August 17, 2012

When Wrong is Right: Reflections of a Summer Intern, In Which I May Or May Not Reference Wikipedia

I read a great quote the other day by Jonathan Chilton Pierce. He wrote,

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”

Okay, I have no idea who Jonathan Chilton Pierce is. And I admit, I found this quote on Pinterest. But regardless, these thirteen words pack a lot of punch. They resonate with me particularly regarding my education, work, life, and this summer, my internship.

I spent all of spring semester trying to figure out Summer 2012. There were several options – I was afraid of picking the wrong one.

Ivor Andrew happened this summer because I overcame that fear. Walking in downtown Wheaton one afternoon, I saw the sign for Ivor Andrew and stopped. I wanted an internship with an advertising agency, and now out of nowhere one had appeared at my front door. I hesitated. Was this the right choice? The little red rocketship seemed to be calling to me with some sort of ethereal hypnotic power. Feeling much like Jim Carrey’s title character in Bruce Almighty ascending stairs in a mystery whitewashed abandoned building, I opened the door and went up to the second floor office.

Unlike Bruce, I did not find God or Morgan Freeman residing on the upper level. But I did find Keith and Dan (who are pretty much the same thing, right?) along with Ivor Andrew headquarters.

The rest is history. I started my internship in May, and August is here already. Yet in these short couple of months, I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge about advertising, marketing, and all that goes with it.

The amount of hands-on experience I’ve had is incredible. Writing professional copy for real clients that is actually produced– how many interns get to do stuff like that? Discovering a brand’s voice, finding my own, pinning, blogging, writing, brainstorming – I did it all. And every step of the way I’ve had to practice the same principle I confronted that day I first walked unannounced into Ivor Andrew: To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. The creative life would’ve been quite different for me this summer had I passed Ivor Andrew by, chose to give in to the fear of being wrong. Creativity knows no boundaries, so as a creative individual my job is to ignore the limits so easily set upon oneself. To stop thinking, and start imagining. Thinking can be critical, analytical. Imagining inherently cannot.

As I start my junior year of college, one step closer to the “real world” after graduation, I’ve got a lot on my mind. Working for the school newspaper and public relations office, volunteering with the American Advertising Federation, and other extracurriculars will keep me plenty busy, not to mention filling out various applications, a steady stream of theatre, and oh yeah, classes. But it will be different this time because of my internship experience this summer. Ivor Andrew has given me, well, a “boost” up in the world by helping me learn more about not only the advertising industry, but also myself and what I want to do with my life. You can’t put a price tag on that.

By the way, I found out that Jonathan Chilton Pierce is an American author on several books about child development. Yes, I did learn this through Wikipedia, which some might say is a dubious source of credible information. But heck, I’m not afraid to be wrong.

Thank you Keith, Dan, Scott, Joanna, Lucas, Jake and the entire Ivor Andrew enterprise for a fantastic summer internship experience. It’s been fun.