Friday, July 31, 2009

Time out!

Early in our internship an LS employee (and previous LS intern) imparted his wisdom on us about what it takes to be a successful intern. While the obvious traits were incorporated in his presentation (hard-work, dedication, teamwork, etc.), he was also careful to mention the importance of taking a break. After several weeks here, I am beginning to understand why.

As many of us have mentioned before, every day at Liggett is a different experience. I have attended field trips, sat in on planning sessions, and worked on projects for a number of accounts. At a moment’s notice my workload here has gone from manageable to somewhat overwhelming. Yet even when stepping out for an hour-long lunch break seems like the last thing I have time for, I have learned how essential it is to do so.

Attempting to work without any breaks will only leave you drained, irritable, and ultimately unproductive. A successful intern knows that taking time to re-fuel and re-focus can mean the difference between average and quality work. And when starting out in any career, average work will never get you ahead.

So go ahead, grab a friend and get some grub. Take your mind off a project and peruse a funny blog. Whatever you need to do to rest your mind, just be sure to get back to work when you’re done!
Bonnie C.
Brand Management intern

Intern Crawl. Please Meet Responsibly

Yesterday the intern class and I had the opportunity to experience the summers of various other interns around Cleveland through what we call an “Intern Crawl”. It allowed us to get a taste for other agencies, other programs, and other people through meeting up and taking each other to our various places of business. The day went a little something like this:

First, Interns met at Pickwick and Frolic on East 4th. East 4th really is a delightful little area. There were twinkle lights, overflowing flowerpots, and a lot of outdoors dining. The food was delicious. More importantly, we met up with two interns from Glazen Creative Studios, one from Dix and Eaton, a handful from Great Lakes Publishing, and one from Landau. While I expected most interns to be around my age (approaching their senior year of college), I was surprised to find that most weren’t. Several were going into their sophomore or junior year in college, and some had already graduated. The initiative taken by some of the younger interns was inspiring to me, as they have achieved experience with few years of education under their belts. It shows their initiative and drive. Most of the older interns were taking internships to get varied experiences and to be positive that they were in a field that they wanted to have a future career in. We all got along really well.

We then commenced our crawl. We started and Dix and Eaton, moved our way through the city to Glazen Creative Studios, popped into Liggett Stashower, and then ended at Great Lakes Publishing (where we received free magazines). Each place had a completely different atmosphere, niche, and specialty. At Dix and Eaton I learned about Investor and Crises Public Relations. At Glazen Studios, we watched incredible videos for their various clients. Each video told an entire story in just three minutes, it was amazing to see the pictures they painted. At Great Lakes Publishing, we learned about the different magazines they publish and were able to browse through them, seeing the articles the interns had helped with or written.

Each of us interns had something different required of us in our programs, so it was fascinating to see the various aspects. There are so many opportunities in communication type industries, and it is great to see how similar the jobs are, but also how completely different they can be. I wouldn’t last a day editing videos, but I can write a press release in a half hour (I think?). Each of us is armed with different gifts and specialties, but each of our businesses allows other businesses to find success.
Overall, it was a fun day full of fieldtrips, friendships, and learning. This pretty much sums up the LS internship program in a nutshell.

Morgan P.
Brand Management Intern

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Feeling Green

Recently, I have been working on making my life “more green”. You know, trying to be more eco-friendly with my actions and purchases. My small steps toward becoming more green started at home by turning off the water while I brush my teeth, taking shorter showers, using my real dishes instead of disposable ones, reusing water bottles, turning off lights and TV, that sort of thing. However, I realized I spend a good chunk of my day here at Liggett and could “green” my actions here as well. LS made some eco-friendly decisions when we moved into our new space such as donating furniture to charities and organizations, recycling as more cardboard and paper as possible and reusing office supplies. I have been striving to do the same. Here is what I have been doing:

- taking the stairs as much as possible (especially the fun spiral ones!)

- reusing my cardboard cup from my morning commute coffee purchase throughout the day

- using less paper towels in the restroom or none at all (I am a fan of drying my hands by wiping them on my clothes, something my parents still yell at me for!)

- turning off the lights when I exit the restroom

- eliminating unnecessary printing

I know these are small steps, but they add up quickly among dozens of employees. As a young professional entering the business world, I hope to reduce my impact on the environment by taking these small steps early.

Abie M.
Graphic Design Intern

Diversifying Our Offerings

Tuesday, our intern class took a field trip to Modern International Graphics Inc. (MIGI). I was particularly interested in this trip because we would be seeing the offset printing presses that they use for corporate books, brochures, signage and other products. I’m into that kind of thing.

While we were there, Roger who is one of the managers at MIGI was telling us about how he had been with the company 20+ years and how much the business had changed since he started. One of the things he said that stuck with me was that clients now want more than just printing. They have to be an integrated media solutions provider. They have to do some branding, personalized marketing and web-to-print solutions, all while maintaining their position as the best printer around.

That kind of got me to thinking about this internship. I’m a public relations major at school, so I can write, sure, but to provide value to my customer (LS in this case) I (read YOU) have to also learn other skills quickly. That means using social media tools, reading client background information, even improving my typing skills. Since times have changed, we can no longer focus on just one thing.

What has been great about this internship is that I have had the chance to work on multiple projects, whether it was writing case studies, pitching to news media, doing social media monitoring or even lifting 200-lb. wood samples. Every skill and ability you have should be put to use to give your client/future employer the best possible product. And even though your goal is to help your employer, in the end you get the benefits.

Evan R.
Brand Management Intern

Monday, July 27, 2009

I’ve Learned My Lesson…

Last Thursday, Pat B. informed our intern class that he would be putting together a project focused around the interns. For this project, he asked each of us to write down a lesson we have learned from being at Liggett, in less than 20 words. I have to say that I have been perplexed by this task for a few days now. Even as I sit here at my desk, imparting my all-knowing intern knowledge on the rest of the world, it is very difficult to come up with ONE lesson, especially in less than 20 words. If you haven’t guessed by now, I have a lot to talk about and a lot of lessons learned. How am I ever going to choose?

Here is a short list of semi-humorous lessons (lets not get too carried away, we all know that I am the Financial Intern so it can’t be THAT funny). Most of these don’t meet the 20-word requirement and therefore will not be used in the project, but hopefully they will help future interns in some way shape or form.

- The fastest way to make friends in the agency is by handing out paychecks.
- Always preview a document before printing; otherwise you will have to re-print numerous times.
- Remember to bring Dennis with you when taking the freight elevator; otherwise you might get stuck in a dark, scary place...
- Claim your table out on Star Plaza early, if you don’t, you’ll be freezing in the shade.
- If you are going to get Subway for lunch, make sure you get to the shop at exactly 12 noon or else you’ll have to wait in a LONG line
- The agency likes chocolate fondue and dippable treats!
- If blogging is not your forté, use a lot of colorful pictures or try to be funny to hide how boring your writing style actually is.
- Always wear a watch, that way you don’t have to keep bugging your fellow intern about the time and whether or not you have to help Rosemary out by covering the phones during her lunch.
- Ham Day is a celebrated holiday at Liggett. It honestly should be celebrated worldwide.
- If you drink 5 cups of coffee to keep you awake, you will have to use the restroom a proportional number of times. Keep that in mind when you decide that you NEED a caffeine fix.

We are now going into week seven of our internship. It is hard to believe that our experience is coming to a close in just a few short weeks. In all seriousness, I have been able to experience and participate in so much here at Liggett. I know that no matter what position I have in my future employment, the experiences here will undoubtedly help. Whether it is learning to work with various personality types, learning to accept constructive criticism on your work, or just adjusting to life in the “real” world, I know that these lessons will stay with me forever. Liggett has already helped me improve myself. Their strong guidance is helping me become the businessperson I hope to be. I hope I can absorb as much knowledge as possible in these next few weeks. This intern program truly cultivates real-world-ready individuals. I am so proud to be part of the experience.

Danielle E.
Financial Intern

Friday, July 24, 2009

Insight: The Key to Effective Communication

So much of doing great work for a client involves getting to know the people that use the client’s products. The formula is simple: when you understand the user, you can better understand the brand, which leads to a better marketing message.

Not long ago, a gentleman provided me with his testimony as a user of a brand Liggett represents. He described to me in painstaking detail the relationship our client’s product has with his craft. To say I was overwhelmed with information from our 27-minute phone conversation would be an understatement. I wondered why this man shared so much information with me, an intern at an ad agency, when it was obvious we both came from different worlds. After our conversation ended, I had to sift through the pages of information I had gathered in order to find what I needed to draft his testimonial.

Then it hit me. The value of the depths to which this man went in providing me with information was suddenly clear. It provided me with insight. Insight that allowed me to better understand the passionate people who use our client’s product, and as a result, write more effective copy tailored to them.

Insight gathered from consumers acts like a flashlight for ad agencies stuck in the dark over how to communicate effectively with the all-important brand user, especially when it comes to an unfamiliar product or industry.

What I’ve learned from gathering these testimonies extends beyond advertising to find relevance in everyday life. This experience has taught me to always listen to those around you, and pay careful attention to what they have to say. No matter how complicated or irrelevant, you can always learn something about the way people think through what they choose to say, and in some cases, what they choose not to. We call it insight, and it’s something you can never have too much of.

Patrick B.
Creative Intern

Thursday, July 23, 2009

We're in this together

Rachel’s post yesterday focused on the importance of building strong mentor-mentee relationships, and while I agree that it is one of the most beneficial parts of this internship, I have also found that our intern class relationship has played a large part in my experience at LS. Coming into this program, I knew there would be six to eight other interns on the team with whom I would be working. I knew we would all be coming from different schools with different past internships and different expertise. In such a competitive industry, I figured it would take some time for us to all get along because we’d be sizing each other up. That never happened.

From the first day on the job, we all started talking like we all went to college together. We sat around for an hour sharing about our past jobs and our different school programs. In the five weeks since then our group has only grown stronger. We laugh together, fight each other on ideas, and give each other a hard time when we make fools of ourselves. We have each other’s backs on the bad days, and we congratulate each other on the good days. It is so great to come into work everyday and know that my coworkers are not just people who I sit next to, but also my friends.

On a more professional level, becoming close with the intern class has allowed me insight into their strengths. I know I can value their opinions when I am working on something, and they will let me know if my Ham Day design actually looks like a ham sandwich. We don’t sugar coat things around here, and no one gets offended if their idea gets booted out. Through getting to know one another, we have also realized the value of networking. Even though we are still in college, the importance of making connections still holds. We have already decided that Rachel knows someone in every industry, so we will all be keeping her as a Friend on Facebook. Also, since we are all in similar programs at our various schools, we can compare what our education has taught us. Being able to see the strengths of other school’s programs allows us to see what things we should improve on individually, to make us stronger employees.

Most importantly getting along well with your other interns makes this job that much more fun. It is great to be able to have lunch together and escape the agency world for just an hour. Its good to know there are others going through the same steps as you are, and we are all doing it together. Who knows. Maybe some of us will work together at agencies in a few years.

Abie M.
Graphic Design Intern

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mentor-Mentee Relationships

I want to touch briefly on the value of finding a mentor while completing an internship. When I began my search for summer internship opportunities, I knew that there were some great agencies I could apply to in the Cleveland area. As the application process continued, I decided to not only focus on everything that I felt I could offer these agencies, but rather also look at what their specific internship programs could offer me.

One aspect of the LS Intern Program that initially stuck in my mind was the importance the program places on fixing up each one of their interns with a mentor for the summer. After having a few years of college and a couple internships under my belt, I know that having a mentor can be very valuable. The LS Intern Program allows and encourages all of their interns to develop a relationship with their mentor, which will help to guide them through their internship.

I can safely say that I have had a great experience with my mentor so far. Not only do Jody and I have many things in common, she is also someone I know I can go to if I need help or if I have a problem with something I am working on. Even if I just need to bounce an idea off her, it is great and comforting to know that she is there to lend a hand.

To make sure that I am constantly engaging with and learning from Jody, I check in with her frequently during the day, ask her if she needs any help, and then check in with her before I leave at night. It is developing these kinds of relationships, such as mine with Jody, which have enhanced my internships and led me to the success I have had thus far as an intern.

If there is any advice I could give, it would be that even if the agency or company that you want to work for does not have a mentoring program set up like the one at LS, it would be of great value to reach out and find someone in the company that you could consider a mentor. Doing so will definitely help you make the most out of your time and your experience during your internship.

Rachel Z.
Connection Planning Intern

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Schooled in Radio, Sports, and Life

Today the interns and I journeyed across Cleveland to the WKNR radio studio, which is an ESPN affiliate. I am not one for sports, but that did not stop me from absorbing everything I could from the experience. And truth be told, the experience was not sports focused at all. Mark "Munch" Bishop, a talk show host and Sports Director for the station, imparted words of wisdom upon the intern class that I truly believe will aid in our future success. I guess I’m a sucker for advice, but his words really struck home.

One thing Munch said that I think affected each and every intern is not to be afraid of change. He was adamant that we always try new things and to never turn something down if it is in our capabilities to get it done. Being able to master various projects and tasks will make us valuable assets to whatever company lies in our future.

Another piece of advice he gave us was to try and be better everyday in everything that we do. Every new task we take on should be our best work. This was very pertinent to our current situation, as we are all interns trying to get a grasp on what agency life is like. Putting ourselves forward for new projects, working as hard as we can for excellent results, and not being intimidated by the task at hand are all things we can use during our internships and in our futures.

As another week passes I am amazed at all that I have been able to accomplish. It has been difficult, discovering the style of the agency and trying to recreate that in my own work. But flexibility is what has really assisted me. Not getting too stuck in my ways has enabled me to change with every project I take on. Trying new things and gathering ideas is an experience much like Munch talked about, as it is important not to be afraid in situations where change is inevitable. Realizing that I have been applying the guidance that Munch bestowed upon us has allowed me to realize my growth since starting here five weeks ago.

So the radio station was an exciting field trip. Oh yeah. . . Munch also talked about interviewing people like baseball player Derek Jeter and a Browns football player named Josh Cribbs. I’m sure those names mean something to you sports fans out there. To me it was important just to glean guidance from a seasoned radio personality who knew a ton about marketing, PR, personality, and life.

Additionally, I have since embarrassed myself through my ignorance in sports, and I am now fully informed as to who Derek Jeter and Josh Cribbs are. I also know how to spell their names. Thank you LS.

Morgan P.
Brand Management Intern

Monday, July 20, 2009

Something Exciting: How Business is Born

Last Friday an ominous Agency page summoned all available interns to Julie’s office. We timidly stepped in to meet with her, afraid we had somehow done something wrong. The reality was quite the opposite. Liggett Stashower had received a Request for Proposal(RFP) from a prospective client and needed our help to secure their business.

At the meeting Julie explained to us the steps involved in this process. First, the agency needs to gather a collection of agency credentials including case histories, creative samples, and a team video. This compilation is then sent over to a consultant to pick out the few agencies they feel could work best for the company on a given project. The prospective client then gives the finalists an assignment and proceeds to work with them on that assignment in order to get a better feel for how the agency works. Once all of these steps are completed, the client can make an informed decision about which agency they want to work with. In this instance, LS hopes to be that agency.

I had never heard of this method of choosing before and was interested to know all of the steps that go into it. It is different from the typical project pitch format I have studied in school. It seems we have our work cut out for us but I am looking forward to seeing how new business is born and the strategies that will get us there.

Our work began right away researching past campaigns of the client and its competitors. Morgan, Danielle, Abie and I began flipping through various trade and consumer magazines. The scene was comparable to girls in a nail salon, chatting while skimming the gossip columns. Although it was easy to get distracted by the articles we encountered, we did manage to pull several ads. The job also familiarized us with several publications we had no previous knowledge of, but will likely deal with during our careers in communications or graphic design.

Bonnie C.

Brand Management Intern

Friday, July 17, 2009

Organization is the True Key to Success.

I would really like to discuss the importance of being and staying organized in everything that you do. Organization is especially important in the position I am in, however, it is applied in all fields and all projects. In my job function, I am often found helping with accounts payable and payroll, both of which require insane organization.

At Liggett, an incoming invoice must go through various steps before payment can be approved. I take all the recent invoices, enter them into our login sheet for accounts payable, and then I must send them to the correct person for approval. Once the invoice is approved, I must then record that I have them back in my hands. Finally, I send them to the correct person in the rest of the financial department for payment and filing. This may sound boring to all the creative folk out there, but I find it interesting and enjoyable. I’m really able to see the inner workings of the company. Ultimately, however, I need to be ridiculously organized so that I know which invoices go where, and to whom they need to be sent. I have developed a sorting mechanism and a specific file for the invoices that have been previously sorted, and are ready to be sent out to the various departments.

In addition to accounts payable, I recently finished assisting with the benefits enrollment here at Liggett. From the beginning, I knew that I had to be on top of my game. With the move in full swing, we also had to assemble, distribute, and recollect the enrollment packets. I fortunately have had previous experience dealing with benefits enrollment. I think I would have gone nutty otherwise! I’m pretty sure most people thought that a paper bomb had exploded all over my desk as I was sorting, logging, and reviewing the benefits requested by all the employees. You couldn’t even see a single square inch of the wood finish on my desk, only the bright light of the sun reflecting off of the crisp white piles of paper. Again however, had I not remained organized, someone’s benefits could have been misplaced, resulting in a horrible lack of coverage for an employee when/if then get sick.

Yesterday was our first intern Thursday FunDay. We did a game show theme. Employees were able to participate in a Family Feud tournament, as well as Are You Smarter Than an LS Intern? Congratulations to our winners, Team RiRe Frolic for Family Feud, and Desiree B. for Are You Smarter?. Although I must also give credit to Chris B. for a valiant effort in the Are You Smarter? sudden-death question. I have to say that it was an overall success, and I am very proud of our intern class for all the work that they put into planning and executing both games.

I think the chocolate fondue fountain, and my amazing gingerbread apron went over well with the rest of the agency too!

The only way we were able to pull off the game show day was through organization. I had to budget all of our expenses (we were under-budget!), and we had to make lists upon lists of items we needed. Everyone came through with his or her tasks. It would have been a total disaster if we hadn’t put someone in charge of each item. Instead, we produced an enjoyable afternoon for the agency.

Moral of the story/advice for future interns: Stay organized and your life will be much less hectic, not to mention more productive.

Danielle E.
Financial Intern

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lights, Camera, Action!

Yesterday was the date of our second field trip. We traveled across the city by foot to tour the WKYC building, the Cleveland affiliate of NBC. Being in TV has its obvious differences from working here at the agency. We were able to travel through the newsroom, stand on the breaking news turntable, and see the stage where morning and evening news is filmed. The secrets of filming were really fascinating. Turns out that the word prompter is on a glass screen in front of the TV camera, which is why news people always look so convincingly at you through your television set.

On top of the tour of the facilities, we were able to sit in the audience of the 10:00am show Good Company. It is funny to watch TV at home and think how relaxed the hosts look on screen, as though they are having a conversation and a camera happens to be on them. This is not how it appears from the audience. Everyone charms up and smiles when the camera is on, but as soon as the camera turns off there is hollering about how they don’t have feedback in the microphones and how to pronounce a Harry Potter character’s name. Most of us just sat drooling at the pulled pork sandwiches that were being passed around to the crew after the cooking segment of the show.

Another aspect that was interesting about this field trip was that we got to see the interns at Channel 3. One of them was able to be on camera and be interviewed about the new Harry Potter movie. It was so different to see what other interns in other disciplines are up to. Being on camera and free pork sandwiches doesn’t sound half bad . . .

As the graphic design intern here at Liggett, I found it very interesting when we observed the station’s motion graphics department. The team was working on new TV graphics for this upcoming year. They are updating the look of the company. They were paying close attention to how all the graphics looked together to insure a cohesive brand style, which is important for all companies. We all agreed that it looked like the most enjoyable area to work, but not an easy job.

The day was especially fun. I am actually able to catch Good Company every so often, so it was a great experience to actually get a behind the scenes peek at what goes on when the cameras are off. Learning how the news and television industry work are important because as an agency, we need to be on good terms with these kind of people, so they will promote our events and products. Understanding how the job is done creates more empathy and a stronger connection between our two fields.

Abie M.
Graphic Design Intern

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Training Wheels Are On, But I’m Still Cruising

As I sat in my cube a few days back, attempting to generate poster ideas with fellow intern Abie M. to promote Ham Day 2009 - I was handed a copy of a book intended to prepare my mind for “greater creative thinking”. But before I talk about the book, I’ll explain, to the best of my ability, just what Ham Day entails. Ham Day is a biannual event here at Liggett Stashower where our Director of Brand Voice, Mark S., brings in a rather large ham for the whole agency to enjoy. As simple as it sounds, everyone here really seems to love it. As an added bonus, on this particular Ham Day the entire agency has the privilege of listening to my fellow interns and I as we take center stage to present our book reports. And although I’ve been told our reports need only be presented via the wonderfully simple, always visually pleasing Microsoft PowerPoint, I can’t help but feel like presenting something to ad professionals via PowerPoint is the equivalent of showing up to an art contest with a page torn from a coloring book. It’s a bit, shall we say, underwhelming. Luckily, if my presentation doesn’t end up meeting certain aesthetic expectations, I have what I consider a tremendous excuse: I’m a copywriting intern.

Anyway, back to the book written to make me into the next great creative. It’s called The Do-It-Yourself Lobotomy, and although I haven’t begun to read the book, the fact that a member of the creative department presented me with it is an example of what I like about interning at Liggett. It’s what I call the “trial and educate” approach that this agency takes with its interns. As an intern, I am given the opportunity to contribute to real client work, while at the same time receive guidance from the experience and resources of the experts that surround me. The way I see it, it’s the perfect way to let us interns learn by doing (as featured in my last entry), while at the same time allow us to learn from the pros.

Patrick B.

Creative Intern

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Are we friends?" ...on Facebook that is

It was back in my senior year of high school when I created my first online profile on Facebook. It seems like much longer than just a few years ago when Facebook decided to open its doors to people other than just college students. Although sometimes overwhelming to think about, social media has transformed the avenues in which individuals, students, companies and so on, exchange information and engage with their audiences – and it is quite phenomenal.

I will be the first to admit that I have not yet mastered all of the social media options out there. Although I am an experienced Facebook-er, and have dabbled in Twitter and LinkedIn, I know that I still have a lot to learn.

A few short months after I joined Twitter, I "tweeted" about the agencies in Cleveland that I was interested in applying to for summer internships. As a fairly newcomer to the Twitter world, I was surprised to find that my tweet was responded to by @buildingbrands, Liggett Stashower’s twitter handle. The response stated their interest in receiving intern applications for the summer. From that moment on, I knew that exploring what social media networks have to offer would be essential for my professional, and personal, growth.

When I began work at Liggett, I had the opportunity to take part in a brainstorming meeting to develop ideas that will strengthen and enhance a client’s image through the use of social media. It was interesting to see the shift being made between developing personal needs through social media, to developing business needs through social media.

I have learned a lot about how businesses are choosing to use social media networks and why they believe it is the next step in successful marketing practices. It is close to impossible to watch television without seeing commercials and shows mentioning their links, Facebook profiles or Twitter accounts to follow. Companies are now hiring full-time employees and/or interns who will be focusing primarily on creating an online image for the company or organization. If you love everything social media, a position such as that might be a perfect choice for you!

A good example of how different types of companies are using social media to market their products and drive traffic to their site is Little Debbie, who has created a website called Little Debbie’s main goal is to engage interns from various companies around the country in a photo competition in order to win boxes of Little Debbie muffins for their company and employees to enjoy. One of my fellow interns, Evan, decided to enter the contest and was one of the lucky winners! After receiving the news, the agency is looking forward to the muffin delivery – in this case, I consider us all winners.

Rachel Z.

Connection Planning Intern

Outside the classroom

I go to a teeny tiny school in the middle of nowhere. I interact with the same twenty people in all of my major classes. I am used to doing things my way. It sounds selfish, but it is a reality. I like to be in control (its part of my personality profile. . . I’m an influencer and a dominator). In school, this works because my peers allow me to do work in group assigned projects because they don’t want to do it. At Liggett, the interns are all leaders, we all have ideas, and we are all used to doing what we want. This has created a learning experience above all other learning experiences.

Having peers who care as much about a project as you do means a variety of opinions and ideas. It creates a challenging work environment that makes you a more skilled listener, a more humble team member, and a better-prepared student. In school, whoever has the idea makes the decisions, and it is rarely challenged. Here, we challenge each other all the time. The interns all have their various strengths; they know what works and what doesn’t. For example, I came up with an idea for our T-shirt, but when Abie actually started to sketch it out, she realized how boring it would be for clothing. So it went back to the drawing board. Bonnie had come up with a witty saying for the shirt, but then the new design would not accommodate it. So we had to give up our personal preferences for the good of the team. Then we found out it would be too expensive to do the new design, so we had to readjust again. We have all gone through the process smoothly, but it has been interesting to see how different life is when you aren’t trying to get an A, and are instead trying to get a job accomplished. We are all contributing and all sacrificing our own personal ideas to make collective ideas that are definitely better than any one person’s single idea. This has been a hard lesson for me, but a helpful one as well. It is not that I think I have the best ideas, it’s just that I am not used to other people caring enough to contribute. That is what makes this experience real.

A few fun updates from the office:

~3-D press kits are my new obsession. I think they are the most fun way to promote a product or event to the media, which is why LS makes them (duh). They are little kits with client’s product samples in them, press releases, and others special goodies. We even made one that had a cake in it.

~There is a man hanging part way out of the ceiling. It’s been happening a lot lately. Which goes to show that there are a still a few things to be done around here . . .

~Yesterday we had a happy hour christening for the building. There were snacks, drinks, and threats of intern karaoke. Luckily, that was only a threat (since I have a phobia of karaoke due to an unfortunate performance at the age of 13). It was definitely a fun time to get to know employees in a casual atmosphere.

Morgan P.
Brand Management Intern

Monday, July 13, 2009

Closing the Case of the Mondays

Mondays are dreaded at most jobs, but I have started to like them since they mean I get to come back to Liggett. Although this new building is really nice, it is the people here that make it such a great place to be. We came off of an exciting week, with the first whole week in the new space, the exciting news coverage of the move that Danielle posted and our intern project really coming together, I have nothing but good things to look forward to for this week.

We even had the entire city of Cleveland celebrate our arrival with a drummers and a festival!!…wait no, that was the Ingenuity Fest. But still, it was exciting. Coming in on a Monday after a meetingless weekend, it is sometimes difficult to get back into the swing of things. I know at first I had to take 20-30 minutes to read old e-mails and jog my memory of what I was working on, but that is precious time when working in a firm.

Now I make a to-do list at the end of every day, just before I leave, so that I know what to start on right when I get in the next day. This is especially helpful in getting myself refocused after a particularly enjoyable weekend. Another thing I might do is ask my mentor and others around the agency if they need me to do anything. Usually I can gather enough little tasks to get me back into the swing of things.

If (and that’s a big If) I ever have downtime, quick smaller tasks do well to fill in the gaps, and they also let me do work for other people in the agency, which is beneficial for both them and me.

Liggett is really helping me grow in managing and making the most of my time. I may never have a “case of the Mondays” again!

Evan R.

Brand Management Intern

Friday, July 10, 2009

Facebook Application

Who’s been on Facebook for three straight hours today? This guy! But no, I wasn’t chatting with my friends, doing quizzes or tagging pics. I have been working with one of our clients’ fan page, and monitoring conversation on a forum about a contest that we are running.

I have to say, I love this internship so far. I first got into using social media for strategy in a class last fall. Since being at Liggett, I have been able to use much of this knowledge with quite a few projects and assignments. A couple of weeks ago I was able to attend a Webinar on word of mouth (WOM) and how we can use it for our social media strategies. I’ve been encouraged to engage with others on Twitter and they are completely cool with me staying logged in to Facebook all day.

Now sure, I’m working, but it’s doing something I already enjoy, connecting with people through social media and utilizing these tools to help clients. One of the best things has been that I have also learned some new tools and how to integrate them into what I am already doing. For example, I have had a Gmail account for a while but had never used Google Calendar before. It allows you to make dates and events and you can even publish your calendar onto your Facebook page, so that every time you update the calendar in Gmail, it gets updated on Facebook! This may sound simple but I had no idea that you could do that, and it is the little tricks and things that make a social media plan work.

I have also learned how to use Excel and this might make me look dumb but trust me, I’m not. I never had any reason to really use it in school or my old jobs. But my mentor Jimmy is the King of Excel and he is working with me so that I learn to use it properly.
The best thing about interning is getting to apply what you have learned in school to real life situations. That kind of experience increases both the value of your experience and that of your education.

Evan R.
Brand Management Intern

Thursday, July 09, 2009

From Halle to Huron

I have been in the new space for less than a week and I already feel right at home. Of course I’m not surprised as LS employees have a way of making you feel at home in any situation.

Monday was entirely devoted to unpacking and setting up the office, thus I was initially more comfortable on the freight elevator than in my own cubicle. However, after all (err most) of the work was done, it felt good to know that I had a hand in setting up a space that will house Liggett employees for many years to come. Best of all, our efforts were rewarded with delicious pizza and sandwiches for lunch!

While Tuesday was more of a normal day (no more wearing jeans to work L) there still was, and continues to be, a bit of upheaval from the move. Yet I have found this to be a learning opportunity as it teaches us how to work around the unexpected and to deal with limited resources. For instance, I have learned to substitute my morning coffee ritual with green tea until the coffee stations are back up and running…

All jokes aside, the Liggett community as a whole has gone above and beyond to help keep the ball rolling despite the rocky terrain. Yesterday, Morgan and I helped assemble press kits for rush delivery. Despite the time constraints, the six of us were able to get them out on time. We also got to practice using the new space’s workstations while we were at it! Everyone has been helping to locate and deliver items around the office when needed. It feels good not to be the only ones who don’t know our way around anymore. It feels even better to be involved in a learning process with everyone here at Liggett.

Today I look forward to toasting to the new space and all the hard work that went into it at a Happy Hour celebration in the area newly dubbed “The Mezz.”

Bonnie C.

Brand Management Intern

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Back to the Grindstone.

It’s hard to believe that we have now officially moved into the new space! It was such a whirlwind. It even made the headlines in Crain’s Cleveland Business Daily Alerts

Yesterday was a day full of locating, moving and unpacking boxes. To some, moving is exciting yet grueling at the same time. However, it was actually a nice transition into the new space. I have quickly found my way around the office and hopefully will not get too lost from this point on. Today, on the other hand, it is back to the “normalcy” of the typical Liggett workday.

As the financial intern, I am currently in the process of distributing and collecting benefits forms to and from the agency. I have also been thrown into the world of invoices and accounts payable. It is really interesting to be able to see how the agency bills clients and the process they take when dealing with an incoming invoice. I have been given so much responsibility already. It is nice to know that the financial department, especially Steve and Monica, have already entrusted me with so much. Because of the welcoming nature of all the employees here, I have quickly felt as though I have always been part of the Liggett family.

On the more creative side, our intern class has been hard at work. We are currently trying to establish a theme for our t-shirt and poster. We are incorporating the move into the theme. It is nice to be the first class in the new building; it gives us a lot to work with.

We are also working hard to get our first FunDay activity ready. Although its theme is currently "under wraps", I can tell you that a chocolate fondue fountain will probably be involved.
Is there anything more delicious? I think not!

Danielle E.
Financial Intern

Monday, July 06, 2009

Learning by Doing

As an intern at Liggett Stashower, I’ve already been able to do some pretty cool things. For one, I was able to get a glimpse into the future last Tuesday during our fieldtrip to The Plain Dealer. No, I’m not referring to some all encompassing philosophy or piece of machinery that the historic Cleveland newspaper has suddenly adopted to guide its operation into the next decade. I’m literally talking about a sneak peek into the next day’s news, before just about anyone else! OK, what I’m really talking about is the packet we were given during the editorial meeting we sat in on which outlined the topics that were to be covered in the next day’s issue. It wasn’t exactly stepping into a time machine, but it was pretty close. It’s not everyday you can go home and tell your dad what will be on the front page of the newspaper the day before it is even printed.

Needless to say, our visit to The Plain Dealer is just one of the many things I’ve enjoyed since I started my internship. The very first day I was here, I was handed a creative supplement for a client that involved some investigative-style web research. The next day, I found myself calling users of a client product in order to acquire and compile their testimony. Since then, I’ve been involved in various client-related scenarios that will use my contributions to create the final product. It certainly is rewarding as an intern to have a chance to become this involved, this quickly.

My fellow interns and I got the chance to become a part of the spectacle that is the annual Duct Tape Festival in Avon, and to label those in attendance as enthusiastic about the sticky, multipurpose adhesive wouldn’t be going far enough.

To say everyone here is friendly and accommodating would be an understatement. The internship program here is very well organized and set up in such a way that I was able to feel comfortable from day one. The best part is, I haven’t even had to do any of those stereotypical intern chores, such as making copies and pouring cups of coffee. Not that I would oppose taking on any of those “assignments”, it’s just nice to know that my time here as an intern is about so much more.
Patrick B.
Creative Intern

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Moving Out!

I have been here three weeks and finally know my way around. I can find offices, conference rooms and even extra paperclips. Unfortunately, this knowledge is useless because we are moving this weekend! So Monday morning I will have to begin the process again. What can I say, at least I am always learning!

The first few weeks have flown by here at Liggett. It feels like yesterday I was given the grand tour and was introduced to everyone. I have experienced a great deal since that first day. I have sat in on brainstorming sessions, worked on revisions, helped at the Duck Tape Festival and toured The Plain Dealer. Just yesterday, I had the opportunity to assist a photographer on a photo shoot. There, I learned that dynamic movement, detail, and unique angles create an interesting composition.

The mentor program is one of the most rewarding elements of the Liggett Internship. It is refreshing to have someone you can go to with any question or concern. My mentor, Wes, is always willing to stop what he is doing and listen to any question I have. Also, he knows what I am going through as a young designer. To improve my concepting skills, Wes has assigned me a side project that consists of researching and concepting for a logo. The process he taught me to go through has given me the ability to get a lot of ideas down quickly.

As the Fourth of July weekend approaches, I sense the office eagerly anticipating the first day at the new space. While helping move boxes, I have seen our new office and I can tell it is a space that will SPARK great ideas.

Abie M.
Graphic Design Intern

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

"Miss a day. Miss a lot."

Although it has become easier, quicker and, many times, more convenient to access the latest news stories through the Internet, I cannot deny the fact that there is something special about holding an actual newspaper in my hand.

But, with that being said, there isn’t any doubt that there is a shift not only in the way that news outlets are disseminating their stories, but also with how individuals are retrieving that information. The widespread use of handheld devices and computers has forced the news industry and its journalists to transform the way they provide information to the public.

All of these thoughts were reinforced by the field trip that the intern class took to the to The Plain Dealer (PD) this afternoon. After Ted, PD’s Reader Representative, welcomed us, we began our experience by having the pleasure of sitting in on one of the main news meetings that occur each and every day. These specific news meetings are a time when all of the section editors can come together to discuss the topics that will be addressed in the next day’s newspaper. This meeting provided us with a glimpse into the daily processes at a large newspaper as well as an opportunity to personally interact with the editors.

After the meeting, Ted took us on a quick tour of the building, giving us a little more information on the roles of the different editors and writers. It is inevitable that newspapers around the world are beginning to restructure themselves in order to accommodate current changes within the newspaper industry, such as those mentioned above. Ted told us that the focus of many newspapers is their financial struggle, which has stemmed from decreasing advertising sales, and not due to a decrease in readership. The way that the PD is dealing with these issues is by trimming down on the number of employees and the number of pages in their newspaper. Ted mentioned a very good point - it is important to note that people around the world are still as intrigued, influenced and interested in reading the news, regardless of the outlets they use to retrieve the information.

As a Liggett intern, I really appreciated the opportunity to visit the PD and better understand life within a newspaper. Throughout the first two weeks of this internship, I have begun to see why this summer experience will be so beneficial. While interning at Liggett, we have the chance to not only work on a wide variety of projects, but also take informative field trips around Cleveland – all of these things will help to provide us with a well-rounded experience at Liggett this summer. I’m looking forward to the upcoming field trips, projects and moving into our new building next week.

Rachel Z.
Connection Planning Intern