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Meet the Interns: Launchpad's Second Year Blasts Off

May 29, 2015

HLK’s Launchpad program -- a six-week internship during which students pair with mentors across the agency’s departments -- is in its second year, with six fresh new faces.

HR Director Meredith Osborn put the program into place when she came onboard in 2014. Each participating student is assigned a mentor, who they shadow, support, and rely on for direction and feedback. “It’s a more structured internship, like a mini-agency within the agency,” says Osborn. “The students can receive class credit, but they’re also building their portfolios. It’s not some made-up project or just shuffling them around; it’s real client experience.”

Accepted students represent a range of majors and backgrounds, with each partnering with a different agency department:

Clockwise: Art Director Timothy Hykes recently graduated from UMSL with a degree in graphic design; Account Manager Michelle Doering is a recent graduate of Mizzou with a degree in Journalism; Media’s Laura Harvey is expected to graduate from Wash U in 2017 with degree in psychology and a minor in writing; Strategist Ben Eskelsen transferred from Mizzou to BYU and is expected to graduate in 2017 with a degree in advertising; Copywriter Sean Prindiville majors in advertising at Webster University; Content Developer Becca Grandidier majored in mass communication at SIUE.

Interns work as a team on two projects, devoting three weeks to each. At the end of their third week, they make a pitch that includes strategy to execution to an assembled board of mentors and account managers.

The program benefits are mutual, says Osborn. “It’s two-fold. The mentors really appreciate the opportunity to give back and relay their own wisdom and experience. And we have quite a few employees who began as interns, so it does lead to full-time opportunities and is good for us from a recruitment standpoint.”

HLK receives 150 to 200 applications to the Launchpad program each year and accepts 12 students divided across two cycles. This gives the agency access to double the talent and allows students the flexibility to work outside the internship, if necessary.

Applications are accepted from the end of January through the beginning of April. While the majority of our interns are current students, the program is open to recent graduates. You can keep up with the Launchpad program at the intern-run blog, here.