February 12, 2019

Q&A With NEXTerns Alums

Padilla NEXTerns, the agency’s summer internship program, offers college students and recent grads opportunities in account service, brand, PR and creative tracks. We had a stellar first class of NEXTerns in 2018, and we can’t wait for what’s to come. As we approach the deadline (this Friday, Feb. 15!) for 2019 NEXTerns applications, we thought it would be fun to sit down with a few of our program alums who landed full-time gigs at the agency following their NEXTernships.

Meet the team:

Sarah Hess, assistant account executive, Padilla

Maura Killian, assistant account executive, FoodMinds

Lindsay McConnell, assistant account executive, Padilla

Jack Parker, project coordinator, SMS Research Advisors

Q: What makes the NEXTerns program unique?

SH: The opportunity to not only be an ingrained member of the team, but also take advantage of further learning and development opportunities designed just for the NEXTerns. 

MK: The NEXTerns program is special because of the investment it makes in its interns. The program includes a professional development portion, with workshops on everything from media relations to insights and strategy. As NEXTerns, you feel like a valued member of the Padilla community.

LM: The ability to work across all areas of PR/marketing, and not just specialize on one project or one team all summer.  

JP: I think the fact that the NEXTern program is branded makes it unique. To me, it really showed that Padilla was truly invested in their interns and wanted to do all they could to catch the attention of recent grads and students. It made me feel like they cared about me as an intern before I even applied!

Q: What did you enjoy most about your NEXTernship? 

MK: During my NEXTernship, I appreciated learning from my intelligent, creative colleagues. Everyone at FoodMinds and Padilla was more than willing to sit down with me to discuss their role at Padilla, describe their professional path and offer career advice.

SH: I enjoyed getting hands on experience in launching a PR campaign and getting to know my team and everyone here at Padilla. Everyone is so enjoyable to work with and interested in helping me develop in my career.

Q: What advice would you offer to the Class of ’19 NEXTerns?

LM: Ask questions. Try to get involved, and not just be observant. Ask for work, don’t wait for it to get to you. Try to get as much exposure to every aspect of your industry during your time here. Also, get to know you fellow coworkers – odds are they are great!

MK: I would recommend the next Class of NEXTerns to work brave, reach out to Padilla staff, build connections and take away as much as possible from an incredible group of people.

Q: What has been your favorite project at the agency?

JP: Literally anything involved with consumer and food research. I love cooking and all sorts of cuisines. So, getting to see what the American people think about food is awesome! SMS Research Advisors have done studies about food and sustainability, choosing food in general. 

LM: At Padilla, I got be involved in my first national campaign from beginning to end. It really exposed me to how a campaign that large is structured and executed – from top to bottom.

Q: Has anything surprised you moving from your NEXTernship to full-time career at the agency?

SH: Nothing has surprised me, though I am happy to be continuing to grow in my career here at Padilla. Just because my NEXTernship has ended does not mean that my learning and development in the industry and in my career has stopped. Everyone on my team is very committed to my development, and I really appreciate that especially as I am starting off in my career. 

JP: Not a whole lot, I feel that I was well prepared by my team for what to expect. I continued to go through “training mode,” when I transitioned full-time. However, there was no doubt that the internship made me 110% prepared to become an agency employee!

2019 NEXTern opportunities within Padilla and its FoodMinds (nutrition) and Joe Smith (brand) divisions are available in Minneapolis (headquarters), Richmond, Chicago, and New York City. Click here to apply. Deadline is Friday, February 15.


This article was first published on The Buzz Bin.

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