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:: Friday, May 20, 2005 ::

One of the things about going to an advertising internship is that you're rarely going to do the edgy, crazy, out-there sort of work you get to do in school. You might do real work but it's not always good work. More than anything, it's about the experience. It's about applying everything you've learned to the real world. It's about long days, short nights, and not having much of a life. It's about putting in the hours to learn about the process. It's about realizing and enhancing your strengths and in turn, being exposed to and confronting your weaknesses.

Forgetting Prague for a minute and talking strictly about my agency experience: It's been a mixed bag. There have been a lot of fun moments but at other times, I just want to go home and drink myself into a stupor. (Which hasn't happened. Yet.) There's been some personal growth but acclimating to environments isn't that much of a challenge for me. On a professional level, because of the good and bad, this experience is exactly what I needed. From that perspective, it's been one of the best things that could have happened to me.

In many ways, this internship experience is almost exactly what I expected. In an equal number of ways, this is nothing like what I've expected. Let me be more specific: I was expecting a number of challenges and they were met; but I've been challenged in ways that I never saw coming, and to be completely honest, they're draining. Those challenges are regarding me as a person on a personal level in a professional environment. It’s not what you're thinking; I haven't messed up an account, I've met the deadlines, I get along well with everyone here including my bosses, and I've been more than willing to put in the long hours. Creatively, I've done better but there have been a couple of ideas that we've come up with that were chosen for development.

Being a good intern hasn't been an issue. Without going into specifics, there's a method to my madness that's worked alright for me during my time as a student but here in the real world, at least here, it's been exposed as a rather glaring flaw. And I have no idea whether it's a flaw only in this situation or if it's something that's a potential career-killer. As for now, it seems to be the former but it's forcing me to reconsider my way of approaching this job so it'll never become the latter.

To use a baseball analogy, MAS was a AAA club and there I was a good contact hitter. Defensively, I was a solid center fielder. Now that I've been called up, I still sorta make contact but they're not squirting through for hits since the defense is better at this level. My own defense, which served me well through the minors, hasn't transferred well to the majors and switching to left field for adjustments is probably a good idea. There are holes in my swing and I need to take better routes to the ball. And mentally, I’ve psyched myself out trying to prove I belong in the big leagues by constantly telling myself "don't fuck up, don't fuck up." And if you pressure yourself that much with that tone, guess what happens. I knew my swing needs work. I've always been working on it and probably always will. But being told I have defensive deficiencies was bit of a shocker.

Anyway, enough baseball talk. I've had misgivings before about many things, but I don't doubt that this is my proper career path. And every path has a rough patch and it's certainly better to work through it now as opposed to ten years down the line if I'm a creative director. And it's good to know that between now and jobs-ville, I still have one full quarter to work out these kinks. Though the way I'm looking at it now, I "only" have one quarter to work out these kinks.

But I'm grateful for the experience and certain that I'll look back and know that this was the best thing that could have happened to me.

:: Miscellaneous Ramblings by Dan-E at 5:54 AM [+] :: | 0 comments

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