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Rising Talents Take on The Mars Agency Internship Program

9 Jun 2023

The Mars Agency kicked off its 10th annual internship program in May.

The program seeks college juniors or seniors pursuing a degree in marketing, advertising, business or related area, prioritizing those with interests, previous internships or projects in commerce marketing. With over 300 applicants this year, 8 were carefully selected based on their academic rigor, thirst for innovation, willingness to pitch in at all levels, and a tenacity to overcome obstacles.

The internship “sponsors” from the agency’s People & Culture team, Kim Pawlak and Brandi Bialas, along with multiple cross-functional mentors, hired the group to support a variety of functions: Client Leadership, Customer Development, Design & Copy, Strategy, Media and Project Management.

Pre-Covid, our program was conducted in-person at the Southfield headquarters, where our students thrived. After hosting the program remotely last year, “We made the decision to welcome all interns back to our office this year because we recognize the importance of working and learning side by side with fellow interns, mentors, the cross-functional team, and executive leadership,” said Bialas, Director of People & Culture.

The students interviewed this year were energized by the idea of being able to connect live on a daily basis with other Martians, especially after the isolation of virtual Covid programs. This class of interns will also benefit from in-person activities like community service through our Start Small program and socializing at a summer event through our Life on Mars initiative.

In the 12-week program, each intern works with one or more mentors on a specific team or piece of business, which gives them a deeper understanding of agency work and life.

As always, the interns work as a team throughout the summer to deliver a marketing campaign based on a real-life client business opportunity to one of our Fortune 500 clients. In August, they will collectively present their assignment, findings and results during a company-wide town hall, 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 to be just as stellar,” Kris Abrahamson, SVP of Client Leadership, noted. In past years, the clients have adopted some concepts presented by the interns to fuel other ideas.

While our interns will be based in Michigan this summer, they come from colleges and universities around the country. Our summer 2023 class includes:

  • Ben Stack, a recent graduate from Emerson College with a degree in marketing communications, on the Strategy team.
  • Bella Zaleski, a recent graduate from the University of Alabama with a degree in advertising, on Creative.
  • Adaeze Okere, a rising senior at the College for Creative Studies pursuing a degree in advertising, on Creative.
  • Max Breaugh, a rising senior at Miami University pursuing a degree in marketing, on Project Management.
  • Elizabeth Byarski, a recent graduate from the University of Dayton with a degree in Marketing, on Customer Development.
  • Hailey Waisik, a recent BSBA graduate from Central Michigan University with a degree in logistics management and marketing, on Client Leadership.
  • Yoel Gebremariam, a rising senior at the University of Michigan pursuing a degree in marketing and HR, on Client Leadership.
  • Keiley Black, a rising senior at Albion College pursuing a degree in integrated marketing communication, on Media.

“Our program has a dual purpose,” explains Pawlak, VP of People & Culture. “We want to give our interns an opportunity to be a part of a dynamic, cross-functional agency team that helps refine their skills and gain real-world experience in their field of choice. But we’re also looking 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 of the 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.

Eligible candidates interested in our 2024 internship program should visit our website in November for details on how to apply.

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