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Advertising Internship in CT

The principals took the time to actually challenge me - something not every intern can say.

Advertising Internship in CT

Posted Tuesday February 25th, 2014 in Fun + Personal.


It was September 2013; an internship was the lone item that stood between myself and my degree in Advertising from Southern Connecticut State University. Having been well-schooled in all aspects of the industry, I was ready to find invaluable, real-world experience before I headed off into the well… real world in December.

I spent the last few weeks of that summer researching local agencies that were looking for prospective interns to come aboard during the fall semester. One afternoon, I found a demo reel that caught my eye like none other; a digital presence that just seemed to be doing something that the others weren’t. Upon further research, I knew that GEM Advertising would be an ideal place to (hopefully) learn during my final semester.

I immediately contacted Chris Bartlett, sending over a rambling email with my cover letter and resume. Fortunately, Chris decided to bring me in for an interview. Within minutes of stepping foot inside the Hamden office, I immediately became aware of the relationships that the team members had with one another; a dynamic never before seen (by me) and very much desired by my peers. Chris offered me an internship for that semester, ending the interview with parting words that would stay true throughout my tenure – “you’re going to have fun.” I knew right there that I wanted to become a true “GEM” in the advertising world.

On my first day, I was briefed on all the things that were going on around the agency. I met every single employee at GEM and saw exactly what each department does on a daily basis. Chris and Peter made it known that this wouldn’t be your standard “get the boss coffee” internship – It’d be something a bit different than the norm. You see, the principals at GEM are looking for people who are willing to learn – leaving their comfort zone to learn the ropes of other departments within an agency. Interns come into GEM with pre-determined strengths and personal goals for their futures; they exit knowing how to execute an incalculable amount of tasks across all advertising disciplines.

Entering with a background in writing, I set to work on tasks that challenged my skills and strengths. They bestowed upon me the unsettling responsibility of writing copy for what seemed like every important need: agency of record announcements, new services provided by current clients, and even a few niche releases for good measure. From here, I earned the right to progress to heightened levels of responsibility at the agency. I attended local events on behalf of the company, being able to see first-hand how the principals networked in the field. I began drafting real, live copy for the websites, print collateral, social media accounts and billboards that represent our clients. It allowed my mind to completely free itself from my hard-wiring; copywriting goes so much further than simply print advertising.

Chris and Peter drafted a training program for me based on what I bring to the table, allowing me to write creatively in each department at the agency. As a result, this afforded me a consider amount of time within the social media department. I was responsible for the creation of e-blast content for the vast majority of our social clients. My experience at GEM allowed me to develop an entirely different outlook on the role of a writer within an advertising agency. The principals took the time to actually challenge me instead of watching me idle at a desk for an entire semester – something not every intern can say.

Unbeknownst to me, the agency was slowly polishing a lump of coal into a GEM. The remarkable amount of knowledge that I learned during my internship was something that I promised would stay with me throughout my career – a career that began at GEM Advertising on New Year’s Day.

-Brian Crozier (Former Intern; Current GEM)


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