Kylie Kagen | @Knkagen | User Experience Intern

Dec 18, 2012

My ‘Enlightened’ Experience as a User Experience Intern

In September of 2012, I walked into the doors of Enlighten for the very first time. After a quick tour of the office, several pleasant introductions, and a good bit of paperwork, I was able to officially call myself Enlighten’s newest User Experience Intern. I had been extremely excited all summer to assume this position at the start of the semester – I couldn’t think of a better way to supplement my last semester of my undergraduate career at The University of Michigan than with the opportunity to work at a place like Enlighten.

Throughout my time here, I have had the incredible opportunity to reach out and touch many different sides of the digital advertising world. While my main focus has been within writing and proofreading copy for various clients, I was also able to gain valuable experience from working with the Social Media team, and even taking on a few smaller Project Management tasks. Additionally, I was asked to provide support for the small team within Enlighten working with Vic Strecher, author of the book, On Purpose. The time I spent working with both the internal Enlighten team as well as the people working to support the author was invaluable in providing experience with working directly alongside of clients, and making compromises in order to maintain creative and practical balance within projects as a whole.

I feel extremely lucky to have been exposed to the wonderful people working at Enlighten, and have thoroughly enjoyed the time I have spent with them since the beginning of my internship. One of the most wonderful things about Enlighten is its roster of incredibly personable, intelligent, and entertaining people working within these walls. In addition to their stellar personalities, however, the people I have met here at Enlighten are also extremely willing to dedicate additional time and effort towards helping those working under them learn and grow. This has been an extremely important aspect of my internship, as I have (on many occasions) felt unsure as to how to proceed on a project. Without a doubt, however, I always knew that I would have someone there to explain the various processes and steps involved with producing the best work possible. This help was never required of them, and for that reason, I appreciate it even more.

If I had any small piece of advice to give to anyone coming in as a new intern to any advertising environment, it would definitely be to have confidence in both your own ability as well as your ideas. There should never be limitations placed on any person simply because they are younger, less experienced, or perhaps less wise than others in a room – in fact, sometimes, ideas that come from those with the newest, most unique, and under-utilized perspectives can prove to be quite valuable. I would also suggest that you always remember to ask questions, and make sure that you fully understand directions and scenarios before delving into any project. It is never a crime to be curious, but is rarely a benefit to be under- informed.

I feel as though the time I have spent at Enlighten has provided me with countless opportunities to grow as both a writer and as a professional. I am extremely grateful for the time I’ve spent her thus far, and cannot imagine my final semester of college without Enlighten as a major part of my world.