This is the next in a series of posts by recipients of the Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they’ve been spending their summer. You can read the entire series here.
This entry is by Ha Tran, COL ’19
I spent this past summer living and working in New York, a rite of passage every Penn student seems to experience before graduation. I was lucky enough to land an internship with Fearless Media, a boutique marketing agency in Manhattan. Some of their notable clients include Bethesda Softworks and 2K Games. Bethesda is best known for their video games like Skyrim and Fallout 4. 2K has created smash hits like Borderlands and Civilization. Growing up, I’ve always been the kind of kid to immediately run to their gaming consoles after school. So for me, nothing could top working to promote video games (from publishers that I love!) and learning about media marketing.
Fearless Media had a small office of about 10 people while I was there. It had the feeling of a liberating start-up where work was not necessarily divided up by department and title, but instead by practical knowledge. As such, my responsibilities as a Media Intern were not always clear-cut. I took this as an opportunity to take up any work I could handle with the goal of learning as much as I could before my 10 weeks was up.
About an hour into my first day of work, I was asked to sit in on a meeting with a vendor detailing new developments in their media buying opportunities. My notes from that meeting was just a list of marketing terms I did not understand. The next couple of weeks was similar to that first meeting. I wasn’t responsible for anything too serious—I mostly made Powerpoints (a.k.a. “decks”) and worked with Excel. As I learned more over time, I was able to pick up more interesting projects and tasks that became increasingly challenging. Some examples of my projects were conducting research on competitive game titles on their spend and tactics for their launches, conducting research on possible partners for campaigns, consolidating information on price rates of past media buys for future best practices, and communicating with clients and vendors on the status of various campaigns. My final and most interesting project was to assess the effectiveness of a campaign launched in 2015 for one of my favorite video games. It involved looking through tons of excel data of different media and making insights on what worked, what did not, and what should be done in the future.
Fearless taught me about what kind of work environment I should seek out in the future. I enjoyed the collaborative nature of a small start-up and the fact that I was able to wear my Birkenstocks to work. I also enjoyed learning about media, marketing, and the purchasing behaviour of millennials. Will I become a media planner once I graduate?
Besides my job, I had a fantastic time living in New York! It’s a beautiful city full of fleeting moments, crazy interactions with total strangers, and a certain intangible quality that makes you feel like you’re right where you need to be. This summer is the first time I can really say I lived alone without an immediate support system, and it was a far cry from the life I lead in suburbs of Southern California.
Special thanks to Career Services for helping me seize this opportunity! I literally could not have accepted it without the funding Career Services provided.