Brooke Donovan: While looking at colleges, the first thing that attracted me to Denison was the feeling of a close-knit community, one that looks out for each other and forms bonds that last a lifetime. My summer internship at The Brand Gallery and PGM Artists has provided me with nothing short of this same feeling. I remember the morning Phil McIntyre, the CEO of the companies, called me and told me I got the position. He said to think it over for 24 hours before giving a response, but I immediately answered “can I accept right now?” I knew that within the other internships offered, nothing would be quite as personal, hands on, and rewarding as this one. My beliefs were quickly reaffirmed when as early as the first week the other interns and I were already working closely with Phil and Iain, the CCO, getting exposed to numerous projects and meeting the company’s clients, friends and family. Not only did I feel like I was working for The Brand Gallery, I felt part of it. Throughout my ten weeks as a summer intern, I not only grew as a worker, but as a person as well. I received a very diverse and dynamic repertoire of work that I will be able to carry on with me long after this summer is over. What I loved most is that Phil wanted his interns to be a part of the company in every aspect; he wanted us to truly understand and appreciate it from the inside out. Although at times this meant a work day split between answering phones, company research and listening in on meetings paired with landscaping and maid duties, it taught me that no matter how big, small, or trivial a task may seem, in the end every effort to improve and develop a company is entirely necessary and well appreciated. Having the feeling of making a difference and impact on a final outcome is one that I felt most days working at The Brand Gallery and PGM Artists, which many people can not say after their days spent interning. I was able to see projects form, develop and finish which allowed me to learn immensely about the branding industry. Not only did we witness the happenings of the agency, but the interns and my opinions were fully welcomed and utilized showing us just how much our presence was valued within the company. We were a unit with particular strengths and weaknesses that complemented the overall success of our team. My summer at The Brand Gallery and PGM Artists has been both rewarding and fun, and I am so thankful for the opportunity I was presented with. I was able to learn, teach, explore my interests, network, lead and grow, all of which I can attest to my experience these past ten weeks. Like the true nature of Denison, the people here care about the success of everyone they work and surround themselves with and for that I am eternally grateful.
Morgan Janes: After spending the previous two college summers doing various summer jobs I decided that my last college summer should be spent interning at a company that would help guide me in my future career choice. Looking through the internship guide I found The Brand Gallery and PGM Artists. I checked out their websites, looked at some of their past work and I was hooked, I wanted to be a part of these companies. I applied, received an invitation to interview, and after a phone interview with Phil, the CEO himself, I was offered one of the four positions as a summer associate and I accepted. After my first day at The Brand Gallery and PGM Artists I remember driving home being extremely aware of the amazing opportunity I had been presented with. From the very beginning of the internship all of the people within these two companies were welcoming and were always available to all of us interns for help and guidance. Phil took special interest in us interns and we all interacted with him and each other everyday. In most other internships, the heads of the company rarely interact with or even acknowledge summer interns, but at The Brand Gallery and PGM Artists this was not the case. Because these companies are boutique companies, there is a greater sense of cooperation and community between all levels of company members. This cooperation was instrumental in my learning process because I was able to not only learn from Phil, Iain and Ernie, but I was also able to learn from the other summer associates. From the very first week on I realized just how special these companies were in that this internship was not just about answering phones and making coffee. We were obviously given daily tasks like those, but we also had greater responsibilities such as working with the company websites and social networking sites, planning the summer party, interacting with clients, closing and opening up the office, among others. Because we held so much responsibility within the company, I am able to look at things the company has done and know that I was an integral part in many aspects of the behind-the-scenes processes. Being a summer associate at The Brand Gallery and PGM Artists has been an overwhelming, exciting, and challenging learning experience that I am so glad I was able to partake in. I will miss my time here at 701 West Putnam Avenue.
Lizzie Kunkle: Knowing only what I wanted to do in the future and not knowing how to get there, I was very confused as to which direction to take when looking for internships. I knew I didn’t want something too specific in the confines of Pittsburgh, but at the same time leaving my hometown was extremely intimidating. After a long search, a few phone interviews, and a Skype interview (with Phil), I knew which company would make my summer internship worthwhile. Any CEO who takes the time out of his day to sit and talk for a half hour is rare. I knew at this point that this was the internship for me. Learning about the company itself and reading the other narratives, I accepted the internship. The minute I accepted, I was thinking of my experience at the company only and not even where I would live or what to do next. I immediately found out who the other interns were and my mind was put at ease when another intern and I decided to live together. The past ten weeks have gone by faster than I had ever imagined. I came equipped for the internship with final cut pro editing skills, but only a slight knowledge of Photoshop. I believe that an internship is what you make of it and this internship is the best place to take any of your skill sets – whether it is writing or technology skills – and make them stronger. Not only will you gain a stronger skill set in one of many personal strengths, you will be immersed within a fast pace environment of NYC, something I was not used to in Pittsburgh, while also having the opportunity to meet many successful people and learn about how they built their career path. This internship is extremely unique and one of a kind and no matter what skills you take away from this internship – even if it means you no longer wish to work in this line of business – I can easily say it will not be a wasted summer.
Tyler Mitchell: Being a college kid from Indiana with no “real job” experience (outside of retail shops, restaurants, and daycares) in his life, I was a bit anxious to start a ten-hour-a-day office job. That’s just part of growing up. Alas, upon arrival at The Brand Gallery and PGM Artists headquarters in Greenwich, my fears were quenched and my initial reticence was immediately replaced with fervent anticipation of what the summer held in store for me. The newly renovated office space screamed everything that is the antithesis of a stereotypical, cubicle-type of environment. The interior design of the building welcomes the wandering eye with an openness that definitely encourages creative process. It wasn’t what I had envisioned in my head at all. Meeting Phil for the first time (Skype chat not withstanding) solidified the fact that this internship would not just be phone-answering, paper-filing and coffee-getting; us interns were given an amount of trust and creative control that I was not expecting. Phil would come to us for ideas. Phil would come to us for answers. Phil would come to us for opinions. We were not just summer interns who were around for a resume boost, we were employees whose ideas were not only taken into account, but encouraged as well. Throughout the summer, I was lucky enough to work on many different projects ranging from the orchestration of an online survey about media consumption during the summer of 2012 to maintaining the news section of the PGM Artists website (not to mention landscape management). The most interesting aspect of the internship was having the opportunity to rub shoulders with and pick the brains of some very successful individuals in the entertainment industry. Getting to hang out and chat over dinner and drinks with influential people was a big time plus. You can’t put a price on that type of experience. I had a great time managing websites, furthering my experience with programs like Final Cut Pro and Photoshop, propagating a social media strategy for both companies, and living the east coast life. New York City is a short train ride away and Boston only takes a couple of hours to get to. Working for The Brand Gallery and PGM Artists really made me feel as if I was a part of the nucleus of the entertainment and branding industries. If that doesn’t beat flipping burgers and folding clothes, I don’t know what does.