Internship Spotlight – Stephenie Tuntland, Havas Chicago

Eller PDC Coordinator Student Stories

Stephanie Tuntland is a Marketing major set to graduate in May of 2021.  This summer she interned for Havas Chicago as a Strategy Outern.

What was the process for getting this internship, job, or summer experience?

I networked with an Eller alumni back in May, through an Externship. She knew that I was looking to get experience in advertising and sent me the post from Havas Chicago’s Instagram about The Outernship. I applied through a link on Havas Chicago’s Instagram. In the application, I submitted my resume, answered some questions about my interests, the role I play working in a team, and my favorite COVID-19 advertisement. I also had to submit a TikTok that answered the prompt “Imagine it’s the year 2050. Tell us what life was like in the year 2020”. I tried to incorporate humor and my personal experience into my application by using a popular trend on Tik Tok to answer the prompt!

What was a typical day like?

Since I live in Arizona and the program was based in Chicago, I started each day around 7 or 8 am to account for the time difference. First thing, I would check in with my team members and we would go over any work for our project we completed and determine what we wanted to work on today. On Mondays and Wednesdays, we had learning sessions with different departments within the Havas Village model. Throughout the program, we talked to creative leaders, media experts, and even the president of both Havas Chicago and Havas Media. On Tuesdays and Fridays, my team had check-ins with our team coaches who helped us along in our mock project.

What was your favorite part of the experience?

My favorite part was getting one-on-one career coaching from a professional at Havas. I was a Strategy Outern, so they paired me with a Senior Strategist. We talked about once or twice a week throughout the course of the program. She helped me with my resume, answered all my questions about being a Strategist, and showed me things she was working on for her clients. Having that mentor-mentee experience was super valuable to me and I look forward to maintaining that relationship.

If you worked on a big project, please describe it below:

I worked on a mock project this summer for Ad Council’s award-winning Love Has No Labels campaign. Ad Council is a nonprofit advertising agency that produces work on behalf of nonprofits and non-governmental organizations. My team and I came up with a single-minded concept that would encourage Millennials who believe in the Black Lives Matter movement to actively support the movement. We created two creative tactics and a media tactic to execute and promote our idea. At the end of the 5 weeks, we presented the idea to a panel of judges for critiques. Between the judge’s scores and a “People’s Choice” vote among Havas Chicago professionals, my team’s idea won!

What did you find most challenging?

I think the most challenging part was working with people in different time zones. Two of my team members were on Central Time, one was on East Coast, and then of course I was on the Pacific Time. There were some days where I got up as early as 6:30 am and my team member on the East Coast was working till midnight. We just made sure that we communicated and planned ahead so we could adjust our sleep schedules!

What did you learn?

This program taught me a lot about how Havas operates as one of the largest advertising networks in the industry. In Chicago, they have a village model that allows creative and media to be under one roof, making it easier for clients to receive all the assistance they need in one place. Aside from that, I learned how to create a campaign that’s based around an insight, or as Havas calls it, a universal human truth. Having a strong truth behind a campaign ensures that it will resonate with a large audience, regardless of culture, politics, or beliefs.

What advice do you have for other students looking for a similar experience, or advice for future students to be successful?

I asked everyone I talked to at Havas for advice and something I heard over and over again is how important networking is, especially in advertising. If the alumni I talked to during the Externship hadn’t sent me the Instagram post, I don’t think I would have seen the Outernship because it wasn’t posted on any other site. A lot of the employees at Havas Chicago had worked together before at different agencies and it’s usual for employees to bounce around to different agencies. I would just say to try to network as much as possible, and always leave a good impression because you never know how they will be able to help you in the future.

How did Eller prepare you for this experience?

Eller prepared me for this experience through the first semester projects and case competition. Going into the outernship, I knew what role I play on a team and how I can best utilize my skillset on a group project. I also learned from the case competition with Shamrock Farms that I love doing research and designing campaigns from insights. That’s how I determined that I wanted to be a Strategy outern and gain experience in working in Strategy. The presentation skills I learned in Eller were also really valuable for this experience. Even though I was presenting over zoom, I still felt confident in my verbal and non-verbal cues.

Did you feel supported by the company or organization you worked with?

I felt so welcomed and supported by all the people I met at Havas Chicago. The professionals that spoke during our learning sessions were genuinely passionate about advertising, which was really inspiring. They also gave us great advice about how to make ourselves stand out as applicants and how we can prepare for a career in advertising. The coaches, mentors, and HR team were genuinely interested in each of our individual goals. Overall, every employee I interacted with was interested in me and excited about the outernship program.

Anything else you would like to share about your summer experience?

This is how Havas describes the outernship program: a professional development program aimed at giving students a deep understanding of the advertising industry and how to work at Havas. The Outernship is 5-week program designed to expose students to Havas virtual agency culture and capabilities through employee-led learning sessions, mock projects, and one-on-one career coaching.