Six things I learned during my Internship at PHD Australia

Kate O’Loughlin joined PHD Australia in June 2018 as part of PHD’s Annual Internship Program

Sydney | July 12, 2018

  1. You don’t fetch coffee

Having been swept up into the office assistant role in previous internships and spending my time setting up boardrooms or getting people coffee rather than actually LEARNING anything, I was pleasantly surprised that my experience at PHD was quite the opposite. Every day, I learned new aspects about the account coordinator role I was interning in, as well as Australia’s media landscape. Both the internship training and the day-to-day life with my team really opened my eyes on what a future career in media would be like.


  1. Everyone is 10/10 nice

Starting any new job is hard, let alone one that you have no actual experience in. Despite those initial nerves, my team made me feel at home immediately. Part of the reason my internship was so enjoyable is because I was surrounded by people who have a genuine interest in my growth and development. Even if it means they had to sit down with me for three hours and guide me step by step.


  1. Media has its own language

TARP, AQX, DCM, PROP… huh? It still confuses me. Safe to say, one of the things I had to acknowledge when I started is that the jargon used in media is completely foreign. Sometimes, people will say something and I won’t understand half the words they’ve used. That’s fine though. My co-workers were always more than happy to answer my questions, and I now know the more I work here, the more I will understand.


  1. There are more careers than just strategy

At the beginning of the four weeks, I thought that strategy would be the ultimate career end-goal for those working in media planning and that there really weren’t many other roles to end up in. Boy, was I wrong. Planning, trading, research, content, programmatic and more… all of which are equally as interesting and important as strategy. While strategy remains enticing, it’s clear to me now that PHD will help support and guide me wherever I feel most comfortable in my career development.


  1. There’s a lot behind the ad you get served on Facebook

I never really noticed the ads I was served on Facebook before I started this internship. But now, if I get served either one of our own or a competitor’s ads, I rush to the screen-record button on my phone so that I can show my (probably not as excited) team. I now appreciate and understand that placing an ad (and not only digitally, by the way) entails so much work from all parts of the agency. Even that tiny three-second GIF I scroll through on my Instagram feed has probably passed through the hands of at least six different people. It almost breaks my heart now when my friends say how annoyed they are by ads – if only they knew how much work has gone into them!


  1. Networking is critical

On my first day, my colleagues told me about how important it is to have strong relationships with both your media representatives and publishers. They can often make the deciding difference of projects going out on time, or going the extra mile for you.


Speaking from the agency’s perspective, Gemma Weaver, PHD Australia’s People Development Executive, had this to say about Kate and her time at PHD: “Kate O’Loughlin joined PHD in June this year as part of our Annual Internship Program. Kate quickly impressed the Unilever team whom she was interning with and was offered a permanent role. Kate’s hardworking attitude and willingness to learn have made her a great asset to the team!”