By Brian Bozzo,
Stillman News Writer
Christina Basich is a senior majoring in marketing with a minor in accounting. She is from Staten Island, New York. She is a sister of Delta Phi Epsilon sorority and served as the secretary and academic coordinator. In her free time, she loves to travel as she has been all around Europe (Ireland, Italy, Scotland, England, and Wales). She also enjoys painting and drawing. The Stillman Exchange interviewed Christina to learn about her internship experience at Havas Health.
Q: What were your responsibilities as an intern?
A: I was an account/project management intern and my responsibilities included: communicating with multiple departments (account, editorial, creative, and production) to route jobs to ensure a clean document was sent out to the client, preparing and delivering daily project status and resource reports for three clients, and attending weekly status meetings, internally and externally, to ensure all departments operated within the project budget and timeline. In addition to these daily responsibilities, the interns were also given a project to work on throughout the summer to be presented to the executive board and managing directors.
My team created a concept for a health and wellness application using gamification that targeted 25 to 35 year olds to get them engaged in monitoring their health on a regular basis. We developed an interactive city with personalized characters and it incorporated daily challenges and incentives to motivate people to use the application to track their daily workouts, caloric intake, and overall well-being.
Q: Why did you choose to apply for an internship at Havas Health?
A: Since I was young, I have always had an interest in the medical field but business was always a passion of mine. The summer internship program at Havas Health, a pharmaceutical advertising agency, allowed me to have “the best of both worlds”.
Q: How did you go about getting the internship?
A: For my first three and a half years at SHU, I was strictly an accounting major. Somewhere along the lines, I realized that I was only following that path because it pertained to my family business. My heart just was not in it as I knew it should be. I decided to take a chance and complete all 15 credits required for a marketing major in one semester and discovered a side of myself I never knew about. I was finally feeling confident in my classes and knew this was what I wanted to do with my life.
Then, the panic set in and I had absolutely no marketing experience. I began reaching out to family members to see if there was anything they could do and luckily for me, a family friend sent me the application for the 2015 Havas Health summer internship program. I immediately filled out the application and had a phone interview with human resources which resulted in my acceptance into the program.
Q: What was the most valuable skill that you learned while interning?
A: The most valuable skill I learned while interning was asking relevant questions. I quickly learned that your supervisor would much rather have you come to them with questions about how to complete a task than be too shy to seek advice and hand in mediocre work.
At an internship, your main goal is to learn and figure out if this is something you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life. I began asking other employees about their experience with the company and why they chose their given fields. By the end of the summer, I even gained the confidence to request a one-on-one meeting with the global CEO and it was one of the best decisions I ever made – not only did I make an impression on her but we developed a strong professional relationship.
Q: How was learning in a work environment different than learning in a classroom?
A: For me, learning in a work environment was drastically different than learning in the classroom. The advertising industry is very fast paced and things are constantly changing. In a work environment, new obstacles and changes are being thrown your way. The most important thing I learned in the work environment is to be adaptable and innovative.
Q: What was the company culture like?
A: Havas Health prides itself in being a diverse group with one common goal: to create the best possible experiences through the work they do and in the lives they lead. They are in the business of health and wellness, so helping others through support, education, and other methods is intrinsic to their work. Havas Health can be described as modern, savvy, connected, and tenacious.
Q: What were some skills that you learned at Seton Hall that you used in your internship?
A: A major skill I learned at SHU that I used at my internship was multitasking and staying on top of the tasks at hand. When I decided to take all 15 marketing credits in one semester I knew it would be a challenge. However, I did not realize I would be juggling five major group projects over the course of the semester.
Although stressful at times, I was able to develop great time management skills and gained the confidence to be able to take on many different projects at one time. This was especially useful during my internship because I had to balance my assigned tasks from my manager while I was creating the application and preparing an hour long presentation for the company’s top executives.
Q: What advice would you give to students who are actively searching for internships?
A: My first piece of advice would be to network with as many people as you can – every encounter can turn into a networking connection without you even realizing. Whether it is a family friend or past coworkers, you never know where people may have connections.
This is probably one of the greatest lessons I learned over the past year – never under estimate the power of LinkedIn and never be afraid to put yourself out there. Even if you do not feel comfortable, you may end up meeting someone that can help lead you in the right direction to jump start your career.
Q: What is next for you in your career?
A: After completing my undergraduate courses last semester, I was contacted by Havas Health and they offered me a full-time Project Coordinator position. I officially started on January 25, 2016 and as for what is next in my career I see myself staying with Havas Health long term and growing within the company. I truly feel at home with Havas Health and I cannot wait to see where this great company takes me in my future.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, February 23rd print edition.
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