Mtern Spotlight — Kate Fleming
Errand runners. Coffee grabbers. Copy makers. These labels are everything our Mterns aren’t. With their hands in every department from media to studio, our Mterns have really made their mark this summer. With only a couple of weeks left until these gems leave us, we’re giving each one center stage to learn a bit more.
You never can tell how things are going to turn out in advertising. Case in point: our new biz intern, Kate Fleming. She thought she’d end up in account management but, as it happened, she ended up smack-dab in the middle of business development. She answers some questions for us about where she’s been, how she got here, and where she’s going.
What’s a nice Mtern like you doing in a racket like new biz?
It was almost by accident. Or maybe some would call it fate. I’ve always bounced around from one internship to the next because I was never quite satisfied — always looking to move on to the next thing. I applied for a McKinney Mternship hoping this would allow me to get enough experience in account management to get a job as an account coordinator this fall. On my application, though, you could select three options. I chose account management, project management, and business development. I was positive that I would interview for account management since that was my most relevant experience. It turns out I interviewed for new business instead. And now here I am.
What do you like about it?
It’s fast-paced, and it’s never boring. I like that I’m always learning while on the job. Prospecting for potential new clients means that I’m constantly reading various trade publications and business journals. I keep up with the general news and conduct extensive research on potential new clients via backgrounders, so I’ve become way more knowledgeable about certain industries than I ever would have imagined. I also love the fact that new business touches almost every part of the agency, so I’ve been able to work with almost every department within McKinney.
What contribution are you proudest of?
My biggest accomplishment this summer is learning how to complete a well-executed, insightful backgrounder. Throughout this process, I’ve learned how to conduct extensive research about a brand’s background, category and consumer trends, and the competitive landscape for any industry. It’s usually quite time consuming, and sometimes I have to do what I like to call “pre-research” about the category. That said, my biggest contribution was completing my first backgrounder entirely on my own a few weeks ago. It was presented at a client kickoff meeting, and I had the opportunity to be the “resident expert” on this particular category.
In five years…
I’m Tar Heel born and bred, baby! I grew up 30 minutes away from Raleigh and went to college in Chapel Hill. Some may say I’ve gone over to the dark side by coming to Durham, but I absolutely love it here. It has quickly become one of my favorite cities, especially since the food here is incredible. I know eventually I’ll make my way back here, but, until then, I’d like to spend some time living in both D.C. and New York.
Now that you’ve walked on the wild side, would you do it again?
Crazily enough, I hope that I can. As tough and chaotic as it can be, there’s nothing else like it.