I, of course, said this in my mind when I walked back into Treefrog this May for my part-time job. I had interned here last summer, but I wasn’t sure if I’d be coming back. Journalism school and media case competitions have painted a really pretty picture in my head of large-scale agencies in big, bustling cities, and I figured I’d try to intern at one of those. But then reality set in: I’m a small-town girl at heart and I missed home.
So I packed up my things, left Bloomington for the summer, and returned home to Lafayette. I had visited Treefrog twice over
the school year when I was on break, and I had recently accepted a part-time content position here for Summer 2016. (That’s right: no more fast-food jobs for me!) When I came back to Treefrog, it was like I had never left. Everyone was just as welcoming as last summer, and I even got to befriend and collaborate with a few new co-workers.
Just like last summer, I gained quite a bit of knowledge while working, both about the industry and life in general. Here are just five of the many things I learned:
1. Working a 9-to-5 job really does make you feel like an adult.
Granted, our awesome full-timers start bright and early at 7:45am in the summer. But I enjoyed coming in at 9am and staying until the end of the day; I could finish more projects, and I got to spend more time with my co-workers. From taking group coffee breaks to helping clean the office on Thursday afternoons, I felt like part of the family, and someone whom others trusted to get things done. It was also interesting to head into work and leave for home at the same time as other local businessmen and women. Although the Lafayette traffic was especially terrible then, I saw more of my hometown community at work, and I was part of something bigger than myself.
2. Communication is everything.
No wonder our name is Treefrog Marketing and Communications! Being able to express your ideas eloquently and effectively is vital in any job, especially one where you’re the voice of another company. Whenever we write a monthly newsletter or design a brochure, we check with our clients to make sure that everything we’re saying about them is true. As a content specialist, I see it as my duty to inform audiences about our clients and direct them to the law firm, family gym, or plumber that they need. Communication is necessary within the office, too. Being able to ask for help when I have writer’s’ block or walk upstairs to collaborate with our design team keeps communication (and ideas!) flowing, and it reminds me that being a team player will help me succeed.
3. Strategy is everything else.
Strategy=success; it’s as simple as that. Everything we do here at Treefrog starts with strategy: learning everything we can about our clients, their audience, and what marketing services they need from us. Before I start any project, I review our strategies for each client or do a little independent research. An approach or tone that works well for one client might fall flat for another, so I keep that in mind whenever I’m writing. I’ve always loved helping others, and writing unique content for each client is my way of combining this compassion with my God-given talents.
4. You should work (and celebrate your 21st birthday) with people who care about you.
My 21st birthday was on a workday, so as soon as we left the office, my co-workers and I went to Cellar 422, the adorable wine bar next door to Treefrog. Even when a couple of them took me to Harry’s and Brother’s (foreign territory for this IU student), I knew nobody would let me get out of hand. I love that our communication and relationships extend outside of the office, and that we look out for each other. I felt so fortunate that I was spending my birthday– and my workweeks– with such genuine, caring people.
5. It’s okay to make mistakes.
Anyone who knows me well is probably rolling their eyes at this one because I really don’t like to make mistakes, or be wrong, or feel inadequate. With that being said, there have been times I’ve written too few (or too many) social media posts per month, or completely butchered the tone of a law blog, or taken on too many tasks at once. And I’m still guilty of being too hard on myself when these things happen. But lately, I’ve tried laughing at myself and finding solutions instead of complaining or wallowing in self-pity. Let me tell you, rolling with the punches God throws at you is not easy, but it brings you peace of mind when you can.
As you can see, I’ve learned a good deal about communication, strategy, and writing, but Treefrog has taught me so much more. I now understand how to be personable and professional at the same time, and I’ve gained not only co-workers, but friends. I know that leaving this time will be even harder than it was last summer, but God has big plans for me back at school, and I have to go where He leads me. Until next time, Treefrog! You’ll always have my heart.
Treefrog Marketing is an advertising agency focused on small business and located in Lafayette, Indiana. We specialize in strategic marketing and advertising, graphic design, web design, social media, SEO and more. For more information, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Facebook,LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram.