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Transplanted: When a Midwesterner and a Southerner Intern in the Pacific Northwest

Launching our careers at a global agency like MSLGROUP means we’re bound to face opportunities in exciting new places. For us, that meant leaving the Midwest and the South to become Summer Insiders at MSLGROUP’s Seattle office. Beyond new local discoveries, we’ve learned firsthand the benefits of branching out.

Seattle Discoveries

#Views: While Seattle’s hills can turn a relaxing stroll into full-blown cardio, they lend breathtaking views of surrounding natural beauty. On our walk to work, we take in the glistening Puget Sound, the snow-capped Olympic Mountains, and evergreen-forested islands; not to mention the epic Mount Rainier on a clear day.

#CasualEverday: Every day is casual Friday in Seattle. You’ll see Patagonia, not Prada; Columbia, not couture. Our most-loved fashion statement? The backpack. How else would one fit his or her yoga mat and bike clothes?

Leafy greens growing from the hydroponic rooftop garden.

Leafy greens growing from the hydroponic rooftop garden.

#GoGreenToGoHome: “I have to leave by 6 so I can catch my ferry home,” says our graphic designer as he inflates his bike tires next to his desk. For the cycling-wary, dozens of electric and *gasp* hybrid-electric buses operate around the city. Other eco-options include the light rail, the Monorail, the Streetcar, Zipcar, Car2Go, UberHOP, and  plenty of pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and trails.

#Freebies: Seattle rooftops are notoriously green, and the Publicis Groupe building is no exception. On any given day, we can enjoy organic kale, edible flowers, cooking herbs and more.

#ButFirstCoffee: While Seattle is home to the original Starbucks, we’re amazed by the array of local coffee houses in the city. With 1,640 coffee shops, you could visit a new coffee shop every day for four and a half years.

The Benefits of Branching Out

Beyond new regional discoveries, the benefits of taking a position in a new city will serve you—and your team— in meaningful ways.

Keep it Fresh: As interns, we’re known for the fresh energy we can bring to teams. Turn that up a notch by interning in a new city and watch as your contagious enthusiasm influences and encourages your coworkers. Allow your personal experience from back home to shine in brainstorms and team meetings.

Expand Your Network: You probably already have some great contacts in your hometown and college network, but that doesn’t mean you should rule out a new city. Working in a different city allows you to build connections across the country, and you never know who might work with you down the road.

Step Away Your Comfort Zone: Picking up and moving to a new city where you don’t know anyone is challenging at first, but stepping out of your comfort zone will almost certainly lead to a rewarding life experience. You’ll lean on yourself more than you ever have before, and gain a massive amount of self-awareness you couldn’t find back home. Good or bad, you are guaranteed memories that will last a lifetime.

Go the Distance: The further you go, the smaller the world becomes. While getting lost, missing the bus and paying $18 for an Uber (as was Izzy’s first day) is inevitable, big cities aren’t as scary as they seem. Once you settle in, you’ll naturally find things in common with coworkers, notice similarities from back home, and gain a deeper understanding for what brings people together, not apart.

Hone Your Competitive Advantage: Working in a new city will make you more adaptable, versatile and hirable. Making new friends and meeting new colleagues means you’ll strengthen your relationship skills while you gain new technical ones, boosting your growth rate to new heights.

So while us Midwestern and Southern girls enjoy the last few weeks of our internship, we know the sweetest things we’ll take away aren’t just the Rainier cherries.


Seattle_Izzy & Brianne

Izabella Zucker is a B2B food & beverage account management intern at MSLGROUP’s Seattle office. In May 2016, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of Georgia with degrees in Public Relations and International Affairs with a minor in Spanish. Before becoming a Summer Insider, she worked at the UGA Office of Sustainability and served as Executive Director of UGA’s leading philanthropy supporting Children’s Miracle Network. She grew up in North Atlanta. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Brianne Murphy is a consumer food & beverage account management intern at MSLGROUP’s Seattle office. She grew up in the Chicago suburb of Medinah. She was a collegiate cross country and track athlete for two years at Arkansas State University. She then transferred to Illinois State University where she became involved in PRSSA and the American Marketing Association, holding leadership positions in both clubs. She will graduate in May 2017 with her Bachelor’s in Public Relations and a minor in Political Science. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

About The Author

In 2016, MSLGROUP celebrates the 10th anniversary of our flagship internship program, the Summer Insiders Challenge! This year we received hundreds of applications for just 30 slots in 7 offices across the network, and the program has been profiled in the industry trades and in The New York Times. Our program is an 8-12 week paid internship experience where our Summer Insiders are embedded within a practice and assigned to various account teams. Combining client work with both collaboration on a demanding group project and active participation in our summer training curriculum, the Challenge offers a strong learning experience and grooms aspiring talent across the agency.

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