Throughout my prior internships in college, I was expected to perform the daily tasks of an intern. Coffee runs, coverage reports, and following orders mostly consisted of my day-to-day work. While I learned a lot at these companies, there were obvious limitations to my experience being just an intern. At Graham Media Partners, however, this could not have been further from the truth. On my very first day in January, Steve and Lisa invited me to a client meeting and have included me in nearly everything since.
At Graham Media Partners my role was not that of an intern, but more as an account manager, for the four restaurant clients I was assigned to. Steve and Lisa instructed and guided me when I needed it, while also allowing me to work independently. My ideas were welcomed and respected, which made going to work every day something to look forward to. Similarly, the creative license that I was given on various projects helped me grow far more than many other interns can say. Writing and producing content and copy for clients gave me greater insight into how the industry works.
Beyond learning more about marketing agencies and developing my professional skills, Steve and Lisa have become two individuals that I look up to. At my interview I was immediately impressed with their drive to begin their own successful company. Steve and Lisa have plans, a vision, and structure for their company and work hard every day. Throughout my time at Graham, I learned so much that will be applicable wherever my career takes me. Lisa’s commitment to every client showed me the importance of communication and hard work. She is organized, patient, and intelligent and I hope to some day model my own management style from Lisa. Steve’s passion for the business and determination to grow the company taught me to be confident and to never quit.
In addition to professional development, working at Graham Media Partners is enjoyable. We would go to lunch and talk about anything from Avalon to what color they should pick for the baby’s room. Steve and Lisa took the time to get to know me and I had the opportunity to get to know them both on a personal level.
The past few months at Graham Media Partners has been rewarding on so many levels. Working here has taught me about professionalism in the workplace and the importance of consistency and hard work. I can’t wait to see their continued success. Thank you so much for the opportunity!
Katie has been interning with us since January.
Heading into my last semester of college, I knew I wanted to start thinking about my professional career as I prepared for my transition to the “real world” after graduation. After applying to various internships for the spring semester in December and January, I was immediately enticed by Graham Media Partners. A start up PR and marketing firm where I would get to attend client meetings and work on my own accounts? Sign me up.
From my very first day working at GMP, Steve and Lisa welcomed me with open arms and were eager for me to interact face to face with clients, produce my own content and come up with my own ideas. The amount of freedom I had was initially daunting… I didn’t know much about the industries for some of the clients I would be working with, yet I was responsible for creating content to post on their blogs and social media pages.
Looking back, I’m so grateful for the opportunity Steve and Lisa gave me to develop my skills as a writer, creative thinker and public relations and marketing professional. At the start of this internship, I never would have thought that I would have been able to tell you the difference between a loan officer or a mortgage broker, or the different ways to make your business stand out at an HR showcase. Interning at GMP gave me the opportunity to interact with a wide variety of clients, and develop an understanding of how to effectively interact with each and every client. While some things are similar for each client (creating content calendars, researching competitors and writing blogs), other things are vastly different. Different clients have different needs and whether it be continuing to tweak a blog post so it’s just right or spending some extra time working on messaging and positioning statements to ensure they accurately describe the client, every day brought something new and different.
Working in a start up environment was also eye opening. I have the utmost respect for how hard Lisa and Steve work. It was exciting to come to work every day just to watch Lisa and see what she was working on that day. Her organization, diligence, and persistence make her a great person to work with- and for. Steve, fearless in his ability to promote and share the mission of GMP, showed me the importance of confidence in meetings. Watching Steve interact with clients during meetings taught me how being relatable to your client, while also being confident in your ability to deliver the results clients need, is of the utmost importance.
I’ve also had fun too! Lisa and Steve both took the time to get to know me as a person, and through many lunches, we discussed gluten free foods, trips to Hawaii and baby names. The environment at GMP is set up to be a collaborative and inclusive one. Lisa always welcomed any idea that I had, and was eager for me to speak up and contribute in client meetings. It was a positive experience to come to work each day, and Lisa and Steve were extremely flexible with my college schedule.
When I first started this internship, I didn’t know what it would be like to interact with clients, or how important social media could be to the success of a client. Now, I feel like I understand just how powerful social media outlets can be and how to effectively launch media campaigns and other marketing campaigns. Thank you GMP for an amazing internship experience!
Sarah has been interning with us since January.
As a 21-year-old senior journalism student at Temple University, I’ve spent much of my time surrounded by two types of career-oriented people – those who wanted to enter into journalism in a technical capacity, and those who wanted to enter into journalism as editors. Personally, an equal measure of ambition and subsequent dissatisfaction manifested itself as indecision; rigorous photojournalism courses spoiled me with the satisfaction of technical production as well as the engagement of writing and reporting. As a result, I valued both but could choose neither.
As my classmates excelled in a singular manner I was always jealous of, they accepted internships with small non-profits as copywriters or sold photographs on a freelance basis to the Metro. Wanting responsibility in a novel sense, with experience to gain in copywriting, photography, advertising, and marketing, I found and applied for an internship with Graham Media Partners – a boutique marketing agency based in Wayne, PA.
Of course, my photojournalism background is not exactly common for such internships, but during my interview, Steve and Lisa Graham analyzed my strengths, though atypical of an advertising and marketing applicant, and measured how I may contribute to the company in a unique and valuable way. I can’t overstate what a comfort it was to find a young, expanding business that was interested in growing along with me, and only two forward-thinking entrepreneurs would have proposed that.
Within the first few weeks of working with Graham Media Partners, I began to understand the ways in which journalism, photography, and marketing can overlap. An economy of words is absolutely necessary for social media management – understanding how to convey a positive message in few words is a lesson any journalist will retain from an introductory editing class. Similarly, this internship promotes a flexibility inherent to the on-call lifestyle of a photojournalist; sometimes a client’s website needs headshots with little-to-no warning, sometimes a daily special menu needs to be redesigned for digital use, and sometimes an opportunity for food photography springs up from a client meeting. These are the obstacles that Graham Media Partners trusted I could overcome, and expected excellence as a result.
And it has been a lot of fun! The young company works best in a communicative, positive, and constructive environment. We spend most afternoons out at some of the new restaurants in the Greater Philadelphia Area, taking inspiration for our clients and discussing the best ways to launch a new campaign. And when we’re not running over a marketing strategy in the office, we might be discussing the latest episode of True Detective over lunch.
At GMP I have learned a great deal about communication, design, photography, and marketing. When I began, I knew next to nothing about what advertising and marketing entailed, only that I had a few of the requisite skills necessary for its production. Now, I’m beginning to gather a valuable understanding of social media presence, media advising, marketing campaigns, and constructing detailed analytic reports for our clients. I still have a lot to learn, that’s for sure, but I’m glad I’ve found a small agency to continue learning with.
By: Aaron Windhorst
Aaron has been interning with GMP since May, and continues to intern with us today.