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6 Months In: What I’ve Learned as TDR’s Digital Advertising Intern

September 3, 2019  |   Mikaela Gardner

Coming in as an intern, I didn’t know what to expect. 

I had never been one before, and my only image of a typical intern came from movies and TV shows where they’re usually treated like glorified baristas to someone’s personal assistant. Needless to say, I was a little nervous on my first day… but boy was I in for a pleasant surprise. My preconceived notions of an intern were wrong — at least one at The Digital Ring. 

Right off the bat, I was given responsibility and expected to live up to it. I immediately started working on real client accounts and was looped in to important business decisions. In the past six months, things haven’t slowed down a bit, and that’s what I love! The team continues to push me and reward me with more and more responsibility. I haven’t felt or been treated like an “intern” for one minute… and that’s just one reason why this company is so great. 

I’ve been blessed with an amazing six months so far. Reflecting back, there are two things in particular I wish I had known prior to starting my internship — pieces of advice that any future intern at TDR would find helpful. 


#1: Speak up. Don’t be afraid to (respectfully) challenge the status quo.

One thing I wish I knew coming into this role is how much everyone at TDR values new ideas and opinions. At first, I made sure to keep my questions and voice to a minimum, not wanting to cross a line or step on toes. However, I soon realized that the TDR crew expects me to speak up, challenge their strategies and ideas, and strive to find an easier and more efficient way of doing things. TDR embraces voices of change, and wants to hear what everyone (even the intern) has to say. 


#2: Learn at your own pace — and don’t worry if that pace seems “slow.”  

I also wish I had realized that the TDR team wants me to feel comfortable learning at my own pace — and that wherever I’m at in the learning process is just fine. Early on, I felt as if I needed to understand everything that went into paid digital advertising (PDA), and be able to remember all the information that was told to me at once. I thought that if I didn’t pick everything up right away, I wasn’t being helpful. But boy was I wrong — again. In reality, the team I work with truly enjoys teaching me and they understand that everyone learns at a different pace. In fact, they’d rather I move “slower,” fully understanding the “why’s,” “how’s,” and “what’s next’s” in order to provide deeper, more thoughtful insights and take the lead on my own.   

Overall, in the past six months, I’ve learned way more than I thought I could, and I’ve taken on more responsibility than I thought I’d be able to. I’ve been beyond blessed to have two amazing bosses (shout-out to Josh and Kayla) who truly want me to learn, excel, and flourish in my role here. They’ve been beyond supportive and understanding of my obligations outside of work. All in all, I’ve loved every second of my internship here, and I can’t wait to see what comes next! 


Interested in joining the TDR team as an intern? You’re in luck — we’re looking for a college student or recent grad to join our crew as a photo/video intern! Learn more here.

image of Mikaela Gardner

Mikaela Gardner

 | Paid Digital Coordinator