An Opportunity to Learn

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This blog was composed by one of the most amazingly talented interns we’ve had the pleasure of working with here at Prodigal, Thomas Fields. Thomas is graduate student at Youngstown State University who will soon be receiving his Masters degree in the field of Interdisciplinary Communication.

A reflection on my time spent interning with The Prodigal Company

By Thomas Fields

I always knew I wanted to be a writer. Ever since I was kid, I filled the pages of notebooks and journals with short stories and poetry. I have this insatiable appetite for all things creative. When pondering a potential career path, a career that allows me to feed my passions for both creativity and writing is what’s most important to me. I’m currently spending my time with The Prodigal Company as a Social Media Marketing Intern, and I have never felt more satisfied.

Many of the opportunities in my professional life have led me to the world of marketing and communications, and eventually pursuing a master’s degree in both. And like most academic programs, an internship is part of the curriculum. I come to Prodigal after an exhausting thread of email exchanges with my internship advisor at Youngstown State University. Frustrated and feeling defeated, I spent the end of spring semester and beginning of summer searching for different internships opportunities that never truly came into fruition.

As fate would have it, and as a result of my internship advisor passing my resume along, I found myself preparing for an interview with Prodigal. I’ve heard of Prodigal before, and I suddenly found myself doubting my abilities and feeling “ready” for this life-changing, career-altering opportunity with a real life branding agency.

I arrived to my interview with my resume clenched in my clammy grip and my stomach in anxious knots. As I exhaled slowly, I prepared to “pitch” myself, but I soon found myself feeling at eased from the moment I walked through the doors. Words cannot accurately describe the atmosphere at Prodigal. I immediately felt welcomed, and I had this assuring feeling that this is where I’m meant to be this summer. Nearly three months later, I still can’t believe I get work in an upbeat environment and learn the ins and outs of the industry I love with people who have graciously interwoven me into the fabric of their organization.

In the three short months I’ve been here, I’ve met and worked on projects for an array of clients, managed websites, wrote copy, proofread magazines, sat in creative meetings to discuss radio and TV spots and billboards with the likes of experienced, creative professionals already making strides in this business. I get to enjoy their stories of “what worked” and “what didn’t work” throughout their personal journeys and absorb every learning opportunity.

What I appreciate most about my time at Prodigal is the constant teaching moments. Every moment spent here is an opportunity to learn. I expected the exposure and the experience. However, what I didn’t expect was to be taken under the wings of the president of the company, Jeff Hedrich.

Every time I interact with Jeff, I hang on to every word he says because he’s very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about his craft and his passion shines through in the many conversations we’ve shared. To me it’s mind-blowing to have similar life and professional experiences with someone I aspire to be one day. Whether it’s about marketing, brand positioning or professional development, one thing I can always count of Jeff for is sound advice and tidbits that always keeps me on toes; keeps me curious; keeps me engaged.

Interning at Prodigal has been an amazing introduction to the real world of marketing. The fast-pace. The clients. The ever-ringing phones. The deadlines. The creativity. The word “internship” makes this experience sounds too short, brief. In all honesty, even if my time here ends at the close of my internship, every marketing opportunity after Prodigal has big shoes to fill.



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