New Responsibilities

This week at my internship was different than the previous weeks, but definitely in a good way. I understood that during, at least the beginning, of my internship I wasn’t going to be given real tasks or responsibility because I am just an intern. Even so, I was still a little disappointed with the lack of or low importance of tasks that I was being given. I knew that I would have to prove that I could be trusted with more important tasks, but I am the type of person that likes to keep busy at all times because I get bored easily, so I wasn’t exactly excited to be given these menial tasks. However, this week things began to change a bit for me in the office, slowly I was getting some more responsibilities given to me that didn’t seem like busy work.

It started with the arrival of a new brief from our client, Bata, which asked our company to produce a series of short videos about their new line of shoe care products. My coworker, Aubri, immediately brought me in to the fold on this new task, having me attend all meetings related to it and designating the two of us and our supervisor Tamas, as the heads of this project. I spent two days researching all possible problems people have with their shoes and ranking them from most to least common in order to find the right concept to make a video about. I also spent time going through all of the products Bata is producing to see what issues we can actually solve with these videos. At first it seemed like the other sort of pointless research projects I had been given, but after a few days of this research and meetings with the client and with our video and graphic designers, I realized that they had basically put me in charge of deciding what all the videos would be about, which was pretty cool for me. I got to present all of the issues with the products that would solve them to the designers and give these topics to my bosses who put together a survey that we sent out to the entire company. Not to mention the fact that these videos, which I got to come up with the ideas for, would be produced and shared to an international audience. Since then, I have met with the designers again to discuss their ideas for how the videos should look and got to share my opinions.

The other responsibility that I have been given in the past week is the creation of a presentation about innovation in social media that is to be given during Agency Day which will be sometime in July. Agency Day is a day of basically bonding between the marketing agency, us, and the client, Bata. I just found out recently that this day existed and what it was and apparently, we have an agency day for each of our accounts. There is a person at Swimming Pool that is leaving the company soon and part of his position involved researching the newest social media trends, platforms, and features and presenting them to our company about once a month at our morning meeting, but in the past he has also done ones during Agency Day to present new technology and ways to improve the clients social media. Since he will not be there this year, my boss Tamas has asked me to take this responsibility over and give the presentation this year. I worked this week with the guy who is leaving to learn more about what exactly he did in these presentations and I began researching and brainstorming topics I could present on. This is an even bigger responsibility to me than the shoe care videos because even though I have been at all of the weekly client meetings with Bata, I have yet to present or say anything real in them. This is an opportunity to show the Bata marketing executives that I know what I am talking about and show them the ideas that I have for their social media strategy.

I think one of the main reasons I want to prove myself to the Bata people so much is that they seem more strict and unlikely to help me improve work that they dislike. My office is more relaxed and willing to tell me what they want me to do and help me with how to do it the first time. The way that Bata acts is a part of Czech culture that I still find difficult to assimilate to; the seeming unfriendliness and hard exterior. This is something I also experience everyday just walking down the street. People won’t smile at you when you pass them or make you feel better about mistakes at work, they’ll just tell you what you did wrong and tell you to fix it. I know that they are not trying to be rude or harsh but coming from a culture where you are expected to be at least moderately friendly to everyone you see, this is a definite shock to my system. I have stopped trying to smile at people on the street, but it still feels weird to me when I don’t smile or see others smiling. It’s almost a little depressing because even if that friendliness is fake in the US, it makes me feel better when I see others acknowledge my presence. Here, I just feel like no one cares about anyone around them and the fact that I have assimilated to this makes me feel disconnected to the world around me. I do love it here, but that is one aspect of US culture that I would love to bring to Czechia. Until next time!