In our latest conversation, Casey Shenloogian, associate project manager at EvolveMKD, talked with Lynsey Stanicki and Katy Colón from D S Simon Media about how communicating with multiple teams as an intern, helped grow her skills into a full-time agency role. Shenloogian, also, shares how she learned to embrace her individuality as a tool for adapting to change and setting boundaries. Lastly, catch a top tip for staying organized, that she utilizes every day.
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LYNSEY: Hi, my name is Lynsey Stanicki and I am the Digital Video Production and Marketing Content Producer at D S Simon Media.
KATY: I’m Katy Colón, the Client Service and Marketing Associate here at D S Simon Media.
LYNSEY: And we’re here with Casey. Casey, thank you so much for joining us today. We’re so excited to be chatting with you.
CASEY: Yeah, I’m very excited to do this.
LYNSEY: Awesome. The first topic that we are going to talk about is internships. Internships are a great way to jumpstart your career. Casey, what are the benefits of EvolveMKD’s internship program and how did it help you learn and grow into the communicator that you are today?
CASEY: I think I honestly got so lucky with finding Evolve to have an internship like the one I did, which eventually turned into a full career. You know, Evolve is a digital marketing and communications agency and it has everything. So, it has the marketing side of things. It’s got digital, it’s got creative, it got, you know, research and analytics, finance, everything. So, when I started as an intern, I was able to communicate with all teams on all those topics. I was pulled into projects for client work. I was pulled into brainstorming sessions. And as an intern, you have that access. So, when I was an intern here a few years ago now, it was just the perfect recipe for me to absorb what other people were doing around me, but also to showcase what I had learned at school, and what I had learned in my own professional career, and grow. So, that whole experience set me up for the best version of success.
KATY: Yeah, definitely. Internships are a great way to learn and grow. Casey, I wanted to know, how do you stay organized as a project manager?
CASEY: So, staying organized is the number one thing you need to be as a project manager, in my opinion. And I might be a little bit old-fashioned, but my favorite way to do it is with my hand-dandy to-do list. Just a piece of paper and a pen is all I need and I find that that keeps me on top of anything I have to follow up with. And there’s actually like a study that when you write things down, you have a higher recollection than if you were to type it into like the computer. I think a lot of people can relate to me in that crossing things off a checklist feels great. I’ll also use some reminder tools like Slack. You can slack yourself to remind yourself to do something. Even sending an email to myself has been helpful, but now I got a white piece of paper next to me and everything listed out with due dates and things I need to follow up on it, my number one is my to-do list, pen and paper.
LYNSEY: That’s great advice, Casey. I also love making to-do list. If I’m at my desk here, I’ll usually write my to-do list out with a paper and a pen, but if I’m on the go, I love using Notion. It’s an organization tool and it truly helps me brainstorm ideas and keeps my files in one place. Speaking of getting work done efficiently, communicators have gotten creative when it comes to where they work. I know some of my friends in the industry. They love to work at local coffee shops or go to a friend’s apartment because it’s just a change of scenery. Casey, I was wondering, do you have any go-to places that you love to go when you want to get some work done?
CASEY: Remote work has offered that opportunity, so I’ve tried to take advantage of it. I think the beginning it was like pretty much confined to, you know, the spot in my house that I have. But there’s this really great park right in New Jersey and it kind of acts like a little city, like the area. There are tons of people walking around. There are cafes, and it’s so nice to sit in the cafe and then just like watch and work. That’s been my go-to favorite spot when I’m actually working at home.
KATY: Yeah, absolutely. I know we’ve talked about this before, but my go-to place is Barnes & Noble, not only is it a great atmosphere, but I love that there’s Starbucks right there. So, I can always take coffee breaks or, you know, have a muffin. But I wanted to ask, what advice would you give to students who are applying for internships? I know when I first started my first internship, it was when the pandemic first hit and I had to do it remote.
CASEY: I think there’s such a wait on getting an internship when you’re a student, so it’s very stressful. You know, you might be thinking that there’s this one thing that you really want to try and really like pigeonholing yourself. So, I guess my advice would be to not do that. Don’t be afraid to try something that you didn’t exactly envision or think that you would be doing when you’re applying, don’t get discouraged. You know, internships are hard to come by, but they are so worth it in the end. So, trying for whatever is out there, you know, looking at the companies available, looking at whatever role, you know, you’re going to learn something at the end of the day and that’s really the point of the internship. So, as long as you are learning, it’s really a success, in my point of view.
LYNSEY: Communications Week is just around the corner and I am so excited. Casey, because Ragan’s Communications Week theme is Meet the Moment, how will you meet the moment over the next couple of months of your career journey?
CASEY: I did a little looking into this to make sure that it was kind of how I, you know, took meeting the moment. And, you know, I think over the past few years, we’ve seen such a rise in individuality and really challenging yourself as the world has changed around us. To me, in my journey, meaning the moment is showcasing that individuality. Being bold, speaking out, you know, communicating with my team. You know, communication has become so muddled in different ways. And when you’re mostly conversing with your team with like, you know, instant messaging or even outside of communication, you know, social media, there’s just these boundaries that we didn’t used to have. So, I think getting back into that mindset and really showing up and speaking when I want to speak and finding my individuality in what we do is really going to be the way that I, I grow. And that’s what I want to be doing right now. I want to be growing, and thriving, and flourishing, and learning. So, that’s how I’m going to be doing it.
KATY: Wow, yeah, absolutely. Growth is key. And thank you so much for sharing your insights about this. Casey, it was so great having you.
LYNSEY: Thank you so much for being here. We really appreciate it.
CASEY: Thank you so much for having me.