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Rising Stars to Gain Real World Experience

20 Jul 2022

This summer, The Mars Agency kicked off its ninth year offering an internship program. From close to 400 applicants this year, 13 were carefully chosen from across the U.S. based on their academic rigor; thirst for keeping abreast of innovation, trends and current events; willingness to pitch in at all levels; and tenacity to work through challenges.

The agency’s People & Culture internship “sponsors,” Kim Pawlak and Brandi Bialas, along with multiple cross-functional mentors, selected this dynamic group to cross-functionally support Client Leadership, Customer Development, Media, Strategy, Creative, Marilyn, and our Frameshop.

Each intern works with one or more mentor on a specific team or piece of business, providing them with a deeper understanding of agency work and life. Additionally, every year, the interns are assigned a real project from one of our clients. This group will be working together on a product from a food-focused client with a goal of targeting a younger, health-conscience audience.

The project brief asks for a shopper marketing journey, communication strategy, and creative “hook,” giving the interns the opportunity to collectively utilize their diverse range of skills and gain experience in client-facing work with guidance from the client team. In August, they will collectively present their assignment, findings, and results to the rest of the agency during a company-wide meeting, and then later to the client.

Clients have been extremely impressed with the intern ideas and solutions in the past, and we’re expecting this year’s output to be just as stellar. Previously, the projects have gained longevity with clients via leveraged strategy and/or creative or have sparked other concepts.

At the inception of the program, candidates worked in person in one of our U.S.-based offices. The recent adoption of remote work has allowed us to widen our net and recruit candidates that otherwise might not have had the opportunity to join us. This year, our interns are based in 10 different states with a variety of educational pursuits at universities around the country.

Our 2022 summer interns are:

  • Gabriel Darviche on the Customer Development team. He is a rising junior in Marketing and Management at the University of Richmond.
  • Patricia Wang on the Customer Development team. Patricia is a 2021 Economics graduate of Brandeis University and a rising junior in Economics and Psychology at the University of Michigan.
  • Becca Jarrett on the Media team. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Media, Culture, and Technology at the University of Virginia.
  • Keiley Black on the Media team. She is a rising junior in Integrated Marketing Communications at Albion College.
  • Grace Steinagel on the Strategy team. Grace is a rising senior in Strategic Communications at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
  • Anna Samborsky on the Marilyn team. Anna is a rising senior in Marketing at Pennsylvania State University.
  • Max Jaffe on the Business Solutions team. Max is currently pursuing a Master’s in Economic Policy at Tulane University.
  • Harper Aumock on the Client Leadership team. She is a rising Marketing and Communication senior at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul.
  • Ansley Dale on the Client Leadership team. Ansley is a rising junior in Finance and Marketing at Baylor University.
  • Naomi Madu on the Client Leadership team. She is a senior in Strategic Communications at the University of Kansas.
  • Olivia Kienzle on the Creative team. She is a senior in Advertising at Syracuse University.
  • Nour Jamalaldin on the Creative team. She is a recent BFA graduate from the College for Creative Studies with a degree in Advertising Design.
  • Jack Chisik on the Frameshop team. Jack is a rising junior in Digital Film at the College for Creative Studies.

“The intent is to provide rising juniors and seniors across the country an opportunity to be part of a dynamic, cross-functional agency team by offering a 12-week dual-purpose curriculum that allows for direct team alignment and mentoring,” says Kim Pawlak, VP of People & Culture, on the goal of the program. “Plus, it offers a full team collaboration assignment behind a real client business opportunity. All the while, our goal is to identify the best and brightest graduates or near-graduates and hire them on as full-time employees.”

Since the beginning of the program in 2013, The Mars Agency has brought on 75 interns as full-time employees. With a focus on growth for our people as one of the core agency pillars, the internship program has been an incredible opportunity to cultivate young talent within the agency itself.

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