As the first month of my internship at Zeno Group wraps up, I’m amazed by how much I have learned. Everything from taking the train into the city to attending a client’s sales summit has been a new experience. Originally from the East Coast, I was a small town guy with big city dreams when I made a career shift into agency PR. I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the team at Zeno Toronto has made an excellent impression.
When I was researching opportunities in PR, I encountered mixed opinions about agency work; some positive, some less so. I heard the environment was competitive, fast-paced and unforgiving. Determined to make the assessment for myself, I accepted an offer to work at Zeno Group. When day one arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to see how invested the team was in my onboarding. Everyone reached out to me in a unique way to help me feel at home. It was a relief to have such positive reception and any apprehension I had quickly faded away.
During my first week at Zeno I attended a sales summit for one of our biggest clients. The experience offered me a look behind the curtain at the client side of the business. It was truly inspiring to see the passion and excitement everyone at the summit had as they unveiled the next big things that were coming down the line. Having the opportunity to meet with the creators and in-house marketing team gave me a perspective on the account I would never have seen otherwise. Heading back to the office, it gave me a new appreciation for what I would be helping the Zeno team promote and support.
I’ve also become an integral part of The Hive each morning, the few hours we spend each morning taking the pulse of social media, traditional media and blogs for our clients. As my manager gave me more and more tools to use, the ritual quickly became my favourite part of the day. Spotting trends and pitching potential strategies for engagement in interesting and creative ways allows me to look at every challenge as an opportunity. For me, it’s the most energizing way to start my day, next to a cup of coffee.
While I’ve developed many new skills, there are a few overarching lessons I’ve learned since I began at Zeno which I’ve distilled into three key points:
- Speak up: no idea is inherently bad, and sometimes a great idea can come from the most unlikely place.
- Write it down: in a fast-paced and creative environment, ideas are ephemeral. If you don’t write it down, it will probably be forgotten.
- You have two ears and one mouth. Use them in that proportion: As an intern, it’s all about observing. Take cues from the team, learn the dialect, and take careful note of processes used. Trust me, this doesn’t go unnoticed.
With one month done and two more to go, I feel comfortable and confident at work, and primed to learn even more from my team. I look forward to many more challenges and experiences at Zeno as I strive to make the most of this incredible opportunity.