A special part of the iHeartMedia National Sales, Marketing & Partnerships (NSMP) internship program is Switch it Up Thursdays. Each Thursday from 9am-12pm, the interns are assigned to a different team and have the opportunity to gain exposure to that team by sitting in on meetings, working on projects, and meeting individuals across the department in order to explore our interests, gain a holistic view of the NSMP division, and foster relationships with individuals across the entire division.
When it came to selecting a second informational interview, I decided I would wait a bit. I wanted to wait until I gained a bit more exposure to the other teams, so that I would have an opportunity to explore all the different departments within NSMP so that I could decide which one I wanted to learn more about.
I absolutely loved working with the Events & Venue Partnerships team; working with them introduced me to my dream job, and I met so many incredible people who answered any questions I had at any time. As I spent more time working with my team, I found myself growing curious about the next steps (i.e.: once a client agrees to sponsor an event, what happens now? How do we decide what creative things the brand will do as part of their sponsorship?) and that’s when I found myself preparing to interview a member of the activations team.
Due to the aforementioned Switch it Up Thursdays, I was lucky to have a ton of contacts throughout NSMP, and was easily able to reach out to a woman on the activations team, who I had met with a few weeks before during a Switch it Up Thursday. Before the interview, she allowed me to sit in with her on a brainstorm, which is the creative and fun process that happens once a sponsor starts to seriously think about the deal, and the marketing and activations teams come together to brainstorm what kind of cool things the brand can do as part of their footprint on-site at the iHeart event they are interested in sponsoring. After the brainstorm, she walked me through her day-to-day, and especially through all of the challenges she faces as an account manager on the activations team. She was very collected but also very passionate, and she assured me that it is not fun and games all of the time like it was in the brainstorm. She told me that the hardest part about her job is staying organized and making sure everyone else is staying organized as well. She said that activations touches every division at the company, and when working towards a sponsorship deal, it is important that the activations team knows about every single conversation that has happened between iHeart and the client to ensure that other teams are not promising clients assets and ideas that cannot be guaranteed. She also told me that the fun brainstorms do not just come out of nowhere – although they can seem whimsical, they must come prepared and research the brand’s KPIs (key performance indicators) and find out whether they want to drive to retail, gain a greater social following, or if there is a new product launch they are promoting with an iHeart event, etc. I really learned a lot from my meeting with her, and as a person who values creativity and organization, I really feel that I could see myself working well with a team like this if I ever have the opportunity to do so.