#internship #digitalmarketing #luxury #buildyourpath
Never in my life did I ever imagine that I would work in Paris for a full year with two internships! I had yet still to master the difficult language that is French, and I was happy to land on just one internship in Paris at the beginning. However, I can finally say that I survived one full year in the French working environment and I have improved my French level to at least B1. (Yes, I am very proud.) And of course, I am happy to be back to HEC after spending a year away from my fellow classmates!
How I got interested in Digital Marketing
Before coming to HEC, I worked in Finance and Consulting briefly. I was looking for different career opportunities and I hoped that I would find the answers to my future in HEC Paris. I did! In the 2nd semester from my M1, I took an elective called ‘Digital Marketing for Consumer Goods’ with Danone. At that time, I took this course for three reasons: firstly, I wanted to know more about the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) industry. Secondly, digital marketing sounded like fun, and finally, someone from Danone teaching us would give us great insights about the actual job. While I was taking this course, I was shocked at how digital technology was changing the game in marketing! The future was already here, and I wanted to be a part of it. That’s when I really started to look for ‘digital marketing’ opportunities. I had to see it with my own eyes and experience what was happening out there.
Being an International Digital Assistant at Publicis Media
My first internship was with Publicis Media, which is a part of one of the largest French media groups in France, ‘Publicis Groupe’. I found the internship on the HEC JobTeaser platform, and I took one interview for the process. After I got chosen, I was the International Digital Assistant for six months and my main job was to assist the digital director to deliver the agency’s expertise in digital media. Our major client was Richemont Group, a leading luxury group specializing in Swiss watches and jewelry. The sector of the client was in hard luxury, so it was crucial that as the media agency, we plan and buy the most prestigious yet efficient and effective means of communicating its campaigns; we did so through different media channels. As a digital intern, I mostly focused on advertising for Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. I would make campaign results for different brands and analyze the effects. Before this position, I naively took Facebook as just a platform to connect with people. However, I did not know that Facebook for business was a huge advertising platform! I got to learn about the different formats of advertisements, target audiences, and generally about the digital media landscape. This area has gained more and more importance for brands nowadays as they want to increase brands’ awareness with millennials.
Our team served as the International Headquarters, and so we were very international and diverse. There were more than 30 people from more than 15 countries around the world! Although we spoke French during daily conversations and meetings, most of the time during our work, we spoke in English.
Also, the environment around the media agency was very much like that of Google! Our whole office was open plan, with cool meeting rooms and conference rooms. The atmosphere was not rigid at all and actually quite welcoming! For example, someone would start to sing aloud all of a sudden and everyone would naturally follow! We had nice, small gatherings often, and despite the large size of the team, everyone got along pretty well and so we were able to build a strong team.
What I learned the most during this internship was about the media/advertising landscape, especially in terms of the digital – social media included. It is not something anybody taught me directly, but I tried to learn as much as possible by reading a lot and checking each platform (also many reports!)
My second internship at Richemont Marketing Services
Actually, my second internship was related to my first internship. Like I mentioned before, I worked in Publicis mostly for Richemont Marketing Services, a department which is dedicated to serving the Richemont Groupe concerning marketing matters. Therefore, when I applied for the job (which again I found on HEC job teaser), they asked my current boss about me before they decided to interview me. Even after I got the job, my former boss would sometimes have lunch with my boss at Richemont, which was a very special case indeed! Long story short, thanks to my dedication and performance at Publicis, it led me to another opportunity.
In Richemont, I learned more about owned and earned media whereas, in Publicis, it was mostly for paid media. I would analyse the result of some of Richemont’s brand performances on Instagram, and see how viral the post went. Also, I was working for the Competitor Intelligence Team, so I would keep up with the competitor’s social media strategies and performances.
Overall, what I learned from Richemont was about dedication and professionalism. I was impressed at the level of perfectionism in all the reports. Sometimes it would take months to prepare some reports! I also loved how all the employees in the organization were very passionate about the industry, and I enjoyed talking to them about different issues in the industry.
Internship tips from finding internships to how to maximize the opportunity
Finally, I have some tips to share that I think would be useful.
- Know what field you want to work, leverage the courses from HEC Paris!
- Maximize your search skills with Jobteaser, Linkedin, Glassdoor.com, and of course- HEC email!
- Appeal to your motivation and willingness to learn, especially if you lack the language aspects!
- Try to appreciate and adapt to the French working environment!
- Learn as much as possible from the job, and connect with people for the future!