Haley Lewin, a junior Interactive Digital Media (IDM) major at Northwest, spent her summer as an intern for PlattForm Advertising, which was recently named Kansas City’s #1 advertising agency by the Kansas City Business Journal.
Haley’s first encounter with PlattForm, a company that provides higher education and career college marketing, came at the Northwest Career Day in fall 2011. Before attending, Haley looked through the list of companies attending and visited the websites of those she wanted to visit with. For Haley, one company stood out from the rest – PlattForm Advertising. Although she had never heard of them, she was intrigued by what she saw on their website and Facebook page and decided to meet with them during Career Day and see what they had to offer.
Later in the semester, Haley was fortunate enough to join a group of Northwest students who would tour and job shadow at PlattForm. It didn’t take Haley long to fall in love with the culture of the company. It was a fun atmosphere with interesting work and friendly employees.
The following semester, Haley set up a mock interview through Career Services. She had signed up to interview with a different company, since PlattForm wasn’t on the list, but, luckily for her, ended up interviewing with PlattForm due to a cancellation. Since this was her third time meeting with someone from the company, her interview didn’t feel like an interview at all. She showed the recruiter her portfolio, answered a few questions and received a form for a “Casting Call,” which provided her with the opportunity to earn an internship at PlattForm. Following the Casting Call, Haley was offered the Affiliate/Compliance summer internship position.
One of Haley’s many responsibilities was to review daily posting forms sent over from the affiliate team. Post forms are websites created by affiliates to advertise for a particular school and include content as well as a form for users to fill out in order to receive more information. Haley spent the majority of her morning working on these forms, ensuring the logo was up to date and the programs were listed correctly and, if necessary, making suggestions for improvement.
Another of Haley’s major responsibilities was to update a list of schools in regard to whether PlattForm and its affiliates were allowed to bid on that school for Pay-Per-Click marketing. When schools updated their information, Haley received an email and was responsible for updating this information in an Excel spreadsheet as well as on the internal network.
In relation, Haley was also assigned to complete change audits. When schools made changes, additions and removals to their programs, Haley’s team was responsible for making sure the changes were made on the affiliate networks which advertised for these schools.
Alongside working on the compliance team, Haley worked on the affiliate team, which manages relationships with external companies which deliver inquiries for PlattForm’s clients. This portion of her internship gave her the opportunity to manage her own affiliates, which typically isn’t allowed. Here she acted as the day-to-day contact for four affiliate accounts during July. She was responsible for managing both internal and external accounts as well as communicating with coworkers to ensure accuracy.
During her internship, Haley was part of “an agency within an agency” and worked with 16 other interns to complete two major projects, which would be presented on the last day of their internship.
The first project was to assist one of PlattForm’s clients with a problem they had encountered due to education regulations. This meant the team had to research ways the school could overcome this issue and get everything back to normal. To do so, the team wrote a 100-page book that included the executive summary, situation analysis, company overview, industry analysis, product analysis, competitive analysis, consumer analysis, SWOT, target profile, strategy, big idea, creative concept, media objectives, media tactics and budget.
The second project was to advertise PlattForm’s 2013 summer internship.
At the first brainstorming session, several theme ideas were thrown around. When Haley shared her idea, she commented on a few previously mentioned ideas and how they fit into her theme idea – “PlattFormula.” The team was instantly on board with the idea and began working onit.
Overall, Haley’s internship was a success. She learned that some companies, such as PlattForm, aren’t “the real world” and can end up providing an employee with a fun and supportive environment, which is something that doesn’t always happen. She learned the value of time management and had the opportunity to show her strengths while learning about her weaknesses. Building relationships with supervisors and co-workers and networking with clients and fellow interns gave Haley valuable professional contacts.
Most importantly, however, the impact that Haley and her team had on PlattForm Advertising will not soon be forgotten. PlattFormula is scheduled to launch soon and will include videos, blogs and much more. Haley and her team could not be more excited.