Mo Dugan, second from right, seated with her corner booth compatriots at PHM in Philadelphia.

From the Corner Booth: Five Lessons I Learned as a Publicis Health Intern

By Moira Dugan, Media Planning Intern, Publicis Health Media

This summer, I had the privilege of being selected as one of 82 interns for the Publicis Health Internship Program. Reflecting on the experience, it’s hard to narrow the insights I gathered over my eight weeks in just five sections. However, here are my five notable takeaways from this summer filled with new experiences, insights, friends, and of course, lots of coffee.

Lesson One: Commuting is not for the faint of heart.

My alarm didn’t have a chance to go off on June 4, 2018; by 4:53 am, I was bustling around, ready, but not really ready for the first day of my big-agency internship. How much can a person truly prepare for something like this? Every day, I wake at 5:30 am, get ready, leave my parents’ home in Central Jersey, drive 35 minutes to the West Trenton train station — which on garbage day and mornings when my patience is thin tends to be 45 minutes — then take the express train for an hour and ten minutes into Jefferson Station. Normally, I arrive at the office around 8:30 am, but on June 4, I was staring at the Wanamaker Building at 8:13 am, wondering what to do for an hour before our orientation began at 9:30 am.

Lesson Two: Sell an intern an iced coffee and she will be $3 poorer; bring a mug on the first day and her cup will never run dry.

Publicis Health doesn’t joke about its coffee game. There’s nothing quite like an endless supply of Wawa coffee at the office to keep the day energized.

Lesson Three: Stop hiding behind your phone and TALK to people.

On the first day, I chose my seat and watched as the other interns arrived, sitting anywhere but with me. Believe me, the first day is always the hardest, because skip three days forward when all the Philly, Yardley, and NYC interns were together, and it stopped feeling like a high school cafeteria. I know breaking out of your shell is easier said than done. As an extrovert and an Aries, I am at an advantage and the best decision I made that day was to walk around and introduce myself to people, exchange numbers and connect. Because just as quickly as orientation begins and ends, the eight weeks of real work flies by even quicker. Trust me. Hard skills are crucial, but being personable and willing to network with as many people as possible isn’t just a crucial skill, it should be a routine that comes with interning as part of a network such as Publicis Health.

Lesson Four: Find people to fill your corner.

As interns, we aren’t always fortuned with a desk; while some are lucky to find their nook and stay for the full eight weeks in their AirBnB corner, some are nomads, like me. It’s not as bad as it sounds. In fact, it was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. It started with Katie, Media Operations Intern and fellow-wanderer. I approached her in the café booth and sat with her. It quickly became our corner booth. Soon enough, two interns turned into three, which turned into four and then five. Working in a field so centralized in communications, we need to interact and collaborate with one another. My corner booth and fellow interns granted me the ability to do so. Since that second week when I approached Katie, I look forward to seeing my corner booth, not just to talk and laugh in between pulling pacing reports, but to bounce ideas off of one another, gain a new perspective, and to learn what others do. They tell you to be a sponge when interning and working with the experts, but I say be a sponge of those around you, too. Our internship class is filled with people rooted in different backgrounds, ethnicities, aspirations and more. We can learn a lot from one another.

Lesson Five: Internship programs are competitive but it’s not a solo sport.

There were thousands of applications to the Publicis Health Internship Program. Out of the thousands, 82 were chosen. No matter the college you attend, you’ve probably been told how competitive the internship market is, and how it’s a “dog eat dog world.” Well, yes, it’s true, but once you’re no longer an applicant, but a working intern, that mindset will hurt you more than it helps. Yes, we are interns and we’re acting as sponges, but we can’t be consumed by our egos. If I came into this internship with that mindset, I wouldn’t be leaving with my full absorbency potential realized. You can’t be a sponge if you’re just soaking up yourself. This industry needs people to work together, be open-minded, and to always be willing to see things in a new light. Yes, I was a Media Planning Intern. Yes, I learned a substantial amount about media planning and what I want to pursue in my career. But as you can see from my five lessons, the things I learned as a Publicis Health intern are deeply rooted beyond everyday tasks. My takeaways from this experience will carry with me throughout my entire career.


Hi, I’m Mo (Moira) Dugan and I am a rising senior at Boston University majoring in Communication with an emphasis in Advertising and minoring in French. Currently, I am a media planning intern at PHM and the social media coordinator for a NJ Chick-fil-A Franchise! Even though I love the show Black Mirror, I am all in it to learn more about the digital space. But when I’m not going off about media consumption and ad campaigns, I’m hanging with my two dogs; Gere and Dimples. This has been the summer of love for me because I am learning every minute of every day and being challenged to see things differently.