Navigating a New Normal: My Internship Experience at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness

Hello World! My name is Leo and at the time of this writing, I am a rising junior at Baruch College in New York City, majoring in Data Analytics and minoring in Finance. This summer, I had the pleasure of joining the Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness team as a Data and Analytics Intern! If you’re reading this, chances are you’re an applicant trying to prep for an interview (I came here to do so too!) or part of the SSW team and want to hear about my perspective on my internship experience. Considering this is my final deliverable for the internship, I’ll do my best to meet the client’s needs one last time.

Like a majority of college students, finding my way into my first internship during a pandemic did not go as smoothly as expected. Applications were numerous, as were rejections and ghostings. However, not once throughout the entire Publicis Health Summer Internship process did I feel intimidated or let down by the company. To be completely frank, my mentor from the student organization I’m a part of at Baruch sent this job to me after she found it scrolling on LinkedIn. This application was, as I started calling them, a “send it and forget it” application. And I really did forget it! But when I received the email from Lori DePace, Publicis Health’s lovely Program Manager (and resident Marvel expert,) asking about my availability for an interview, I knew this was a place I wanted to work at. I was fortunate enough to interview with two individuals who were clear about what they looked for in candidates, and allowed me to be clear with what I bring to the table and what I wanted to gain out of this experience. And working alongside Zack Kanegis and Ina Yang for these past months helped me do exactly what I told them I wanted to.

Despite working in a virtual setting, the Saatchi Analytics Team welcomed its summer intern with open arms. Having a daily standup as well as weekly meetings really helped integrate me into the family. (I almost won trivia during my first weekly meeting!) In addition, I was fortunate to have Ina as my manager and Palak Bhargava as my team buddy. Both were key for my success as they encouraged me to ask questions while working on a task or request feedback on my work. I went from not knowing how any of their work was done to being fairly familiar with what they do for their clients in about a week thanks to their guidance.

Some ways I contributed to said client work was through the completion of social listening and multiplier calculations. Social listening is a technique that requires Saatchi analysts to pull mentions and impressions from various social channels and use those to build dashboards that show the overall sentiment about the client. On the other end of that process, I calculated multipliers in order to account for errors that may occur when it comes to web analytics. Tools like Google Analytics may not always pick up clicks or site visits, especially when users are hiding their activity or denying cookies. Applying this calculated multiplier to the metrics we receive from GA is Saatchi’s way of compensating for that.

After doing that for about three weeks, the Publicis Health aspect of my summer internship really started to kick in. The main difference between my internship and previous SSW internships was that mine was done as part of a company-wide program. While I was doing work for Saatchi’s team, I worked with interns across all of PH’s agencies as a cohort. We were tasked with creating a pitch for a PH-based program addressing mental health needs of the company’s employees. This group project required us to really think outside of the box and use all the resources at our disposal to come up with a compelling presentation. Our pitch was to build a multi-course program on a PH resource as well as have mental health maintenance tools such as a habit tracker or quarterly check-ins. While we didn’t deliver the winning pitch, working closely with other interns gave us a sense of community and togetherness in a virtual internship. We also were able to get a better grasp of agency roles as each intern thrived in their job whether it’s Account, Strategy, Creative, or Analytics. I also got my trivia vindication when we won a cohort versus cohort trivia night and $25 DoorDash gift cards!

Reflecting on my internship with Publicis Health as a part of Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, I find the most important thing I took away from it was not my work, but what I learned from my work. Being in an office setting (even if it is virtual) provided me with learning opportunities every minute of the day. Throughout this post, I named several people with whom I was able to connect with and chose to take the time out of their packed schedules to help a summer intern with tasks they’ve done a thousand times before. I am so grateful for their kindness and guidance, and while they’ve taught me to never speak in certainties when drawing conclusions from my data, I am certain that the next intern or new hire who’ll work with them will be lucky and happy to have them as their leader.

To that next intern – if you’re here that means you’re starting your application process or even your internship off the right foot. Read the blog posts of your interviewers or managers, it’ll give you a much better grasp of who they are. If I may impart some other advice I’ve picked up over these past ten weeks, I would say the most important thing is to always be curious and present. I emphasize curiosity because your team and leaders are here to help YOU. Any question about analytics that I had, they were happy to answer. So ask them questions and show you care about their work because they will respond and care about you. There were multiple occasions where I asked a question and expected a short one-sentence response and instead got a two-minute long explanation. This is where the value of your internship comes in. And you bring value to your internship by staying present. What I mean by this is being ready and responsive to any task given to you. Assuring your manager or VPs that they can trust you to accomplish a task they need you to share with you is key to interning successfully. If you can demonstrate these traits, it will make you a much stronger fit for agency life and interning at Saatchi.

Ultimately, what I take away from this experience is how important teamwork is in a professional setting. Having those people to rely on and ask for advice is critical for the company’s, the project’s, and your own success. Every day was a new learning opportunity, and I’m grateful for having these chances at Saatchi. Thank you for making my summer, and best of luck navigating this new normal!

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.