My Summer Internship at Publicis Health in Six Words
By Lindsay Tuck, Account Management Intern, Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness New York
“Write down your story in six words,” was the instruction given by James Talerico, Executive Creative Director at Heartbeat, to the 2017 class of summer interns at Publicis Health. I took a moment and thought to myself how I could even begin to write my story in only six words. Turns out it was not as hard as it seemed.
There are so many moments in life that I needed to encapsulate into that six-word story. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the best way to tell my story was to take all those moments, and write down where they led me.
“Ditched job in Atlanta, thank god,” is what I found written on my paper. It sounds harsh, but let me explain.
This past April, I was a college senior on the last leg of my last semester. Unlike many of my friends, I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and the career I wanted to have. I was lucky that I knew early on that not only had I wanted, but I needed to pursue a career in health advertising. Why was I so sure about this? Why this specific industry within the advertising world?
I can sum up the reason in six words: purpose-driven work that truly matters. I wanted to do work that changed the world, for the better.
Even though I had the passion and dedication to fulfill my dreams, I had not realized my worth.
I was offered a job from a small-yet-very-respectable healthcare PR firm in Atlanta, Georgia. As a soon-to-be grad with the fear of not finding a job, I took it, even though it wasn’t my dream agency. We are told over and over that the first job post grad is always the worst, to just stick it out, and to get a foot in the door. So I listened.
Thankfully that is not where my story ends.
For the next part of my story to make sense, I have to backtrack to fall 2017, when the University of Georgia’s Adclub and PRSSA hosted ADPR Connection. I had attended the event in past years and enjoyed it, but always thought those stories of people finding opportunities from the people they met at the events was never in the cards for me. I thought, “I am just one of 200 students these people will meet today. I don’t matter.”
Well, I went to a seminar on health communications, where I heard Carl Turner, Head of Strategy at Publicis Lifebrands Medicius, speak about purpose-driven work. His words sparked something in me. I felt as if no one would understand exactly what I wanted out of a career until he spoke about Publicis Health. I finally realized that there are agencies out there that will let me do the kind of work I always dreamed of.
So, I did what I never thought I would do. I approached Carl, introduced myself, and had a conversation with him — a great conversation. We exchanged information and I was lucky enough to gain invaluable advice from him over the next few months. He passed along the information for the Publicis Health Internship Program, which I applied for, even though I thought I didn’t have a shot.
Flash forward to March 2017, and I was accepted into the program and offered an Account Management Intern position at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness in New York City. After many sleepless nights and pro/con lists, I called the firm in Atlanta and told them I was following my dreams, and headed to New York. That phone call was one of the toughest things I have had to do.
It was worth it. I am currently on my second-to-last day of my internship at SSW. This summer was, without a doubt, the most incredible experience of my life. Not only did I gain work experience, but I am leaving this internship as a confident person who is ready to be a force in this industry. This program shaped me into a newer, better version of myself in nine short weeks. I can’t imagine what my life or I would be like if I had turned down the opportunity. I never thought it could happen to me, and here I am ready to take on a full-time position within the Publicis Health network.
So, to all those who think it cannot happen to you, who think you can’t fulfill your dreams at the age of 22 (or younger), I am here to tell you that you’re wrong. Introduce yourself to someone you look up to, move to a brand new city with little to no money, do not stop until you land that dream job. I did, as I am excited to say that I will be joining Publicis Health full time as an Account Coordinator at Langland, a Publicis Health agency. My dreams came true, and so can yours.
So, my biggest advice?
TAKE RISKS. You deserve it, even if you don’t think it could happen to you. It can, and it will.
Lindsay Tuck was a 2017 Account Management Intern at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness in New York City, a Publics Health agency. Although born and bred in North Carolina, she is a recent graduate of The University of Georgia, where she studied Advertising and Public Health. She is extremely excited for this next chapter of her life, even though she already misses Athens, Georgia, and the bulldogs. Outside of work, you can find her running along the east river parkway, or practicing not saying “y’all,” so much, now that she is in the north. She’ll be sticking around in Publicis Health full time as an Account Coordinator at Langland. She could not be more excited! Keep up with Lindsay on Linkedin.