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Student learns from Los Angeles internship

By Zachary Araki
On February 20, 2018

Senior marketing major  Zachary Harrison learned more than advertising skills at his internship with Universal McCann Worldwide Inc. in Los Angeles the past summer. Zachary Araki/The Lion’s Roar

Senior marketing major Zachary Harrison gained practical experience doing advertising work with Uber and Sony Electronics Inc.

Harrison interned with the global media and advertising agency Universal McCann Worldwide Inc. over the past summer, from June 5 to Aug. 11. Harrison appreciated the networking opportunity of the internship.

“I got to work with people from China, from Boston, Atlanta, California of course, and meeting these people from all over the country and globe really helped me,” said Harrison. “It was kind of eye-opening to see not only just other cultures in general, but just to see how they work. McCann is an international company, so we were dealing with international campaigns sometimes. Just being able to see how all that works was amazing. I definitely would encourage anyone to get an internship any way you can because it will benefit you down the road for sure.”

Along with other advertising skills, Harrison learned how to hone his public speaking skill.

“I had to give that presentation in front of probably 200 people, not to mention the head of Uber marketing for the company was there,” said Harrison. “I mean, it was kind of hard to imagine, or kind of difficult to give that kind of presentation in that sort of manner, but I think it really helped with public speaking obviously, stuff like communications. But honestly, I learned a good bit about Microsoft Office. There were things I had no idea it was capable of doing until I got to this internship.” 

Harrison shared how he got into advertising.

“I actually entered school being a nursing major and quickly changed that, and I just looked at a curriculum,” said Harrison. “And I always thought that I was a creative enough person to work in advertising, and I’ve always enjoyed that sort of creativity, free-spirited, free-minded kind of creativity. So, I think I just found my niche when I dropped out of the nursing curriculum and went into the marketing and advertising curriculum.”

According to Harrison, the internship gave him a “competitive advantage” in the job market.

Harrison said, “It’s a huge thing that employers look for nowadays is to have some sort of internship experience or some sort of hands-on, real-world experience. So I think even if I were to say try to find another company other than Universal McCann, who I worked with over the summer, I feel like having a name like that on my resume is going to help me out tremendously. But even if it was just another advertising agency in Baton Rouge, it’d still be good to have that experience and to be that way when you get hired. You can prove your knowledge. You want people to know you’re knowledgeable and that they won’t have to baby you the whole time.”

For the internship, Harrison lived in Los Angeles. One of the setting changes he noticed was the traffic.

“You live in a city with millions and millions of people, but I mean, weather was great,” said Harrison. “People over there, honestly you couldn’t really tell the difference. They were really good people over there. I mean, overall, it was just great experience as far as just the city life but definitely different than Hammond.”

After graduation, Harrison plans to return to Los Angeles and join the team he was working with before. Harrison discussed what he enjoyed about the internship beyond the work experience.

“I definitely enjoyed some of the activities that didn’t go along necessarily with work, like they sent the interns on a Six Flags field trip,” said Harrison. “Because they’re a huge partner of ours and we do a lot of work with them, we got to tour Snapchat headquarters. But honestly, I really enjoyed the Uber work, not necessarily the presentation because that was the harder part, but just the work leading up to it. I had a really great group, people that I still talk to to this day, almost weekly.”

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