By Noel Huicochea

On October 11th, six bright American Advertising Federation members shared their summer internship experiences at the annual Internship Panel. Each of the members had their own, unique experience that helped them develop and grow into advertising experts. A variety of discussed positions included Account Managers, Account Executives, a Social-Media Marketing Intern, and more. Furthermore, they worked at great agencies such as Leo Burnett, Starcom, FCB and Bailey Lauderman, while some panelists even had the opportunity to go out of state.

The members provided useful information: how they came across these internships, important requirements for interviewing, and additional tips for getting on the interviewer’s good side.

When discussing the success of scoring internship opportunities, members referenced “I-Link”, which is a database intended for U of I students. The database is great for a variety of things, but most importantly for finding internships and job opportunities. 

However, some panelists were lucky enough to find their internships by other means. For instance, panelist Sam simply used Google to find internships around the Chicago area and found many opportunities, while panelist Armando found opportunities through the AAF email newsletters. (Go AAF!) 

Throughout the rest of the panel, another topic of interest was the application process for these internships.

“Be Fearless,” said Panelist Gabe, who interned at Leo Burnett this past summer. He talked about applying to many, many internships, even if the odds were against him. Other panelists agreed.

Finally, the panelists gave some advice regarding what to expect and what to do during the stages of applying, interviewing and actually interning. It seemed as though the panelists agreed on being very patient during the application process.

“The applications were extensive, but it was worth every mental breakdown I had,” said Panelist Jalilah.

Furthermore, the president of AAF, Alex, talked positively about his great experience as he learned to live on his own while carrying big responsibilities. Throughout his internship, he was able to meet new people and have the time of his life.

“Everything was rough at first, but by the end of the summer, I didn’t want to leave!” said Alex.

At the end of the panel, the speakers told the crowd to be passionate, while maintaining a good GPA, being involved on campus and striving to be a leader – as all of these characteristics are crucial in becoming successful advertising scholars in the advertising industry.