Revel-ations of a copywriting intern.
Most 19-year-olds dream of a summer vacation filled with music festivals, beach days, and adolescent shenanigans. A typical 19-year-old doesn't spend their summer vacation in creative meetings, optimizing blog posts for SEO efficiency, or building a CEO’s LinkedIn strategy. I don't fit the mold of your average 19-year-old. This summer, I spent twelve weeks interning as a copywriter at Revel. And it was the best choice I could have made.
As their copywriting intern, I had no idea what to expect. No matter what I was prepared for, nothing I imagined could have been better than the experience I had. In the twelve weeks I spent at Revel, I have learned several important lessons. I learned how to draft an effective and efficient press release. I learned how to help create cohesive branding across multiple platforms. I learned how to write and execute strategies for various social media platforms. And I learned that being a successful business is in the hands and hearts of the employees.
In the twelve weeks I spent in my first corporate job, I became a better writer, marketer, and human being. Here are my biggest takeaways from my time at Revel:
1. Being thrown into the deep end isn’t a bad thing.
In the first week of my internship, I was thrown into the marketing world head first. I had clients and tasks and oh so many meetings. Even though I was excited to be learning and engaging with the world of marketing, if I’m being completely honest, I was terrified too. What if I was horrible at marketing? What if I wrote something and everyone thought it was the worst thing they had ever read? Even before I had started, I didn’t know if I had what it took to live up to everyone’s expectations, including my own. Revel is built on the idea of doing good work; I wanted to live up to their exemplary standards. Everywhere you look around the Revel office, their work hangs. There are banners of previous projects, clips of artwork that has been chosen by a client, and pieces of the rich Muskegon history covering the walls. The work produced at Revel never failed to amaze me. The way the team celebrates their successes together amazed me even more.
2. Working together is the best way to work.
Revel is more than just a workplace; it really is a family. My major takeaways from this internship have as much to do with the people as they do with the skills I acquired. The support I received from each member of the staff was invaluable. From sending me tacos on the HeyTaco channel in our team Slack to giving me a little extra encouragement for a job well done to getting actual tacos at Rad Dads on our lunch breaks, I wasn’t just a temporary intern; I was one of the employees. There was never a dull moment. Watching the staff interact and getting to be a tiny piece of the incredible dynamic made this experience all the more spectacular. As much as I learned how to build a content calendar and write effective and eloquent social media posts, I learned that the day goes by much quicker with a team Whippi Dip ice cream run, that you always bring a cooler on a client trip to the East side of the state because the trip to Zingerman’s afterward will require one, that a mid-day Goldfish snack helps write the best LinkedIn strategies (Thank you, Tina, for always keeping my Cheddar Flavor Blast stocked!), and that working together is the best way to “build something greater.”
3. Curve balls are part of the job description.
Every day in the office brought a new challenge, and no two days were ever alike. Curve balls were becoming my new normal, ready to transition between projects or restart from a new perspective when necessary. As someone who is typically a planner and loves to have everything prescheduled, it was an adjustment for me. It taught me to go with the flow and think on my feet. Now, I’m ready for anything thrown at me with a moment's notice. It could be restarting a blog post that isn’t quite right or creating a new caption for an upcoming social media post after a new angle is discovered or more information comes out; whatever the exciting new challenge may be, I’m ready to take it on. I realized I thrived on the challenge of adopting new tones and voices for each client. It was a thrill to have to take on a new writing persona every time I started typing. Even changing my style based on the platform I was writing for proved to be an exciting twist to my day. I loved being able to immerse myself in a client and really get to know what made them successful and what they valued. There was nothing more rewarding than looking at a finished blog post or series of social posts or press releases and realizing I created something out of a blank document.
4. Business can sometimes be a giant game of Tetris.
Even more than that, I got to experience countless pieces of the business that worked hand-in-hand. Talk about major curve balls. Every Monday morning, I would watch our traffic manager work her magic to create a seamless schedule for everyone. She managed to fit every project and task in perfectly, even adding a few when new ones popped up. I got to witness our account managers juggle timelines and clients and requests in a way that I have never seen before. I worked with our incredible designers to see the process of building campaigns from start to finish. Draft after draft, it was incredible to watch work unfold before me. And seeing work that I had a hand in and watched develop mocked up on billboards and presented to clients never failed to fill me with pride.
5. Teamwork makes the dream work
I can’t thank everyone enough for allowing me to be a part of this team. Even in times of chaos, trying to balance what felt like a thousand projects, I had the best guide to help me navigate it all. Working with Amber gave me so much insight into the world of copywriting. I’ll miss our debates about the Oxford comma, my constant scaring her when I accidentally sneak up on her to ask a question, and the book talks about our favorite series. I credit my word choice and diction to her because of her constant push to find the right word or phrase. Without her guidance, I would have come out of this opportunity with half the skills I have now.
In addition, I couldn’t have asked for better leadership within Revel to give me this fantastic opportunity. Andy and Jason, this opportunity will forever be a highlight in my work life. Allowing me to be a part of this incredible company has been transformative. More than that, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to find a voice in a professional setting. As an intern, it’s easy to be overlooked; at Revel, I always felt valued and heard. In meetings and brainstorms, I was always asked for my opinion and perspective, and it truly made all the difference. You built not only my confidence in the marketing field; you helped form the young professional I am now.
As I travel back to East Lansing and Michigan State University to continue my journalism degree, I know I’ll always have the support of the Revelers. Within this office, I found my footing, and I will bring their support and encouragement with me as I carry on to other jobs and career paths. I could not have asked for a better first corporate job, and I can’t wait to continue pursuing more in the field of marketing. Even from 114 miles away, I know the relationships I fostered at Revel will continue. I’ll watch their incredible work from afar, as they will mine. While my time at Revel may be coming to a close, a part of me will always want to be at my desk long after I've left. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.