First week of my internship
I feel I should start off by explaining exactly what Maxus Global is. It is a firm that basically is an intermediary between clients and the media outlets. We don’t necessarily come up with the creatives, but we pretty much do research as to where certain clients should put their creatives in order to have the largest exposure in the market and their demographics.
I’m currently under the Barclay’s account, which is a rather large bank here in the UK/Europe, so basically, I’m kind of a big deal ☺. Not really, this past week I’ve pretty much just done a lot of research on Barclay’s and their competitors here in the UK market and (since I know very little about banks) lots of research on banks and the different services they offer.
I haven’t done anything super important, but I know that they are just trying me out and seeing what I can handle, plus the adorable woman who was training me, Pippa (awesome name huh?), was leaving at the end of the week, so she had a lot on her plate. She was going to Google to do this really cool digital media grad student seminar thingy, super cool, but basically I have to start all over this week with this new girl Nina. She seems really nice though.
Everyone here at Maxus is actually. Last Friday some people went out to the pub after work and sat and talked about our weekend plans, they are all so friendly and laid back. I’m really enjoying the atmosphere here and I’m really learning so much about how marketing and business in general works.
As a whole I can see that the environment is way more laid back than I was expecting but that is a welcomed difference. And guess what? I get free tea—all day! It’s literally one of the best things in the world. They have this really cool little faucet that when you flip the switch boiling hot water comes out, so making tea is literally a matter of seconds… I need to purchase one of these beautiful things!
But anyway, all in all I’m having a great time with some really sweet and talented people who I’m really looking forward to getting to know better.
Oh and my first day I got to write a blog post about my first day… and here it is!
(You can also see it on the Maxus website http://www.maxusglobal.co.uk/maxus-mouth)
New Girl On The Block
By Maddie Cantrell on 05/03/2012
Studying abroad is so exciting when you’re planning, but it gets to be kind of scary and intimidating once you arrive. Not saying that London isn’t lovely, I’ve actually grown to love London and all its crazy little streets and crowds of people. In the 2 months that I’ve been here I’ve met the most delightful people, been complimented on my “British” accent, and travelled to some really amazing places. But whenever you’re away from home for a while you begin to miss things; like iced sweet tea; southern accents; and mac and cheese casserole like grandma makes.
This probably bears some explanation. My name is Madison, but everyone calls me Maddie, and I am student from the United States—Tennessee to be exact (you all may know us for our whiskey). I attend the University of Tennessee and am a part of an honours program within the College of Business called Global Leadership Scholars, which includes a wonderful opportunity to study abroad in London and a chance to intern in your possible major.
This morning I woke up to realize that today was my first day of my internship with Maxus Global. I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t terrified. On my way to work I was listening to music, reminding myself to keep breathing when it hit me just how lucky I am to be here. I mean how many people from Knoxville, Tennessee (not exactly small, but nothing like London), get to not only live in London for a semester, but get a chance to work with a top notch media firm like Maxus?
I concluded not many, so I pulled my head up, slapped on a smile and walked in. Wish me luck!
Internship Round 2
Ok, so I was a little nervous going into this week because Pippa was gone and this girl Nina was coming in and I hadn’t met her yet. But she turned out to be super SUPER sweet! The beginning of this week was a lot of her trying to catch up on what had happened while she was away on her holiday, so I didn’t do much. But it picked up on Wednesday, with a lot of things that I ended up helping the Mercedes girls (Becca and Jess, both extremely LOVELY) with these reports on their digital feedback and doing some comparing “competitive” stuff for Barclays. And I’m starting to feel much more like a member of the team.
Media is a very laid back industry and Maxus is definitely not any different. Everyone is very friendly, but it feels a little like there is an inside joke that you aren’t in on sometimes.
Overall though, I’ve been complimented for my work multiple times, and gotten quite a lot done. Not to mention learned so much about not only media and marketing, but just how businesses work. I’ve also noticed just little social differences between the Brits and us. They are a little… harsher. That’s the best way to say it I think, but it is quite hard to explain, because they don’t mean it MEAN. They just say what is on their mind, and it can come off as mean. Which is totally different then what I’m used to with the Southern fake kindness. It’s a little refreshing, but at the same time, you cannot help but be taken back. Oh well, when in London. 🙂
Cheers to another week of experience!
Being able to walk to work is a blessing and half. I love that it only takes me like 10 minutes tops. But on Thursday I went out with some co-workers for a Media Owner event (and it was also Jess from Merc teams birthday!). Basically, they just pay for all the food and drinks that we can put into our bodies. I really got to know my co-workers quite well, for better or for worse. They were amazing. They were determined to show me a good time so even after the Media Owners left, they were buying me drinks on drinks and cheering me on.
It was such a blast to just hang out with Emily, Nina, Howard, Nicola, Tom Alice, Sarah, Becca, and Jess and not talk about work. Getting to know my co-workers outside the office was definitely a good idea. Funnily enough though, I’m the youngest out of the people that were out, but I was the only one who seemed to have made it home and remembered everything from the night before. Overall though, Brits are a blast! I highly recommend hanging out with them.
But that next morning was just, awful. Everyone was pretty much clutching their heads and looking quite pale. Funny to say the least. I pretty much was begged to stay or at least come back after I graduate. Which would be fantastic, but I’m not sure if I could live here without all the GLSers and other people that I know and love. I was flattered that they thought of me so much after only being here for 3 weeks.
But work wise! I have been doing a lot of reports for Barclays using this really cool program AdDynamix, that categorizes all the data from spend on Media exposure from EVERY advertiser you can think of. I’ve also been commissioned to do work for Mercedes (mostly just reports). Apparently, I am an excel genius (Nina keeps calling me a “Wizard”) and they want to use me for all I’m worth (which shouldn’t be much since they aren’t paying me, but whatever). Everyone is super nice here, and they seem to go on holiday a lot. I don’t think the same people have ALL been in the office since I got here. They leave in shifts it seems, but if I had a chance to be able to take a month long vacation, you know I would.
What have I done these past 2 weeks? Why, more reporting? YES!
Not that I’m complaining, I’m the one who said I loved Excel. I kinda dug that hole for myself. But last week (week 5) was Mercedes big “Power 45” meeting. Which basically takes everything from the past quarter in Mercedes and their big competitors, and compares them all. So that they can better prepare their creatives as well as their overall media spend to better fit the market demands so that they have the highest Share of Voice (SoV), basically spent the most money=have the most impressions/exposure to product. So I ran a bunch of reports for them to make sure that they had everything they needed for their meeting. Looked through more magazines and updated their ad worksheet thing (to see where they are in magazines and where their competitors are to compare where they sit with their competition).
I got my first phone call during week 4! But it wasn’t for me, it was for someone over in Group M. I panicked. I had no idea what to do, Nina had to answer for me. It’s like I’ve forgotten how to answer phones since being here.
I also did the Purchase Order sheet for Barclay’s again. Lots of paper, and computer action there, making sure everything is up to date and there are no duplicates. Totally up my alley. Organized everything by the PO numbers and totally geeked out on that for a good while.
I had to redo a report. That was embarrassing. I thought it was an overall spend report, but it turns out that it was just for the Business Banking sector, and they had already sent it to Barclay’s! I quickly fixed it, but I felt terrible. They have been talking about how amazing I am at these reports, and how quickly I do them and then I make a stupid mistake like that? I could have smacked myself in the face. I do think I did a face-to-palm kind of thing. But I fessed up to my mistake and fixed it as quick as I could as soon as I realized there was a problem. So that’s good right?
I’ve really loved being here. I can’t believe that I’m leaving soon. It’s too soon and yet, I miss home so much it hurts. I’ve gotten quite used to the accent, but not the lack of mountains and pets, and family and friends. (sorry horrible grammar there that I’m doing for dramatic effect). This weekend we are going on some day trips to Bath and Brighton though to take advantage of the long Easter weekend. I’m excited 🙂
To say that I won’t miss the people at Maxus would be a blatant lie. I’ve grown to absolutely love these people, and I hate that just as I get to know them, I’m leaving.
“Stay, Maddie. STAY!” Nina has said to me MULTIPLE times in her awesome accent (she’s from South Africa).And part of me wishes that I could, but gosh I miss home. I ADORE London, and my job with Maxus and the people there, but gosh I just miss the mountains and my friends at home.
Last week; Nicola, Tom, Emily, Nina and I all went to Nandos (aka the BEST chicken EVER) and just sitting around I can’t even count how many times I was thinking that I was going to miss them. They apparently don’t want me to leave either because Tom kept mentioning that I just stay, and Nina was getting a a look in her eye that said she was going to steal my passport. I’m not sure what I want, but I do know that after working at Maxus I know that I want to work in Marketing. I’m not sure exactly where yet, but I’m definitely interested in the Media aspect.
Today, I got to paint. Really. I got to use paint to make mock-ups of Barclay’s ideas for creatives so that they could use them in a presentation. How many people can say they got to color in their job? LOVE IT! Plus, my creative side was just celebrating.
I can’t believe that tomorrow is my last day. I might just cry. I know that its been such a short time, but I don’t know. I feel very close to these people.
Nina sits next to me and is part of Barclays Retail. Remember the awesome South African accent? She’s so sweet, and gives nothing but compliments to me ALL the time! Plus she’s always dressed super cute!
Emily is also part of the Barclays Retail team and sits on the other side of Nina. I think that when I told her I was a home-coming princess in high school she had her doubts, but she’s hilarious. She is super witty and can just turn out some of the funniest things seemingly without trying. But when she’s with Howard! Those two are hilarious! I’m not sure exactly why, but they just bounce stuff off of each other. Literally improve to the max!
Howard sits next to Emily and is part of the Barclays Retail and I think Mercedes as well. He has made me try: Monster Munch, this weird Funyun type consistency of flavored chips except the flavors are pickles and onions, and roast beef (yeah, gross); Marmite, this disgusting and VERY salty concoction made from yeast extract; and various odds and ends that he finds that I don’t recognize. I made HIM try a moon-pie (he didn’t like it) and a quasi-mac-and-cheese-with-beef casserole I made (he liked that much better).
Alice was the first person I saw when I came into Maxus on my first day. She walked like she knew exactly where she was going and talked so fast I could barely understand her–or maybe it was just me trying to take it all in. But through this whole experience she has always said hello and waved at me whenever she passes by. She says the funniest things and literally whatever comes to her mind–I LOVE it!
Franchesca sits across from me (she works for Barclaycard), but she’s super sweet and gorgeous. Not to mention she talks to me all the time, I think it’s because we both sat on the end and feel kinda lonesome at times 😉
Nicola is part of the Merc team, and she is a blast to hang out with. Plus, she’s an excellent dresser. She puts color combos together that I would never think of but that look great! Plus she’s also hilarious and extremely witty.
Tom is also part of the Merc team. Super nice guy, who is a sharp dresser! (a lot of guys here dress well, it’s pretty awesome) He’s the one who pretty much for-fronting the plot to steal my passport. 🙂 And I taught him how to do pivot tables! He came up to me and asked me if I could help him and teach him how to do it, and I literally didn’t know what to say for a moment. I feel like that wouldn’t happen in the US. People are too proud to ask someone younger how to do something. I mean the only reason I know how to do it is because of the Excel class I took last semester.
Becca and Jess are both on the Merc team, and the are both precious. They were so sweet to help me understand how to run the reports, and to help me in little ways throughout the days. They are both so pretty and so kind.
Honestly, I haven’t met anyone at Maxus I dislike. EVERYONE is so nice, sincere, and relatively easy to talk to. I’m going to miss walking to work and seeing their faces while I’m trying to get around the tiny kitchen with 15 other people in it and not spill my tea.
Tomorrow night Howard, Emily, and Nina are taking me out for a “proper curry” and honestly I can’t wait! Keep you updated 🙂