Hi, I’m Danielle. An intern at BRACT since April 2021. Fresh (ish) out of university in Miami with COVID ruining all of my post-graduation plans, I decided to use the next few months to gain experience in a professional setting. After multiple interviews and not really clicking with any of my interviewers, my very last call was with Lisa. And I kind of knew immediately that she was the person I wanted to work for.
She had been an intern several times over, and knew exactly how to (and not to) handle having one, which made me feel all the better.
Ready, set, go?
Lisa says I walked in with confidence, but in reality I was scared shitless (sorry 🤷). Moving to a new country, working in an Israeli setting with a French boss… you see my point?
I felt like I didn’t know anything. And looking back now, I probably didn’t because the educational system can only teach you so much before you step into a real, professional setting. All of these words being thrown at me like branding, marketing, communication, SEO, CRM, advertising, analytics, insights, targeting, UX, UI, positioning, USP (believe me, I could keep going) I had heard previously in school, in conversation, in passing, etc. But had I ever used them and applied them? Not professionally!
So, I was scared.
I didn’t want to make mistakes and let Lisa down.
But I forgot to acknowledge the fact that 1) making mistakes is part of learning and growth and 2) she knew what it was like to be me. She wasn't going to let me fail.
Anyway, I reminded myself that I was here to learn, and that my boss already knew. So I asked questions, constantly.
And slowly, but also pretty quickly, I learned. I took all of the critiquing and advice and used them to alter the way I worked.
Eventually, I caught on.
Don’t get me wrong. There's still so much I have to learn. But throughout this period of time in Tel Aviv, I really pushed myself to learn as much as I could for my own benefit. I wanted to set myself up for success.
The cool boss.
Despite having a regular work day during the week, I was completely free on the weekends. Lisa knew how important it was for me to have a balanced schedule between work and exploring this new country I just moved to. So, from 10am to 5pm, Sunday to Thursday (Israeli workweek, it’s weird) she was my boss (even though she hates that term), and on the weekends, she was my friend.
She was always interested in what places I enjoyed the most, if I explored the country and encouraged me to meet new people and travel wherever my heart desired.
But more than just being a boss, she became a mentor that, unbeknownst to me, I really needed to help guide me. All of these tasks assigned to me would be thoroughly explained and the explanations would include how to execute them, as well as why they were important to business development.
This method is far more helpful than just breaking down what I had to do. I wanted to know why I was doing what I was doing. I wanted to ensure it would have an impact on the business and why it would.
And, luckily for me, it did. Without realizing, I made a pretty decent copywriter. But again, I didn’t know the term for the profession. I didn’t even know it was a profession! Writing always came pretty naturally to me, but creativity didn’t.
So, with the combination of my writing skills, or rather, what they grew into, and Lisa’s creative capabilities, we were able to improve the website’s SEO and move from page 3 to page 1 on Google. In just a couple months!
I don’t wanna lie to you…
Of course, there were instances where Lisa and I didn’t necessarily see eye to eye on certain things, but it had to do more with our backgrounds than work differences.
A young French entrepreneur with an endless list of past experience, and a newly graduated American (half Israeli, mind you) with only a small portion of real-world experience.
Our pasts and upbringings were extremely different, yet we found common ground on multiple things.
The biggest lesson.
So, this heading might have been a little misleading. There isn’t really one huge takeaway that I got from my five months here at the BRACT Agency.
Rather, the culmination of working in a professional setting, bettering my communication skills (both interpersonally and in marketing) and learning how to push myself to explore new sides of a profession despite not knowing what I'm doing have all given me the true confidence to excel in my future endeavors.
I got lucky with a boss, mentor, big sister, confidante, etc. who was extremely understanding and didn’t get mad when something wasn’t fully understood. But this experience also made me realize that this is exactly how learning opportunities should be. If something isn’t understood the first time, explain it again, maybe in a different way.
So perhaps my biggest takeaway was learning how to treat those who have something to learn from you.
Lisa told me that I would work well leading and teaching others, something like a managerial setting, and maybe she’s right.
So, let’s try this again.
The actual biggest lesson.
It wasn’t necessarily something I learned about the marketing & advertising industry, though, believe me, I learned a lot, but rather about myself and my strengths.
I pride myself on treating others the way I'd like to be treated. This characteristic sets me up for success when I enter my next leading role in, well, whatever comes next.
(No plan yet 😬, but that’s okay)
That being said, I plan to teach accordingly in whatever role I fill in the next chapter after Israel.
Much to my internship program’s dismay, I will not be making Aliyah (moving to Israel) despite how much I love being here. I have plenty of Israeli relatives in Miami to make me feel like I’m back here in a second (cue the shouting).
The only thing I know for now is that I got lucky, and I am grateful that I never took that luck for granted.