What I Learned As a Media Planning Intern
This past summer I got a paid internship at a small media planning and buying agency in
Dallas. I learned many things about the advertising industry, professional behaviors, and how to
map out mounds of flowcharts.
Throughout my internship I was given the responsibility of learning a new media flowchart
software, among other tasks. I learned this new software in about a week. I then was able to transfer excel spreadsheets to the new software system. I know you are probably bouncing in your seats with envy and excitement. Although most of the time media planning can be quite tedious and unexciting, there are many perks to working as a media planner or buyer.
One of the major perks in the industry is the free stuff. Free food, free bowling, and free
coffee. Even as an intern, I was allowed to go bowling with reps from a vendor. They paid
for all the agency employees to bowl, had a nice little food spread, and provided drink tickets. Then of course, there are endless amounts of treats being brought into the office any time a representative comes or a meeting takes place. I learned that back in the day, advertising became very corrupt because of bribing and gifting so most higher ups in the industry don’t participate in this kind of schmoozing, for ethical reasons.
Another thing I learned during my internship is that this section of advertising is hard work. Just
like creatives, media planners and buyers don’t just work from 9-5. Endless hours are spent
adding and re-adding budgets, quadruple checking flowcharts, sorting through data sheets,
phone calls with vendors, meetings with clients, and so on. I have a lot of respect for everyone involved with media. It is definitely an underrated part of advertising and it takes a special person to be able to handle all of those numbers.
Media planning and buying is a crucial and complex part of advertising that deserves a lot of
respect. I suggest for any advertising student to intern at a media agency so that they can learn
how things work within so that one day, when they are in contact with a media agency, they will
have respect and understanding.