July 10, 2012 in The People
Unlike other marketing or advertising internships, OBI Creative’s summer internship program has interns tackling real marketing for a startup company from start to finish. This summer, OBI Creative is reinvigorating its summer internship program with two incredible interns: Karisa Almgren and Jana Roberts.
“Everybody’s always open for new ideas and there are always opportunities to jump in and help. That’s what I love about OBI, besides the great work that we do, it’s the environment. I’m excited to come to work.” Karisa Almgren, Marketing and Public Relations Intern
Karisa graduated in May from Creighton University with a major in marketing and a minor in communications. While at Creighton, Karisa was on the volleyball team and also Philanthropy Chair and Vice President of Public Relations for her sorority.
As she recalls it, her interview for OBI was intimidating not because of the process but due to an electrical problem. Karisa says, “It’s funny because one of the sets of lights in the conference room where I was interviewed was out so it looked like an old school interrogation with the spotlight shining.”
Karisa made it through the interview unflustered and is glad that she did. “I really love what we do. OBI is a great company in such a great field. There’s a certain culture about [OBI] that is incredible,” Karisa says. “It’s just like constant chaos. I feel like the people that work here thrive off of it.” Coming from a volleyball background at the collegiate level, Karisa says that the team atmosphere at OBI impresses her.
“Everybody’s always open for new ideas and there are always opportunities to jump in and help,” She says. “That’s what I love about OBI, besides the great work that we do, it’s the environment. I’m excited to come to work.”
“I loved the office. I loved the atmosphere and the interview was just so fun. It sounded like a really great way to spend my time and it seemed like they really wanted to have the interns do a lot, which is something that I was really set on.” Jana Roberts, Marketing and Public Relations Intern
Jana Roberts will be a senior at Creighton next year and is double majoring in entrepreneurship and marketing. She was also a member of the Creighton dance team as a freshman, sophomore, and junior and in May spent her days at OBI and her nights performing in a musical at the Rose Theater. Her work at OBI has benefited one her own entrepreneurial passions. Roberts says, “I started a dance class, kind of a fitness class that’s my own brand called Korio.”
Some of Jana’s co-workers at OBI have even attended the classes, which are held at Prairie Life Fitness in Midtown, Omaha. Being able to observe OBI’s CEO Mary Ann O’Brien, an entrepreneur herself, has undoubtedly been an invaluable experience.
Jana had an unrealized connection to OBI that she discovered after her internship began. She was featured on an advertisement that OBI had created for the College of Business at Creighton.
She was hooked after visiting OBI for her interview and excited to hear she’d been selected. Jana says, “I loved the office. I loved the atmosphere and the interview was just so fun. It sounded like a really great way to spend my time and it seemed like they really wanted to have the interns do a lot, which is something that I was really set on.”
The first major project that Karisa and Jana worked on at OBI came only a week after their start. One of OBI’s partners had been tapped to work on developing branding for a regional cable provider to college kids for move in day. Karisa and Jana completed, in true OBI style, a three-day whirlwind research process examining different colleges that the client provides service to.
The reward for the interns was seeing the work created that was in part inspired by their research. Jana says, “The ideas were so cool. When I go back to school in the fall those advertisements are going to be on campus and I’ll be able to tell my friends. ‘I helped on that account.’”
The startup project
One of the major projects that OBI’s interns are working on is marketing a startup company in the health and wellness industry from scratch. From research and brand development, to execution, the interns have been put in charge of this account and are running it in the same way that OBI does for all of its clients. The interns are working closely with the staff at OBI and are able to pull from their expertise to complete the statement of work initially outlined with the startup.
Karisa says that the experience is unique and valuable because it’s something that they can take ownership of. She’s glad that OBI is confident enough in the interns’ abilities to trust them with such an enormous project.
Jana can relate to the startup’s business owner, because of her own entrepreneurial aspirations.
Seeing a client realize their marketing needs from start to finish would be enough, but that’s not all that Jana and Karisa are up to this summer at OBI.
OBI is by no means spearheading the fundraiser, but the interns are coordinating OBI’s involvement with Boys Town’s inaugural Blue Water Bash, which will benefit the Boys Town summer camp in Okoboji. The interns are cheerleading the OBI staff to seek out additional sponsors and auction items for the event. They’ve also been busy cold-calling and visiting businesses to seek donations.
The Blue Water Bash isn’t the only event that the interns are helping with. This year happens to be the 10th anniversary of OBI Creative, a milestone that demands celebration. Jana and Karisa are in charge of the planning and execution of this event — occurring in August — that will honor OBI’s staff, current clients and potential clients. The event is being kept under wraps, but the interns promise that they’ve selected a theme that not only represents OBI, but also will engage guests in a way that they won’t soon forget.
After working with OBI, both interns said that they’d love to work at the advertising agency.
Karisa says if she can’t work for OBI in the future she at least now knows now that she loves the advertising industry. Her dream job throughout college was working in the marketing department for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, an organization that she was introduced to through her sorority’s philanthropy efforts.
Jana will finish up her senior year at Creighton starting in the fall. She still has the entrepreneurial itch and one day hopes to apply what she’s learned at OBI to making Korio a national brand. Jana says she’d be just as happy working for a marketing firm that helps entrepreneurs. She says, “As much as I want to see my visions come true, I get just as much enjoyment out of helping other people fulfill their dreams for small business.”
No matter where these bright interns end up, after interning with OBI, Jana and Karisa are both confident that they will take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to real world marketing.