Spark life: backing fresh new talent
by Becki Hemming
Manifest Spark is an internship programme that’s all about future potential. The aim is to enlighten and support those who are interested in the communications industry, from social media and traditional PR to branding and strategy — but there’s more to Spark than you think. For starters, you’re not simply there to make a brew and run errands. The programme trains you to think in a variety of different ways and gives you creative license to share ideas and create, not to mention the opportunity to pet a number of different dogs every week.
Who better to tell you what Spark is really like than the very Manifestees putting the programme through its paces? We’ve got two new recruits in two different cities. Here’s what goes down.
Lareece gives the LDN lowdown
I joined Manifest because I had seen some of the crazily creative things that it’s done in the past; like that time the guys in London created a spreadable beer with Innis and Gunn or that time the guys in America put a bed in the middle of New York to entice more people into conversations about sex with Hot Octopuss.
I wanted to push my own creative boundaries by seeing where the crazy ideas come from — right at the source. Since joining, I can honestly say that I have done that. Unlike other agencies, Manifest encourages you to learn and to be curious. In the short time that I’ve been here, I’ve helped behind the scenes on photo shoots to capture social media content, upgraded commuters’ train journeys, searched high and low for chicken suits and witnessed the creation of a giant trojan BrewDog. Of course, I’ve also petted many a dog.
Manifest isn’t just about the great people and the endless creativity — although those things rock for sure — but how each and every person is dedicated to improving themselves and each other. Once a week I sit down with various members of the Manifest team and they teach me their strengths, both in the London office and abroad. There’s a real focus on development and continuing to learn, wherever you are in your career.
Spark gets lit across the pond with Jessica
I’m a New York City noob. After making the trek from Kalamazoo, Michigan to Central Harlem in August, I was fueled entirely by coffee and the desire to hit the ground running. That’s when I stumbled upon a posting for Manifest New York’s not-your-average internship and proceeded to not only get in touch but eagerly contact the agency’s main email as well… I was ready to put my freshly-earned PR degree to the test. My overenthusiastic emailing led to not one, but two video interviews, both of which eventually landed me the internship. I’d like to think it was my midwestern charm. In the meantime, I had shamelessly creeped on Manifest’s wildly creative campaigns and was ready to dive in and learn from the best.
Since the start, Manifest New York has kept me busy. I’ve researched the Venice Art Walls for Tulipop’s launch in the United States (shout-out to Google Maps), dug into a rather lengthy list of media for placement opportunities with Hot Octopuss’ innovative sex toys for some hot holiday gift roundups, and more recently, I rode in the back of a van with a bright yellow bench all over Manhattan — more where that came from later.
Like Lareece said, Manifest opens the door to creative growth. Although I’m an ocean away, Manifest London makes sure I’m kept in the loop with every training session and What Rocked meeting at the end of the week. Even if meetings are held through video chat, it feels as if I’m right there in the London office with everyone. And of course, the New York team is always readily available with the tools/guidance/coffee for us to succeed.
So, if you haven’t picked up on it by now, Manifest is definitely an interesting place to work. If you’re ready to break into the communications industry, be a part of the craziness and spend some time where no two days are the same, Spark could definitely be one for you. What are you waiting for? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a bit about you and why you’d like to get involved. Fair warning — an aptitude for GIFs isn’t necessary, but recommended.