, while we don’t love programs like PowerPoint or Keynote, you really should be able to align text and photos on a page properly before hitting that send button. It’s similar to dinner etiquette. No slurping of soup and no misaligned text boxes, please!
Meet people. Half the value of an internship is meeting people and finding out new things from them. It’s good if you make friends, but even better if you make connections and having a smart chat over coffee with a Business Director might mean a good reference in the future.
Bake. We LOVE baked goods and you’ll never go wrong with baking some goodies for us.
Finally, evaluate your progress. Sit down with your tutor and tell her what you had hoped to achieve and what you did. Do this often and early. There’s no point in us finding out you did not get what you expected on the last day. We can’t fix something in 2 hours (this is a rule we also apply to client briefs).
There’s a new strategy intern opening up on the site now. So why don’t you give it a try.