The Top Three Highlights from my Fahlgren Mortine Experience
When I first discovered Fahlgren Mortine, I thought it would be a pretty cool place to work. They had just posted photos of an associate dressed in a squirrel mascot costume for their 2014 Squirrel Appreciation Day – and as a graduate of the squirrel-obsessed Kent State University, I took it as a sign that I needed to keep Fahlgren Mortine on my radar.
Nearly a year later, I got my shot and started an internship in corporate communications. After 13 short weeks, I’ve learned so much that it’s difficult to keep it brief, but for the sake of audience attention spans, here are the top three highlights from my Fahlgren Mortine experience:
Numerous agencies claim integration, but I’ve seen it firsthand. Starting in 2011, Fahlgren, Inc. came to be known as Fahlgren Mortine when it merged its public relations and advertising departments to unify its brands.
Fahlgren Mortine’s integrated approach is evident in every interaction – in fact, it took me a couple of weeks to figure out in which departments associates actually worked because they were collaborating all the time! Not only does integration benefit Fahlgren Mortine’s clients, it also benefits its associates. Integration encourages Fahlgren Mortine’s already incredibly talented and smart individuals to “think wider,” and it allowed me to work with at least one person from every department and learn from a variety of disciplines – making my experience that much better.
The associates at Fahlgren Mortine work incredibly hard, but they also make it a ton of fun. From finally experiencing my own nutty Fahlgren Mortine Squirrel Appreciation Day to catching flying flapjacks on Groundhog’s Day to a magical Lucky Charms breakfast celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, they sure know how to have fun!
While they have fun celebrating all sorts of unorthodox holidays, they also give back to their communities. I had the privilege of helping plan the Columbus office’s fourth annual Operation Feed Week, during which we raised nearly 20,000 meals for Central Ohio.
And if that wasn’t enough, a group of us volunteered our mornings sorting food at the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, where I experienced a different view of Fahlgren Mortine associates working together. Broken into groups of two and given the task of grabbing our assigned foods off the conveyor belt to pack into boxes, when one group was overwhelmed with food, other groups jumped in to help without another thought. Whether playing a competitive round of mini-golf, sorting and packing food or pulling together to pitch to a new client, it’s an amazing feeling to know that Fahlgren Mortine associates have each others’ backs.
The last thing I’ll share about my Fahlgren Mortine experience is how beneficial this internship has been for my career. Rather than giving me busy work, day in and day out as one might expect from an internship, they focused on assignments that would benefit me and my career most. I got hands-on experience that not only sharpened my skills but also tremendously boosted my confidence in my professional abilities.
I helped manage Fahlgren Mortine’s blog, Aperture, and its Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram accounts. I wrote my first professional news release (that was actually sent to real reporters!) regarding Fahlgren Mortine’s PRWeek Awards Young Professional of the Year and its Professional of the Year finalists. I assisted in writing proposals to earn new clients. I conducted editorial and social media audits on potential clients in travel and tourism, B2B and education industries – and so much more.
Overall, my experience at Fahlgren Mortine was more than I could ever hope to explain. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work for some of the most brilliant minds in the industry. I’m changed for the better, and I owe it all to the wonderful individuals whom I had the honor and privilege of calling co-workers.