Intern Insider: All About Strategy

Jul 23, 2018

Our summer internship program is back, which means a new batch of extraordinary interns from across the globe join us in the Big Apple for 10-weeks of work and play. Interns at Y&R are immersed into the thick of the advertising world, doing real work for real clients, with mentors to help them along the way. No matter which department they are in, Y&R interns aren’t chasing coffee (except for themselves of course). In the following weeks, our Intern Insider Series will highlight some of these experiences from interns in Account Management, New Business, BAV, Strategy, and Creative. They’ll offer helpful points on getting acclimated to agency life and building new connections as they sharpen skills that prepare them for the ever changing world of business.

From Philadelphia to Boulder to New York, Samantha Masterson, YR NY Strategy intern, is all about making the most of her experiences. She takes us through so of the master tips she’s gained so far. Majoring in advertising, Samantha is the entire package and a powerhouse intern.

1. From the classroom to Y&R, what were some of the learning hurdles that you had to jump?

Being taken out of the academic environment and being put into an agency environment has taught me how to apply the skills I have and work with what I know, all while still learning and picking up on new things. That's helped me with any of the hurdles I've faced.

2. Could you describe your initial experience compared to how you are feeling now?

Y&R is such an established agency, so I knew the other interns coming in were from great schools with extensive backgrounds in advertising. Everyone helps you here and is your biggest cheerleader. I feel like my work means something. When I come in, people rely on me to get things done because, here, interns are not just given busy work. Everything is one great team effort.

I work on a lot of different accounts, so I’ve been juggling three projects everyday, which has been a challenge, but a great experience nonetheless. And since starting my internship I’ve been building out brand architectures and deciding who this company is to the world, how they're going to present themselves and how they're going to position themselves.


Because of my experience at Y&R I’m more empowered. Now that I'm here, working on different accounts, I feel like I can hold my own and have a place here.


3. What are some skills you have developed in the Strategy department?

I’ve definitely learned what reliable expertise and insights to use. There are a lot of places you can do random google searches, but for specific areas, I had to understand how to hunt efficiently for sources that are going to provide me with information that's reliable and accurate. I’ve become much more efficient and quicker at finding these reliable sources. Other things that are simple like setting up schedules, and using scheduling assistant I ended up learning how to use rather quickly.

4. Interns are typically balling on a budget, how do you squeeze as much as you can out of your money?

I’ve been buying fewer groceries and try not to order out. I'll go to Fairway Market or buy fruit from street vendors which tends to be cheap and fills me up for a lot of the day. For lunch, the cafe in Y&R is such a good deal because it's not expensive at all. Aside from food, to save money, I walk everywhere and don't take transportation. I’ve also canceled my subscriptions for things in the summer because I don't have much time to watch TV. I penny pinch any way I can.

5. What are some of the ways that you researched housing? Or if you are from New York, what are some ways you needed to adapt to Y&R’s internship?

I'm not from New York. I was born and raised in Philadelphia, and go to the University of Colorado Boulder. My dad and brother work in New York often, so I’ve gained a lot of connections here. I asked them if they knew of any good, inexpensive housing options and talked with friends from high school about the housing in New York. I reached out to my social circles in Boulder and Philadelphia to see if anyone was going to be in New York and actually ended up getting my apartment through a family friend for the summer. It's only a mile door to door from the office to my apartment, so it’s perfect.

6. Y&R’s mission is to “resist the usual,” tell us how you plan to use that mission after your internship?
I resist the usual by making my voice heard. I'm not just sitting in the corner taking notes for the whole summer, avoiding work, not asking for work, being afraid. Now that I've been here two weeks, I'm resisting the usual because I'm speaking up and making my place known.

From Hourly to Salary: A Word from Interns that Made the Cut


Millie Tunnell may seem like a familiar name if you are a repeat reader of the Intern Insider. That’s because just last summer she was interning in the strategy department! It comes as no surprise that Millie is back in the office as a full time employee after working hard during the Summer Internship Program. She impressed people around the office with her serious work ethic, and passion for understanding how people think. After digging deep during her internship project in her strategy role she found insights that had yet to be discovered which ultimately led to a job.

1. What's the biggest difference between your internship experience and your current standing?

As an intern, I did a lot of research, but now, I'm expected to produce more content. At first, I was really intimidated. Briefing creatives or sharing my opinion was nerve wracking at first, but I'm a lot more confident in my role now. As a strategist, your job is to sell the idea, which is why your perspective is important.

2. What stood out about Y&R while interning here, that made you come back for a full time position?

The fact that this company wanted to see me grow and encouraged me to ask questions is what sold me on coming back full-time. The people here went out of their way to give me projects that would benefit and help me. Interning during the summer and completing projects during my internship showed me that the possibilities are endless.


Y&R has encouraged me to bring my unique characteristics and brains to the table. Here, I've been able to find my voice and be more of myself here.


3. Y&R’s mission is to “resist the usual,” tell us how you utilize that in your daily routine?

New York City in general, but also advertising agencies attract a certain kind of person, someone that's curious and willing to try new things. A part of that is resisting your social settings, biases you may have, and having the ability to listen to other people's stories. I've always told myself ‘I don't want to just do what's expected of me’, which is why I moved to New York to resist the usual.

Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @youngrubicam to see what our interns are doing all summer long. Next week's Intern Insider feature will be BAV, so stay tuned!