This post was written by Concentric’s superstar Summer Intern, Madeline Stefan, about her experience here. Proud that we could be a part of this bright young student’s budding career. We wish her luck and will miss her!
As a rising senior Advertising major in the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I’ve been preparing for three years to apply myself via a summer internship. As an idealist and having just watched Mad Men, I thought I’d probably be assistant to the millennial version of Don Draper, or at least in a high rise somewhere on Madison Avenue. Instead—I ended up as an Account Services intern at Concentric.
In both acquiring and coming into this internship, I had no idea what to expect. After perusing Concentric’s website and reading about growth drivers and brand catalysts, I quickly began to feel that my skillset was underdeveloped and my experience insufficient.
Aside from having been to Harris Teeter a few times in my life, I knew nothing about the CPG space and had an irrational fear of the word strategy. Nevertheless, I nervously trekked forward and attended my first phone interview—wearing business professional…
In the short conversation I had with Sarah, one of Concentric’s star Client Advocates—and my soon-to-be supervisor—I noticed something. Sarah dug through my nervous rambling and picked up on a nugget of info amidst all of the ‘um’s: that I am very interested in the research and insights portion of the branding process.
Within days Sarah had me on a call with Ashley, a UNC intern turned full-time Concentric employee who works on the Strategy and Insights team. Little did I know, Sarah’s kind gesture of connecting me with Ashley would become part of a much broader theme.
Everyday at Concentric I have been introduced to tasks that people noticed aligned with my passions and interests, while still receiving projects outside of my comfort zone that pushed me to learn and to grow.
Now that my time at Concentric is coming to an end, I’d like to take a moment to ferociously brag about the people here, because I know they’d never say it themselves.
Don’t let the picturesque little-white-house of an office fool you. The work that goes on inside those walls is incredibly forceful, unique and innovative. You can feel the sense of collaboration when you walk in the space, and Bob Shaw has a fantastic ability to identify talent and construct cohesive and productive teams.
The Concentric team is remarkably driven and uniquely broad thinking. They also aren’t buzzword kind of people, which is unfortunately so common in the marketing industry today. Instead of using their arsenal of knowledge to warp others into agreeing by simply confusing them, the Concentric team speaks plainly to convey their thoughts and ideas—trusting their accountability and authenticity will get someone on board. It’s so refreshing, and it works.
At Concentric I was exposed to brilliant people producing brilliant work. Even as an intern I touched projects at all stages, in all departments. Be it developing research and analyzing data for a plantain chip company, walking through the creative process of a pharmaceutical company or managing social media for a newly launched retail brand, I was always getting my hands dirty.
To the Concentric team, I want to thank you guys for giving me the most fulfilling internship experience I’ve had to date, and what better way to do that than brag about the agency on the agency’s blog? In just a few short weeks you all have taught me how to think nimbly and live curiously.
As I march towards, or stumble into, my senior year of college that inevitably coincides with my first major job search, it’s hard not to think about how the strategic branding process applies to myself. In looking at the massive pool I find myself in of job-seeking young professionals, I feel a bit like a bag of plantain chips—one of the 42,214 items in the store.
With Concentric in my rearview mirror, though, I am equipped with the mindset and the skillset to be intentional, different and disruptive—and get myself noticed. To the Concentric team, I cannot thank you enough. Let’s all get together to identify my growth drivers over a bag of Hampton Farms in-shell peanuts and case of La Croix.