The Intern Diaries: Learnings From A Summer With IMG LIVE

This summer, I served as the IMG LIVE Creative Intern, working in the Content and Strategy division. The sands of time have now delivered me back to UGA in order to begin my senior year, but I wanted to share a bit of what I learned. First, though, I would like to thank the wonderful people of the Creative team for welcoming me onto their team for the summer—you all are extremely talented, original, and kind.

With that, here are my top four takeaways:

1. Now is a great time to be in experiential marketing.

Experiential marketing is all about engaging audiences in innovative and creative ways, and as new technology develops, we get a bigger sandbox to explore every year. With virtual and augmented reality, we can bring entire worlds into play. Not only does this benefit our clients and audiences, but also it is SO MUCH FUN!

On the flip side, experiential marketing is uniquely situated to succeed in our digitally saturated media landscape. The heart of what we do is this: providing tangible, engaging experiences to a world hungry for something real.

At IMG LIVE, we build playgrounds, laboratories, and stages, where client companies can creatively show who they are. Through these experiences, we can enable fun, face-to-face dialogue between companies and their customers. That interaction is the critical heart of marketing— as if to say, “this is who we are, and this is who you are, so let’s build something together.”

2. It’s all about your team.

From my first interview with IMG LIVE, it was clear that the organization was looking for a team member, not just an intern. The IMG LIVE Creative department, from the top down, lived their values—transparency, straightforwardness, playfulness—and sought a like-minded person to join that vision, even if just for a little while. This attitude immediately struck me, and it laid a strong foundation of trust for my time there this summer.  In choosing internships, jobs, or volunteer opportunities, I highly recommend making your potential team your highest priority. Job responsibilities and “fire drills,” can shift in any position, but a strong team can support and guide you under any circumstances.

3. Bring everything you have to the table—including your youth.

One thing that young professionals often underestimate (or worse, overestimate), is the strategic value of their stage in life. As students or recent graduates, we are likely more immersed in current social trends than our older colleagues. By paying close attention to these trends, we can provide key insights to our teams. It’s impossible for any individual to accurately represent a demographic, of course, but interns have a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between an organization and the next generation.

In preparation for our Kia VidCon activation, sometimes the project leaders pulled aside the youngest team members to run ideas by them. These instances demonstrated the value of diverse representation in the workplace—of having different sets of perspectives and experiences contributing to the conversation, in order to make ideas stronger.

4. If you find a unicorn, don’t let it go.

In investing, a unicorn is a company that reaches $1 billion valuation. In internships, a unicorn is a job where the role, industry, and coworkers are a great fit for you. At IMG LIVE, I was given the opportunity to assist, even lead, at times, in the development of brand activations and community relationships. All hands were on deck at all times, and we felt such joy when we saw our brainstorms come to life.  From flash tattoos to sci-fi level technology, no idea was too silly, crazy, or complex to incorporate.

The great hunt of many college students’ careers is finding that one magical internship that opens up a new world of possibilities. Personally, I found that at IMG LIVE. It has truly been a pleasure working with the Creative team as well as getting to know members of other teams, and I look forward to seeing what new inventions this year will bring.

Go Dawgs and Go IMG LIVE!