Spotlight: LA 2017 Spring Intern

Spotlight: LA 2017 Spring Intern

This Spring we're lucky to have Jill Salzman join us as an intern with our Brand Strategy team. Jill is graduating this June with a BA in Strategic Communications from Elon University in North Carolina. With her Southern sensibility, natural curiosity, resourcefulness and talented writing skills, Jill is a natural fit with our team. She draws on her insight and experience to contribute ideas and solutions as we navigate various internal and client projects. Learn more about Jill and her three-month stay in Los Angeles!

I’m from Richmond, Virginia and have lived there my entire life. Richmond is a unique city, comprised of two very different groups of people. It’s confederate roots still run very strong amongst some Virginians, yet a growing population of millennials interested in art and culture would like to see Richmond erase its Civil War history. Between swimming in the James River, going to a concert on Brown’s Island, or hanging out in the Fan (Downtown) District for shopping or eateries, there is always something happening in Richmond. My favorite thing to do in Richmond is attend food festivals with my best friend and my dog. From March thru October, there’s a different food festival each weekend, but my favorites are the Watermelon Festival and the Greek Festival. 

After being away from Richmond (and the south) for a year, I found I am much more southern than I thought. I transferred to Elon University after a year at University of Rhode Island. Elon is the opposite of Rhode Island in so many ways. It’s private, liberal arts, small, and in a very small, southern town. I chose Elon for the liberal arts curriculum and the communications school. However, Elon has so much to offer students because of its study abroad opportunities, good student/professor ratio, future-oriented planning, and beautiful campus. Although Elon is a small town located in the middle of North Carolina, the school is rapidly growing not only in size but in prestige and recognition. 

I’m a 21 year-old, born and raised Southerner. My older brother lives in New York City, and the rest of my extended family lives in the Buffalo/Rochester area of western New York, where my parents are both from. I love to travel and learn about food. I’m lucky to have traveled to several different places and continents, but am really interested in exploring more of South America. I’m a foodie! My favorite thing about places I visit is a restaurant or food I ate. I’ve only been heavily invested in cooking for three or four years now, but am eager to expand my cooking knowledge and can be found watching the Barefoot Contessa on Food Network.

My major is Strategic Communications. Elon has Journalism, Public Relations, and Writing majors as well, but Strategic Communications encompasses these and other majors. I’ve enjoyed dabbling in different areas of communications, and feel that this allows me so much freedom in a career. I’m also a Business Administration minor (purely for practicality), but I regret not being a Spanish minor instead.

Elon offers semester-long study programs in New York City, Washington DC, and Los Angeles. While most students choose New York when considering StudyUSA, I chose Los Angeles because of my former experiences in California. My family drove through the Redwoods on our way to San Francisco, and we more recently spent about 10 days in San Diego over one Christmas. These are some of my favorite vacations within the United States, and I knew that I would most likely love Los Angeles as well. I also planned to be in LA specifically in spring, as I hate the snow and was hoping to avoid winter altogether. 

At Shook Kelley, I’m assisting with marketing and public relations efforts. I write blog posts, and provide guidance on a number of different marketing and social media aspects. I have some experience with small-business marketing. Being able to create a plan from the ground up has been really rewarding, and I appreciate the confidence placed upon me by SK. SK also promised me some insight into brand strategy, which the team has more than delivered upon. As an intern, I know that I am lucky to sit in on client meetings and phone calls, and to be able to freely explore Shook Kelley’s case studies to sooth my curiosity. I feel that I have gotten a well-rounded experience and have probably gained more than I would have at most other branding internships, all of which I am incredibly appreciative. 

I have never encountered a firm quite like Shook Kelley. I’ve interned at PR agencies, non-profits, and done some freelance PR/Marketing for small businesses, but have never interacted with a design or architecture firm. The firm’s concept of “We Convene” is a great way to explain Shook Kelley. While lots of other architecture or design firms might focus on making the next Walt Disney Hall or Broad Museum, I can appreciate that Shook Kelley wants to design the everyday places. The idea to create a grocery store, for example, where people are invited and encouraged and want to convene at is great, and I think translates well not only to clients but to the people using the store. I also appreciate Shook Kelley’s multidisciplinary approach, which allows collaboration between teams and ensures every project is a group effort. 

I generally love LA with two exceptions: the traffic and the constant busy-ness! I will never understand why every place I go (even during supposed non-peak times!) is packed at all times. Does no one go to school or work in LA? The traffic, I have learned, is bearable as long as you work close to where you live or live close to where you work. 

I do love the outpouring of Mexican food and burgers, the ability to have super fresh produce (for much cheaper), the opportunity for art and culture, the sun and warmth, and the diverse people and neighborhoods. I haven’t decided whether the entertainment industry is a plus or minus, but I do love driving by Paramount on the way to work and Warner Bros on the way home, and I really enjoyed going to the Oscars.

It’s funny - I’ve always considered myself an “East Coaster,” probably by default. My brother moved to New York for college and hasn’t left since, but I’ve never been interested in moving there. However, we are so yin and yang. He’s fast-paced. I am easy-going. I think the West Coast probably suits my personality better.

I don’t think my parents like to admit that they raised kids who want to live on opposite coasts. There’s a lot to love about LA, and I’m very much considering a move here post-grad. 


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