"Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success." ~Swami Sivananda

July 23, 2015 The Fastest Ten Weeks

When I committed to this internship, I was excited for a multitude of reasons. Being that I am from Darien, I loved how my commute was just a short drive down i95 and I didn’t have to deal with taking a train into the city. I was also pleased that The Brand Gallery was such a small firm, because I figured it would guarantee me greater responsibility and participation as a summer associate. And finally, I knew marketing was a practical skill, so I hoped that this internship would aid me in developing a marketing and branding expertise that could help me land a job in the future. While this internship exposed me to some new material and several out-of-office experiences that I did enjoy, I can’t honestly say that all of my expectations were met.

What I didn’t know going into this internship is that a small firm doesn’t necessarily yield me more opportunity for learning and participation. The tradeoff with being a small firm is that there aren’t as many projects running as there would be in a larger firm – an obvious fact, but I initially didn’t understand the relationship between this reality and the level of my learning and involvement. The Brand Gallery wasn’t bureaucratic at all, making it easy for me to talk with Phil, Iain, Allison, or anyone else who happened to be in the office on a given day. However, I think this internship taught me that for my first post-grad job, I’d like to experience a bigger firm where there are new things coming in the door regularly and I have the opportunity to dip my hands into more than one bowl, should I choose to do so. Since this isn’t a training program or an internship with training built in, I didn’t have the opportunity to obtain the necessary marketing knowledge to contribute to the ongoing Brand Gallery projects in a hands-on way. While following the ANC, Greenwich Town Party, Real Clear Politics and Sinclair Broadcasting work showed me how formal presentations are made and how rebranding initiatives are delivered, it still left me hungry for more.

An internship isn’t supposed to be glamorous – something I’ve always known and understood – but when I was promised I would be busy every day, I hoped that that promise would be fulfilled with intensive work. I spent a lot of my days here taking care of Sally, Phil’s adorable dog who became my companion here in Greenwich, and writing blog posts. Given that these were my main tasks, along with some organizational responsibilities around the office and on the computer and the occasional research or conference call opportunity, it left for empty time, and I was disappointed about that. This internship provided an opportunity to develop certain writing skills, because I was blogging every day. Each article was based on whatever it was that I found interesting and relevant to marketing and branding. I love Sally as much as anyone and I enjoyed having the flexibility of choosing what to blog about, but I came here to get a strong grasp of marketing and branding. In hindsight, maybe I could have made a stronger initiative to learn more about the industry, but I do wish that this internship included some sort of “training” element to teach me fundamental marketing and branding skills.

While my time in office may not have been as intensive in the way I had hoped, there were several out of office experiences that exposed me to new professional paths I would have otherwise not seen. Earlier on in the internship, I traveled into the city with the two Greenwich High School interns to volunteer at AICP Week. As a volunteer we were able to check out the virtual reality installments and at the end of each day, we were fortunate enough to be able to attend the awards shows and after parties. Then, about halfway through the internship, I attended a Red Carter Swimwear photo shoot here in Greenwich. As an avid swimwear buyer it was interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes before I would normally hit “buy” online. I was also able to spend time with their VP of sales who was so helpful and welcomed any questions I had. I kept in touch with her after the photo shoot and I was able to put together a presentation of what went on behind the scenes. And, finally, in the last week of my internship, I toured Blue Sky Studios. The office was unlike anything I had seen before, and it definitely opened my eyes to how creative one’s workspace, and work in general, can be.

I don’t know if any of the professional environments I saw out of the office are my calling, but it was good to get out and meet new people to learn what they’re doing and what they had to do to become successful. While my experience did not meet all of my expectations, I appreciated the efforts of Phil, Iain and Alison to make it better. I will miss The Brand Gallery team (including Sally!) and I leave with excitement for what my next summer internship will bring.

June 16, 2015 Emily Matthews GHS ’15

As my senior year was coming to a close, I was told by my teachers and counselors to find an internship for the last month or so before graduation; an internship I am interested in and that could potentially help me discover what I want to do throughout and after college. As someone who has not even finished high school yet, I was and still am undecided about what exactly I want to do professionally. I know what my strengths, weaknesses, interests, and dislikes were but in order to find a suitable internship I still had to figure out how to combine them all together and find a career that is potentially right for me. When I took this assignment back home to my family, an internship in advertising or marketing automatically came to my parents’ minds. As a person who identifies strongly with being creative, having an open mind, and having an interest in all things TV and commercial related translated almost perfectly to what the business – and more specifically, what The Brand Gallery – had to offer.

I am more than lucky enough to have the privilege to complete my senior internship at The Brand Gallery thanks to Phil McIntyre. My fellow Greenwich High School peer, Emily Walsh, and I were eager to start our summer journeys as summer associates and learn as much as we could about the advertising and marketing business. Four weeks and two days has never seemed to go by quicker! My time as a summer associate may have been short compared to most Brand Gallery internships, but I can confidently say I have learned so much – and I am sure I would learn so much more if Emily and I stayed longer!

Within this past month, I have been exposed to so many different aspects of this industry. The great thing about interning at The Brand Gallery is that the company has so many different endeavors, especially being that it is associated with PGM Artists and Standard Directors. As Phil, Iain, and Alison took on different projects, they continued to share with us and teach us about their processes and just how much goes into each piece of work. A simple 60 second video will take days to perfect, something I did not even think about before my experience here. I have become so much more aware of the meticulous process that it is behind the TV, news, and commercial industries as well as the creation of graphic design. From having a behind the scenes look at the Greenwich Town Party video to the graphic design work to volunteering at AICP, my experience as a summer associate has been very well rounded. It has only reinforced my interest in the advertising business and creative work overall, and I can’t wait to pursue these interests further when I start college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the fall!

June 16, 2015 Emily Walsh GHS ’15

I knew going into my internship search I wanted something that would have meaning and help me decide what I wanted to pursue in college. Once making my decision about attending Denison University I thought I would reach out to Phil as I knew he went there and we used to be neighbors. I did some more research and found that he has been giving internship opportunities to college students for years. I reached out to him and we set up an interview. This year was one of the first years he had given high school internship opportunities, so I was excited and nervous to see how the first day was going to go.

Although Emily and I were here for a short amount of time we were treated the same as college interns. This respect from Phil, Alison, and Ian helped make the overall atmosphere feel more like we were working here as well. Obviously coming from Greenwich High School we were not the most experienced but they were always patient and willing to answer any questions we had if we were confused. The small company vibe made being in the workplace comfortable but also serious. I think one of the highlight moments were I felt that I had the most impact was during AICP week. Not only were we able to watch the Award shows but to be backstage guiding the presenters to get mic’d up made me feel pretty important. We wore earpieces with walkie talkies and it was really cool to hear the different people talking backstage about the show while we watched it, to make sure everything ran smoothly.

I would never expect that this internship would have taken me to an exclusive rooftop NYC party or another exclusive MOMA party filled with some of the most influential people in the business. This internship was more than I could have expected and helped me figure out so much about myself and how people work. Working in marketing really makes you focus on the needs of people and what they will like/ how they will react. Im beyond glad I was able to experience this at the end of my High school career and can not be more grateful to Phil for giving me this opportunity and for Alison and Aiin for being very helpful the whole time.