9 Things I've Learned in 9 Weeks as an Intern at Speak Creative

9 Things I've Learned in 9 Weeks as an Intern at Speak Creative

Speak welcomed four interns this summer, with two of us in Nashville and two representing the 901. Kevin was brought onto the Web Development team, Micah joined the Platforms team, London spent her summer as a Brand Strategy intern with the Audience Growth team, and I joined the powerhouse that is the Speak Agency Marketing team. 

We spent our summers doing very different things, but I’m sure we’d all agree that we learned a lot. As I round out my time at Speak, I’m highlighting 9 things I learned in 9 weeks as an intern. Keep reading to see for yourself how special a place Speak truly is. 

1. Speak loves Slack. 

Actually, Speak loves online systems and programs in general. Not surprising, given that it’s an agency that specializes in all things digital, but on my first day, I was given log-ins to about a million different systems and solutions, programs and channels, from social media to our content management and customer relationship management systems, and, of course, Slack. Slack is the preferred method of communication at Speak, and boy does this team love to Slack. 

At any given time, there’s conversations happening on the company-wide slack channel (#team-chat), the individual Nashville and Memphis channels, channels for each department, and channels for specific interests and hobbies. By lunch time on my first day I’d been added to a #puppers-and-doggos channel, one for food lovers, a #music channel, and a channel that exists for the sole purpose of generating a daily bad joke. 

Slack keeps things fun and lively at Speak. It let me get to know everyone better than I would have if we only communicated on email. Plus, I didn’t have to sign off a slack message, “Best, Destiny” ONCE. 

2. What a gif-off is.

If you’ve never had, or even heard of a gif-off before, let me tell you now, you're missing out. On my first day of my internship at Speak, I was told that we were going to have a company-wide gif-off on Slack as a sort of welcome celebration. A gif-off consists of a series of questions, plus a bonus question that are posed to everyone in the full team Slack channel. Everyone has 3-5 minutes to answer. Two important kickers here: 

  1. Everyone can only reply with a gif. 

  2. Every question was about me. 

Talk about intimidating, and high pressure. But by the end of the gif-off, I’d gotten to know the team and their sense of humor, and it made for a fun break in the day. By the end of the gif-off, Speak’s self-proclaimed Mayor, BJ the Accountant, tallied up the score, and chose a winner. Me. 😎

3. The Nashville office LOVES dogs.

My first day when I walked into the office, I was immediately greeted by a very loud and excited but protective presence that I definitely wasn’t expecting to see in a downtown office setting. A dog! 

Turns out, the Nashville team has doggie co-workers in the office a few days out of the week. In the corner of the office, they kept a whiteboard with 4 cute doggie faces drawn on it, with a detailed description about who each of them were, who their owner was, their likes and dislikes, and when they get to come in. Turns out the dog I met on my first day was Theo, a sweet border collie owned by Brand Strategist, Matt Balliet. Throughout my time in the Nashville office, I also met Ziggy (owned by Agency Marketing Coordinator Claire Grace), Daley (owned by Content Specialist Maggie Dye), and Peaches (owned by Graphic Designer Corinne Mizzell). 

The pups kept the office exciting, and their presence speaks to how important work-life balance is to Speak. Anytime you need a break from the computer screen, there’s going to be a pup available to pet. 

4. Lunch is a big deal. 

At Speak, nothing is more celebrated than… lunchtime. It’s a much-needed break in the day, yes, but while I’ve been a part of some teams who don’t take their lunches together, or put in their headphones and shut everything out for an hour at lunch, the Speak team uses their lunch breaks to be social together. Everyone in the Nashville office ate around a big table every day and talked about their lives outside of work, what’s been going on, and all the things they’ve seen on TikTok recently. They don’t do this because it’s a requirement—there wasn’t any pressure to join in, but everyone opted to, which made me see why this team values lunch so much.

On my second to last day, one coworker’s mom even came to eat lunch with us and couldn’t stop bragging about what a special place Speak is. Clearly, lunch at Speak is as unique as Speak is as a whole. 

5. Speak doesn’t like boring. 

Like at any office job, sometimes typing and clicking away on your computer or taking calls and meetings can get a little boring. To combat this, Speak makes sure to spice things up from time to time and sprinkle in fun activities here and there. 

Speak’s remote-optional policy meant we occasionally left the office to work together at a coffee shop for a little while, and when that wasn’t enough, we broke up our days with other fun activities. 

We dubbed one lunch hour Fry-day, and everyone picked up and brought back to the office their favorite french fries. Represented was Chick-fil-A, WingStop, ML Rose, McDonalds, and more for us to taste test and rank.

We also had one afternoon where everyone created a random PowerPoint presentation and presented it to the group, and an afternoon happy hour where Stephen Smith, a developer who splits his time between Nashville and Brazil, made everyone Brazilian cocktails and taught us a bit about the culture. It’s little things like this that keep things exciting at Speak! 

6. You will snack. A lot. 

Most people at Speak begin their workday at 7am. Working 7am-5pm on Monday through Thursday so we can enjoy half-day Fridays as a work perk means quite a few cups of coffee and more than a few snack breaks throughout the day. Lucky for us, Speak keeps the kitchens in Nashville and Memphis stocked with good snacks (my personal favorite is the family-sized box of Cheez-Its kept on hand in Nashville), and good coffee. 

7. Bachelorette parties are the background noise of the Nashville office. 

Working in a beautiful downtown office with a view has its perks, but it also comes with getting used to the sound of bachelorette parties singing and chanting along Broadway all day every day. I’ve lived in Nashville my entire life, but I definitely didn’t expect to be hearing a raging bachelorette party passing by at 10am on a Tuesday morning. 

8. 901 vs 615: This means war. 

The battle between the Memphis office and the Nashville office is a tale as old as time. Whether it’s a challenge of which office can steal more things from the other office when an out-of-town coworker comes to visit their rival office or a debate in Slack about whether having Ikea or hot chicken makes a city better, you can bet these two offices are constantly competing for first place. 

Here’s a recent scoreboard update. Don’t worry, it doesn’t make sense to me, either.  

9. Spending a summer doing marketing for a marketing agency = learning a LOT about marketing.

I came to Speak with not a whole lot of marketing experience. I joined a small team of 3 that handles all the marketing for Speak as an agency. That means I got to help be the voice of Speak, and I got to work on projects that marketed the marketing experts. 

I had a lot to learn, and, really, I still have a lot to learn. Luckily, the team here was amazing enough to help me along the way, allow me to try things and ask questions and learn and create, all at the same time. Makes for a pretty great summer if you ask me. 

Speak would love to get to know you. 

Whether you’re interested in joining the Speak team or you’re looking for a partner who can help create amazing online experiences and audience growth strategies, give us a shout! Speak is a truly special place. Get to know the folks that make it exactly that. 

Let's Chat  

Posted by Destiny Welch at 15:56