And the Future Goes To…

By Shawn Kelley | Executive Creative Director

Recently, I had the honor of presenting the Student Best of Show Award at the AAF Charlotte Addy Awards. The student work was very well represented, and there were a lot of excited students eager to claim that coveted award. (Who wouldn’t be?) Dinner was over, drinks were being served and this was the last award to be given before the evening finale – The Best of Show. Only one student could claim the award. Excitement was in the air.

This feeling of anticipation—the palpable delight and exhilaration—took me back to my college days. (Which was, um, just a few years ago.) I was always scrambling to get any experience I could, not just for my learning and development, but to make me more marketable as a designer candidate out in the real world.

Since the job market is incredibly competitive, experience is vitally important to a student. Without it, many job candidates will be immediately dismissed. But experience works for both the student and the employer. And that’s where internships come in.

Internships give students an opportunity to apply theory to reality and learn what it’s like to work for an agency. Internships also give employers some pretty great benefits. I’m not talking about interns fetching coffee or collating presentations—although that does come in handy. Interns infuse organizations with different perspectives, different ideas, different ways of doing things. Which means that the intern isn’t the only one who learns and grows.

HMH recently kicked off its 2015 internship program, offering positions in creative, account service, brand strategy, digital and media. I’m proud that we are able to provide this service for students. And for ourselves. Our first intern will be starting today.

So to clients and fellow agencies alike, do yourself—and a student— a favor. Offer an internship program.

And that intern that starts today? She won a few student awards the night of the AAF Charlotte Addys. So we got that going for us.