After moving from Grand Rapids to the metro Detroit area, Kristin Prins ’12 found that persistence pays off when applying for jobs.
“I drove past the Team Detroit office while looking for jobs and was curious as to what it was, so I went to their website. I was so inspired by what they do for Ford Motor Company and their other clients that I needed to work here!” Kristin says. “I contacted HR more than I am sure they wanted me to, but it worked, and I got hired!”
Kristin started working as an Assistant Planner at Team Detroit in January 2013, managing Ford Motor Company’s title sponsorships of both the Toby Keith concert tour and the Professional Bull Riders. Day-to-day work for Kristin consists of speaking with Toby Keith’s and the Professional Bull Riders’ teams, making sure the Ford brand is being represented correctly in print, branding, ads, creative, sweepstakes, and eblasts. Phone calls, meetings, internal status or client status updates are also part of her daily work.
“I enjoy the versatility of my job. I work on many different programs and new things are always popping up. Being able to learn and adapt new programs is very fun and exciting,” says Kristin. “Having Ford Motor Company as a client is huge, and I take pride in that.”
As a strategic communications major at Calvin, Kristin took several courses that have proven to be beneficial in her current work in the advertising industry. Even though she may not have enjoyed it at the time, delivering class presentations developed her ability to speak in front of large audiences, which has prepared her for client presentations. Kristin also took Professor de Haan’s “Advertising and Public Relations” course, which provided her with strategies and knowledge that she now uses daily. Finally, Kristin has a greater appreciation for the filming and editing process as a result of her video production class. While she is on a video shoot for Team Detroit or waiting for editing to be finished, she remembers from her class how long it can take for something to come together.
In addition to her coursework, internships also equipped Kristin to work in the advertising field. She had an internship every summer and every semester after she finished her sophomore year in order to build her resume and gain experience. Kristin was a marketing intern for a non-profit organization, as well as a writing intern for a local magazine. Her internship with Highland Group, a small advertising agency in Grand Rapids, gave Kristin the opportunity to handle one client and learn the ins and outs of working in advertising.
Kristin advises other Calvin students to build their experience through internships. “There are no classes that tell you how to dress, act, set up meetings, communicate to clients, adapt to certain situations, or see what a business is really like until you step foot into an office and see the dynamics,” Kristin explains. “And advertising agencies are different than many corporations, so if you ever have the chance to work or intern for an agency, I highly recommend it!”
Written by Meredith Segur, posted July 2014