This summer I interned at VaynerMedia. From the get-go I loved my internship. Back when I was deciding where I should intern (from the places that offered me one) it was really hard. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend an entire summer so far from home with no paycheck. However, I wasn’t sure if the internships I was offered in Dallas were really right for me. I took the leap and went to NYC, to this agency that I knew very little about, trusting that it would be awesome. And boy, was it awesome. When I got back to my place after my very first day, I got on Twitter and had 50+ Vayner people tweet at me, welcoming me and sharing how excited they were to have us there. That was pretty special. From the beginning I was entrusted with tasks for big clients (like Fortune 500 big), I worked on documents that would go straight to the client, and I participated in a bunch of brainstorms for new content.
I was afforded a great mentor, Jesse Brightman, who was always sure to include me in anything that was going on and I truly felt that he was invested in my success. I had lots of awesome people in my department who always had things for me to do. The culture at Vayner is indescribable; it really is like a giant, goofy, hard working family that gets shit done. I mean really, how many of you went on a company-wide scavenger hunt? Or participated in Wine Wednesday? Or Garth Brooks Friday? I’m guessing not many. I was overwhelmed with the kindness of all the people at VM, and they all helped me learn so much. I was worried that at the end of my internship I wouldn’t be ready to graduate in December, but after this experience I am more ready than I thought I’d ever be.
I learned so much about VM’s fearless leader, Gary Vaynerchuk. I have never met someone with so much positive energy and confidence, it was truly inspiring. I was fortunate enough to attend three all-hands meetings to hear him talk about how the agency is moving forward in a great direction. I was there for the partnerships with Buzzfeed and Mashable, which was really exciting. He talked about how he really wants people invested in Vayner and that he wants his employees to stay long-term, and that’s exactly what I want in a job. I want to find a place that I can grow and learn every day and really become a part of it.
Finally, the best part of my internship: meeting Ashton Kutcher. I heard a rumor that he might be coming in to talk to us for our 4 year anniversary party, and I was just like LOLZ YEAH RIGHT. About a half hour into our all-hands meeting, a guy walks in and sits down in the empty chair next to Gary. There is about 30 seconds of silence and then suddenly it registers: OH. That’s Ashton Kutcher. HOLY CRAP. But it wasn’t just amazing because it was Ashton Kutcher, it was amazing for many other reasons. I had perceptions of him, and was pretty confused as to why he was there. He started talking a little bit about his experience in playing Steve Jobs, and began to share some insights about what he has learned. What stuck with me the most was this:
“I found that most of the things that we do in this world that are really rewarding, are the ones that scare us the most. If it’s not scary, it might not be worthwhile in doing. Of all the things that you can do in this world at any given time, what you’re doing right now, that’s the thing that you’ve chosen to do, and so do it to the best of your ability.”
He was there talking about investments he’s made in start-ups, and what we are doing at VM matters. It was crazy to hear he and Gary arguing over tech companies and the “next big thing,” and in the midst of this argument I just really wanted Ashton to say:
After he finished speaking, I barreled over some people to introduce myself. I was sweating and hyperventilating, but dammit I was gonna meet him. Right before I stepped up to shake his hand he looked at me and was like
And then I was all like
Just kidding. I wish.
Summing this all up, I am so glad I had this experience and I learned so much. Who knows, maybe I’ll be back in NYC in 5 months!
Peace, love, and Ashton Kutcher.