08/05/2018 - Blogs
US to UK – My internship at Talon
Although it was only six months ago when I started my internship at Talon, it feels as if I’ve fit years of experiences into that time, which with all honesty I believe I have.
Having only graduated from the College of Charleston in South Carolina last May, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life let alone where I wanted to live. I had job opportunities at home but suspected there was more out there for me, and rather than move home back to Connecticut I decided to take a chance. I decided to take a chance with Talon.
In my life I have had an assortment of different jobs everything from political campaigner to marketing intern, to commissioned artist, to working in a restaurant. I started out working in American politics (yikes) which may sound interesting but after a while politics become your life and everything you end up talking about. Whilst I actually enjoy talking politics, I dipped in and out of different campaigns for five years.
The summer after my second year of University I got an offer from a friend to move out to Los Angeles and intern for a start-up company. Since I wouldn’t be getting paid he said I could sleep on his couch. Needless to say I took that chance and moved across the country. I won’t tell you I was living the high life in LA, because I wasn’t. There were four of us working and living in this studio apartment in downtown LA. We would sit down at the table we made from wood pallets and get to work. We were broke, but hell we were young and building something by ourselves. My jobs included making coffee and building marketing decks. Over that summer I built deck after deck for two and half months, until I had to fly back out east and back to school.
After my stint out in Cali, I decided to try and find work that coincided with my studies, being that I was tired of politics I decided to try and find work in the art world. Eventually I was commissioned to build a sculpture for the North Charleston Arts Festival. After that success, I built a piece that doubled as a fountain for one of my Uni’s ponds. My Uni loved it so much they decided to keep it!
Finally, just after graduation, and before moving over to London, I worked in a five star restaurant where I was able to master my ability to talk like a southerner. Everyone wanted real authentic southerners serving them southern delicacies so I put on my best southern twang and got to work. Sadly I do not have a good English accent at all, but I’m sure that will come with time.
All of these stories and experiences made me into the person that took a chance and moved overseas to work with Talon.
Interning at Talon
I started my internship at Talon just ten days after I had moved to the UK. Since I knew no one besides my relatives in the country Talon was also kind enough to give me a “buddy”. Let’s call him David (coincidentally he’s also written a blog about his intern and wider experiences). He really helped me get my footing in my role within the company as well as in my life. As I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I came to Talon, I had an internship set up for me where I would be rotated around the company so I could experience all the different parts of what makes Talon tick. It was refreshing to see that Talon offered a paid internship – paying at least the minimum living wage – something that I hadn’t really come across before, especially in the advertising world.
I started off in planning; my first experience in an office environment and I had no idea what I was in for. As nervous as I was on the first day everyone made me feel at ease the moment I was properly sat down and settled. The team was a dream to work with and had endless patience for my questions and always helped me out. They showed me that the office environment wasn’t as intimidating as I thought. In fact it was a lot more fun than I ever imagined.
I was then moved over to our superb Marketing and Innovation teams on the completely opposite side of the office. Most of my time was spent helping Jess or Tom with Creative Testing PCAs and the Talon Landscape. Having just come from planning, the insight team gave me a whole new perspective on the entire process a plan goes through from brief to PCA. I helped redesign the existing processes and really felt valued. At this point in my internship I had also gotten into the social side of Talon and the team helped me get out there. Whenever a social night was organized or a pub quiz put together we were the first ones on the list.
Finally I was on the last stretch of my internship and moved over to the OAT team, our Outdoor Analytics Team. I was sat with Jon and Sophie who showed me the world of data, which I loved. I got to dig through piece after piece of in depth data, which at times might have seemed tedious but I knew when the overall picture came together it would be worth it. At the time I didn’t realize how everything fell together, and I can tell you running frame IDs through Route for days on end isn’t always the most fun but you can always make it fun when you’re sat next to Sophie. And I probably had the best banter with Charlie - probably one of the most talkative people I’ve ever worked with, and I’ve worked with some crazy political people.
Just before my time with the OAT team I was ecstatic to find out that I was being offered a full time job as a Client Executive. Rotating around the teams gave me a strong grounding in the world of OOH and how Talon works as a business – meaning that I knew I could hit the ground running in my new role as a Client Exec.
Did I stop to think about this major life choice that would alter the country I lived in and everything about my life up until that point? Absolutely not, I jumped at the chance! I knew that with Talon, the chance I had taken had paid off and would continue to pay off. I’ve made some great friends in the business already. And of course, Talon has changed me for the better. But I’m still the same old Gavin. In fact, I’m now also Gavlar! (a name derived from a popular character from the BBC’s Gavin and Stacey, or so I’m told?)
I’ll sign off by saying the best bit of advice I’ve been given was, wherever you go in life and whatever you find yourself doing make sure to find your people. I know that here at Talon I have found my people. And that old Southern charm is creeping back in.
Gavin Georgiadis, Client Executive, Talon