Today marks my “monthiversary” at AKHIA, which means I have also officially experienced agency life for a month! Because I spent my first two summer internships in a corporate setting, I have already noticed many differences and some similarities between the two. Here are the top three differences I’ve taken note of in the past 30 days.
1. Day-to-day life
Corporate: A corporate career consists of many meetings within your department to oversee projects and business goals. In my experience, I really enjoyed how much I learned every day about the company for which I worked. Corporate life gives you the opportunity to dive into and gain a deep understanding of its products and the industry.
Agency: A day at an agency can be described in one word: unpredictable. I am the type of person that relies heavily on a to-do list, but I have come to find that flexibility is a virtue here. Your day’s schedule can change within a 30-second client phone call, so no one day is exactly the same. Different personalities thrive in different environments. Call me biased, but the fast-paced agency life is where it’s at!
Corporate: In the corporate setting, professionals primarily focus on and become experts on one industry or brand. According to PR Week, corporate professionals are able to own a project and see it through to completion. They are able to answer any questions you throw at them about their business and can practically recite product or service descriptions in their sleep.
It’s in your best interest, if you do venture down the corporate path, to work for a company with products or services that interest you. Although, I challenge you to keep an open mind—I worked with duct tape for two summers, and oddly enough, it’s fascinating.
Agency: In contrast, agency professionals work with a variety of brands and therefore, need to understand and quickly grasp many different subject matters. An agency touches all aspects of a project including project management, account service, social media, marketing and PR, so it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends to bring the client new ideas that will meet (and exceed) goals.
Corporate: During my corporate internship, I woke up an hour earlier to make sure I looked polished and had time to iron my clothes. Corporate cultures are typically stricter about the way you present yourself in meetings and at the office. I found it was easy to create strong internal relationships because everyone was working toward the same business goal—and looked good while doing it!
Agency: Professionalism is just as important at an agency, but often times the culture is a bit more lenient. You’ll also find that agency offices can be quirky and colorful to foster an environment that inspires creativity. Agency life is fun, but also intense—we work hard to be able to play hard.
Although agency and corporate life can be very different, there is one constant between the two: passion. Each culture and environment creates a passion for the job—you just have to find which one fits your personality best.
What kind of PR personality do you have?