Hannah Kitkowski is a Marketing major set to graduate in May 2020. This summer she interned for NVE Experience Agency as an Event Production Intern in Los Angeles, California.
How did you get this internship?
I got this internship through LinkedIn. I learned about the experiential marketing industry through a friend who had done an internship for a similar company. I became really interested in this industry and decided to investigate what companies were in the business. I stumbled upon this one on LinkedIn and decided it was worth a shot.
What was a typical day like?
The days varied depending on what help was needed and which clients I was helping. I was assigned to two teams within the events production department and much of my time was spent researching venues or vendors for various events. I had to adhere to the specifications of the client and for every project I compiled a detailed list to choose from. These events spanned the United States and some clients had very specific requirements while other’s requirements were very vague. For example, I had to look for outdoor locations in San Francisco and Chicago that could accommodate a 30’ x 32’ structure while also being near expensive, high-end retail stores. On the other hand, for a different client I had to find a venue that represented the “culture of the city” in three different cities. My days also consisted of attending meetings with clients and working on a mock event assignment that I presented at the end of my internship.
What was your favorite part of the experience?
My favorite part of the internship was the people, culture, and getting to learn the behind the scenes of what goes into putting on large-scale marketing events. Experiential marketing is an increasingly popular marketing strategy for companies. I found this community to be very inclusive, friendly and the people were genuinely willing to share their knowledge. It was also amazing to work on projects for some very reputable companies. Some of the events I helped with were for Dropbox, Billboard Women in Music Awards, Johnnie Walker’s Game of Thrones event for San Diego Comic Con, Dyson, Diageo’s The Walking Dead event for New York Comic Con, and Glenmorangie. I was also able to work an onsite event for Milk Makeup and the wrap party foe NBC’s The Good Place.
If you worked on a big project, please describe it below:
The main project I worked on was creating a proposal package for a hypothetical event. This project gave me an opportunity to apply what I was learning and gave me the chance to go outside my comfort zone. On the first day of the internship, I was given a mock RFP (request for proposal) and examples of real RFPs, decks, and budgets. The RPF I worked on was for a social media company “pool party” for 400 people at a budget of 350k. I contacted multiple Hollywood and Beverly Hills home filming/event locations for the venue and multiple other vendors (ex. Balloon installations, DJs, Fabrication, Food, Photo Booths, furniture etc.). From these interactions, I was to get quotes and develop my own budget on excel. This project also required me to think about the logistics of the event such as needing extra money for emergencies, insurance, bathrooms, set-up, clean-up, etc. I was given creative freedom on the look and feel of the event and create “photo moments”. This was very important because a big part of experiential marketing is getting people engaged on social media and real time consumer feedback. On my last day, I presented the deck and budget breakdown to members of the company.
What did you find most challenging about your internship?
The most challenging part of my internship was thinking outside the box. Event production involves working with clients on their event and making bookings based on their wants and needs. The research to do this could be tedious and required a lot of digging and creative searches, and I had to give my team many options to choose from that they could present to the client. Also, with my final project, I was given guidance, asked questions, and learned along the way but, besides the basic requirements, the creative organizing of the event was completely up to me. This was exciting but intimidating at first, but in the end was very rewarding.
What advice do you have for other students looking for a similar internship?
Don’t limit yourself when finding a company you want to intern for. If there’s a company you have your heart set on, research who their competitors are, and you might be surprised what may come up. Put yourself out there to as many companies as possible and don’t let your lack of experience dissuade you, even if your industry of interest is a difficult one to break into. I didn’t have event production experience, but I did have some marketing experience. In my interview with NVE, I took what experience I had, explained how it could apply and expressed my genuine interest in their company and the industry.
How did Eller prepare you for your internship?
Eller prepared me for this internship by teaching me communication skills both verbally and written. My day was filled with having to communicate professionally via email and phone. I also utilized the presentation skills I developed from BCOM 314 and past case competitions. Eller also prepared me by teaching me the value of asking questions, getting involved as much as possible, and networking. I took the initiative and scheduled meetings with different department heads and the president of the company. These meetings allowed me to establish a closer relationship with the decision makers of the company and develop a wider network of people to reach out to in the future.
Anything else you would like to share about your internship experience?
I’ve done a few internships and I’ve loved each one, but this was by far my favorite. I’ve learned so much, met some great people, made new friends, and got to have an amazing summer in LA. Some advice I have about internships in general is don’t be afraid to ask questions. I wasn’t afraid to reach out to others within the company and learn as much as I could. Because of this, I developed a close relationship with one of my team leaders and am so thankful for her. It can be intimidating, but most companies and people will love that you take the initiative. An internship is sometimes about what you make of it.