I’ll be honest. It’s my favorite week of the year at Digitas. There is an extra jolt of energy in the office. There is a sense of pride about getting to share who we are and what we do. There are amusing elevator rides with nervous and curious sixteen year old high school students. Yes, it’s Eternship week at the Boston office!
The Eternship program is a week long “boot camp” designed to teach students from local Boston schools about the marketing industry through a week long immersion in our agency – arming the students daily with the capability knowledge and intellectual capital to solve a real client challenge. This week we are welcoming 30 students from Lynn, Cambridge and Dorchester. The students work side by side with over 50 Digitas volunteers to come up with their big idea and build a marketing campaign to present to a panel of judges at the end of the week (the judges panel consists of Digitas' Barbara Goose, Rob Rizzo, and Erin Quill, as well the president of the Ad Club, Kathy Kiely).
As we kick-off the 12th year of Eternship, I started to think, why do I like being involved in this program so much? Both my parents were teachers, so I guess it’s not a big stretch that working with students was something that I’m interested in. But, what I wasn’t expecting was how much I would get back from this program—and how it’s those feelings that keep me coming back.
Being a part of Eternship gives you such a feeling of satisfaction. You feel like you’re actually impacting a student’s career and life path, by showing them options and opportunities they may otherwise never get exposed to. The students also have a way of really inspiring you with their own creativity and new thinking around the client challenges that we give them.
The students also ask you a lot of questions. They want to know what you do at Digitas and how you got here. They want to know what you were like at their age and what you studied in college. They want to know what you like best about working at Digitas – and can they work here someday.
By the end of the week the students are giving you hugs and high-fives, asking you to sign their t-shirts and reminding you to keep in touch via Facebook. Their energy and gratitude has you walking out of the office on a super high. Digitas has made an impact. You have made impact.
If you’re one of the many volunteers joining us this week for Eternship, a big thank you! For the rest of you…hope to see for Eternship 2012.
- Melissa York, VP/Director, Marketing, and Co-Chair of Eternship, Digitas
Follow the Eternship week through @Digitas and #Eternship on Twitter