The Intern Experience: Sharing the impact of an internship

Photo of Writing by Design interns Keegan Mains and Abriela (Abie) Thiel

The Intern Experience: Sharing the impact of an internship

This summer Writing by Design welcomed interns Keegan Mains and Abriela (Abie) Thiel to the team. While providing a new perspective and diving into various projects throughout the agency, both interns brought enthusiasm and positivity to Writing by Design during their summer experience.

Keegan has been helping WBD with sales and administrative business support, while Abie has been writing for our marketing clients.

As the summer begins to wind down, we’re sharing perspectives from our two exceptional interns as they wrap up their internship experiences at Writing by Design.

Keegan graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in December 2020 with a degree in business management and a certificate in supply chain management. He is a graduate of the Honors College and was heavily involved in leading a faith-based student organization called CRU (previously Campus Crusade for Christ) during his time at UWO.

Abie will be a junior in the fall of 2021 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She is working toward a journalism major in both reporting and strategic communication, as well as a certificate in public policy. On campus, she is a digital news editor for The Badger Herald and is book club chair for Badgers for Special Olympics.

Hear from Keegan and Abie on their summer internship experiences at Writing by Design.

Q: What has been your favorite thing about interning with WBD?

Keegan: WBD has a really cool team who are all super willing to jump in and help with whatever questions you may have. Also, because the team is smaller I have been able to be exposed to a number of different projects which have all been great learning experiences.

Abie: My favorite thing about interning with WBD has been working on a variety of projects with each of the different team members. With a smaller team, I’ve been able to work with each team member and learn different skills in each situation. They each excel at their work by bringing different strengths to the table, and I’ve been able to learn from each of these different strengths. One of the coolest experiences was while I was still at school in the beginning of the summer, I was able to participate in the DiRenzo & Bomier commercial shoot remotely. It meant a lot to me that the team FaceTimed me during the shoot to give me the learning experience, even though I couldn’t be there in person.

Q: How has the WBD environment been beneficial in helping you grow as a professional?

Keegan: The culture at WBD is all about learning and moving forward. I came in as a fresh college graduate, and everyone was willing to answer any questions I had and came alongside me to help solve whatever road bumps I ran into along the course of projects.

Abie: I think the WBD environment has been beneficial in helping me grow as a professional because the team works so closely together. The team collaborates very well, so hearing everyone’s thought processes exposed me to different ways of thinking through things and how to generate ideas in different situations. The WBD team succeeds by creating an environment in which everyone’s thoughts are heard and integrated in order to come out with the best possible outcome.

Q: What is one specific thing you’ve learned from the team?

Keegan: One thing I learned is to always have an answer to the question “why?” By always being prepared to be able to explain my reasoning for certain suggestions or decisions, it helps me make certain that I am doing my due diligence in regard to research, as well as making sure that I have considered all possibilities and outcomes and accounted for them in my decisions.

Abie: In writing for different clients, I feel that I’ve found a better grasp for writing for a variety of tones and situations. If there’s a topic that is drier content-wise, I’ve learned how to make the topic a little less serious while keeping all the appropriate content. This is something that is important in all types of writing, so I’m glad I was able to learn and practice my skills in this area.

Q: How do you think you’ll be able to carry your experience at WBD into future work?

Keegan: Working at WBD exposed me to a lot of new concepts that were not necessarily part of my major courses, but certainly have broader application across the world of business. I also got experience working collaboratively with the rest of the team, which is an important skill to have in any job.

Abie: I’ll be able to carry my experience at WBD into future work because I now have a deeper understanding of best practices and a wider skillset. By participating in a variety of work at WBD, I now have more tools to be successful in my future work.

Q: What do you think sets WBD apart?

Keegan: WBD has a culture that places a lot of importance on the quality of work, but everyone seems to have fun doing it. They set a standard of excellence and professionalism without feeling stiff and uncomfortable.

Abie: I think WBD is set apart by the processes and standards that are in place. Everyone comes to the table with a lot of experience, and it’s clear by the work that is produced. WBD is set apart by experts in the field coming together to collaborate on purposeful, thoughtful work for clients.

Q: What are you most proud that you accomplished during your time at WBD?

Keegan: This summer I worked to create and set up a brand-new sales process, working with existing tools and doing research into new functions that could help WBD streamline their process that leads to new sales. While I had some oversight and direction, the project was fairly open-ended, so it was super impactful to see everything come together.

Abie: I’m most proud of the work that I did to help with St. Mary Catholic High School’s Greater Zephyrs Open fundraiser event in July. From writing feature articles on SMC alumni to designing signage for the golf course, marketing for GZO gave me a wide variety of experience, even in areas that I wasn’t initially comfortable working on. Plus, it was super rewarding to see everything come together on the day of the event.

What a summer it’s been having these eager interns join the Writing by Design team. They’ve added new perspectives, led projects and made their mark throughout their internship experience. We were honored to give them a space to grow their skills and provide mentoring throughout the summer.