Frank’s Summer Internship: Thrown into the Real World

GVSU Ad Club members have the opportunity to gain priceless knowledge about every aspect of the industry. From listening to highly inspirational speakers within the field to going on tours of some of the most prestigious agencies in the Midwest, members learn exactly what their careers could have in store for them. When agencies and internal marketing teams look at your resume, they want to see that you want to learn more and are willing to work hard to do it. Joining the GVSU Ad Club shows them those exact qualities, which could mean there is a higher chance that you will land the internship or job that you have been praying for.

Frank Viglione is only one of our several members who has landed an internship this past summer. So without further ado, here’s Frank to tell you about his internship experience:  

Hello friends, this is your friendly neighbor Frank reminding you to always feel free to share your stories and experiences with GVSU’s Advertising Club. They really appreciate it. I believe swapping experiences only helps make our community stronger. It helps us take our experiences into perspective and learn from each other. So don’t be shy–COMMUNICATE!

I interned for Shefit, a sports bra start-up based in Grand Rapids this summer. Boy howdy, I have a tale for you all. I know a lot of this covered is covered in COM 495, but nothing quite prepares you for the workforce like an internship.

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I know that some internships are regarded as simply grabbing coffee for your bosses and being tasked with odd jobs that no one else wants to do.This story, however, is somewhat in the middle ground, but it’s an interesting scenario nonetheless!

Shefit was featured on Shark Tank and partnered with Daymond John. As soon as a deal was made, Shefit’s product was sold out almost instantly. Which is bittersweet. On one hand, they had an amazing reach. Their spot on Shark Tank gave them the publicity they needed to kickstart their product. BUT, they didn’t have enough product to sell to potential customers.

Because of this, customers continued to buy product that wasn’t in stock and Shefit was temporarily unable to fulfill a select number of customers’ orders.There were about 120 customers who bought a product in bulk but only received half of their order due to the limited inventory.

I don’t know about you guys, but after working in the bra industry, I can tell you that’s a lot of frustrated customers with some unhappy boobs.

So, I sat down with the marketing director and brainstormed a method to inform customers what had happened. After some time, I proposed the idea of composing handwritten letters to the 120 customers and including it in with their package. This idea would not be implemented until the new shipment of product came in. The products were slightly updated and I included details about the new product in the letter.

I had written an apologetic letter that gave details about what had happened and what to expect. I signed these letters individually with each customer in mind. I used each individual name and every single note was written slightly different.Because of this method, we believed that it aligned with Shefit’s grassroots nature of being a start-up company.It showed that we took time out of our day to address a letter personally to that particular customer.

My solution might have seemed more trouble than it was worth, but it was the first time I assisted in solving a problem for a company. Not only that, but my solution took some critical thinking and writing which is what our major focuses on heavily.

It was the first time I sat somewhere that wasn’t a classroom and said, “Wow! Thanks, Grand Valley!” Alright so, I never said that. I probably would never consciously announce that at a workplace either—but you see my point.

You don’t think you’ll utilize the skills you’ve obtained from your classes unless you’re thrown into a scenario outside of the classroom. You’re forced to think for yourself and that’s the beauty of this major. There isn’t one way to solve your problem. Each problem can be solved differently and uniquely.

This is proof that what you learn in your classes or during an Ad Club meeting can have real world applications. Every experience has the potential to impact  your future career whether you realize it or not. So next time you go to your advertising or public relations class, pay attention. Sometimes even the smallest details or insights can be a career game changer.

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