Jacht Micro-Internships: My Six-Week Experience with Swanson Russell


Vashti Parks is a senior advertising and public relations and psychology double major from Lincoln, Nebraska. She is also the Director of Account Strategy for Jacht—the university’s student-run ad agency—and she tells us about her mirco-internship with the Swanson Russell agency last fall.

Representatives of Swanson Russell speak to members of the Jacht Ad Agency.
Photo via Jacht on Instagram

I have had the privilege of being in Jacht the past two semesters and am currently the director of account strategy. Jacht is a full-service, student-run advertising agency that provides a wide range of services to its clients. Jacht enables students to get real-world experience working with clients, creating high-quality work and being in an agency setting.

As director of account strategy, I oversee the account executive and the brand strategist departments. During the fall 2022 semester, I worked as an account executive, managing the client teams for the Holdrege Area Chamber of Commerce and the UNL CoJMC graduate programs. As an account executive, I worked as the liaison between the clients and the Jacht teams and was responsible for ensuring we completed the deliverables as client requested and on an efficient timeline.

In Fall 2022, I also had the opportunity to participate in a Swanson Russell micro-internship through Jacht.

Jacht invests in the professional development of Jachters through partnerships with advertising agencies around Lincoln. These agencies typically conduct education sessions with Jachters, sponsor a room in the Jacht space or run micro-internships with small groups of Jachters. In the Fall 2022 semester, there were three micro-internships offered through Jacht: Artillery, redthread, and Swanson Russell. Swanson Russell provided a unique and insightful micro-internship specifically targeted at account executives and strategists. A team of ten Jachters applied and were selected to participate. The six-week micro-internship consisted of weekly meetings where we had the chance to work directly with Swanson Russell.

The client we worked on was a new business that had hired Swanson Russell to help create its brand, including how to position itself in the market, develop tone and personality of the brand, name and logo creation, and other marketing materials. During our time with Swanson Russell, we focused on developing the brand positioning statement and the tone and personality of the brand. During our meetings with Swanson Russell professionals, we discussed consumer insights we found while researching, brainstormed different creative directions the brand could take and talked through how to strategically position the brand.

Us Jachters were able to work with Tony Sattler, the Executive Vice President and Director of Experience and Insights, and Irene Hargan, the manager of CX and Insights. They were incredible mentors in this program and guided us through brainstorming sessions, provided us with weekly tasks and introduced us to new ways to go deeper with strategy development.

The micro-internship was an incredible experience. One of the most exciting things about the whole thing was the client we worked on with Swanson Russell was a new client, so we were able to see how the process of creating a brand for a new business develops within the agency right from the start. This was fascinating to see how Swanson Russell creates insightful ideas and how they incorporate creative strategy and research into developing a brand.

I have learned so much through this micro-internship and in my time at Jacht. I feel exceptionally prepared for life after graduation and I have Jacht to thank for that!

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