Aug 10, 2015

By the interns, for the interns: tips on thriving at HT

August 10, 2015

By the interns, for the interns: tips on thriving at HT

Written byHighway Twenty
Categories: Culture


Landing an Internship at HT

You’re multifaceted, and chances are, your background is, too.

“I spent my previous summers interning on political campaigns, where my responsibilities included cold-calling voters and researching donor backgrounds. I’ve also dabbled in non-profits and journalism. I stitched my backgrounds together by putting an emphasis on the skillset I have cultivated throughout my collective experiences” – Rachel

“I have spent previous summers fiddling with DNA, and the majority of my coding experience is in software engineering not web development; however, I was able to show my interest by talking about my passion-project of redesigning commonly used websites in my interview.” – Julia

Be digitally present

We both used online portfolios to display past projects. Whether you have a personal website or Behance portfolio, show your skills. Your digital presence also allows you to display your personality to a greater extent than a resume or cover letter — use it to your advantage.

Don’t freak out about your interview

Do your research, but stay cool. Check out our Instagram for daily insights into the office and browse our other social pages for our favorite articles. Be familiar with the company culture, wherever you’re interviewing. During your interview, stay calm and put your best foot forward:

“I would be lying if I told you my interview was smooth. There was a small misunderstanding with the time zone difference and someone spilled coffee all over the HT conference table. I stayed calm and had a sense of humor about it (something you’ll find in the HT office). Also, interviews can be awkward, so be genuine. When HT asked me about my hobbies, I talked about listening to one of my favorite podcasts (Call Your Girlfriend) and called myself a dork. I’m 70% sure that’s what got me hired.” — Rachel

Keep knocking — you’ll get an answer

Take initiative. Reach out as soon as possible and make sure you follow up. Chances are, the people you’re emailing are (extremely) busy and your email may be sitting among many, many others in their mailbox. If you don’t hear back within a couple weeks of reaching out, send a polite reminder. Being persistent shows you’re serious.

A day in the life of an #HTIntern

Company culture

HT means business — but we’re just as serious about smart articles, GIFs, great coffee and Last Chance sales. As a small team, you’ll get to know about everyone’s interests and pick up on shared jokes quickly.

Be willing to jump in

“If you have downtime, or anticipate finishing a project soon, always offer to help. While you may not be 100% confident that you can jump in on a project, know that there is always someone to help guide you and edit your work. Taking the risk of working on something new is a huge learning opportunity with a huge reward.” – Rachel

“Jump in on projects that sound interesting to you. HT cares about making your internship a worthwhile experience. One of the most valuable things I did this summer was sit in on client meetings. I learned how to talk about my own designs by listening to our Art Director and Graphic Designer explain their process to clients, and I learned about the impact of the graphics I was making by listening to our Marketing Manager explain social media best practices.” – Julia

Ask questions

“Everyone at HT is learning. We’ve taught each other everything from Illustrator hotkeys to approaches in business strategy. We foster a culture that cares about mentorship.” — Julia

Go with the flow

“The direction of your internship may change, and that’s totally okay. Highway Twenty is a fluid agency, and sometimes projects fall through or we get new clients. Be flexible.” – Julia

Wrapping up our internships.

“I’m not sure anything sums up my experience as well as this GIF. HT provides an environment where you can grow under the guidance of kind, intelligent, hilarious mentors and I’m ridiculously grateful for the opportunity to be part of this multifaceted team.” – Rachel

“I am so grateful to have had my first real internship at HT. I could not have asked for more patient and knowledgeable mentors, and I am immensely indebted to this team that cares about my professional and personal endeavors.”   – Julia