Intern Spotlight: Taylor Tokarz

Advertising major Taylor Tokarz
Taylor Tokarz is a third year advertising major from Johns Creek, Ga.

What is your official intern title?
AdPR Turner Development Intern

What is your job as an intern/what duties do you perform?
My primary responsibility is to foster the relationship between AdPR students and alumni. I do this through on-campus networking events and fundraising initiatives.

How long have you been the intern?
May 2013 - Present

What is the most rewarding part of being the intern?
(I'll answer this is a somewhat roundabout way!) When I was a freshman I heard of upperclassmen landing internships at large, prestigious ad agencies and wondered how they got there. I thought, "How do I even put myself in a position to be competitive with my peers?" Now I know just how important connections are. There's a sense of camaraderie within the advertising/PR industry that lends a hand to networking; it's encouraging to see how much industry professionals are willing to help students. I love that I can play a small role in facilitating those connections between alumni and students.

What encouraged you to apply to Grady College?
I've always loved writing and typography, but I also wanted a business background. My mom worked for Ogilvy & Mather for a few years, and one of my older sisters was a Grady grad, so I knew a little about the ad industry. What really sold me on becoming an ad major was attending the Cannes Lion Ad Festival study abroad program.

What activities are you involved in at Grady/UGA/Athens?
For the past year I've been involved with TEDxUGA, an independently-organized TED event hosted by the New Media Institute (NMI). Last year I worked as a "speaker coach" and helped my assigned speakers - an alumnus and a student - shape their presentations, from content to visuals. This year I'm on the Steering Committee, which selects speakers for the TED event in March, and I've recently joined the Design Committee.

Outside of Grady, I play for the UGA Women's Club Soccer team and serve as Club President. Essentially, I serve as the liaison between the Women's Club Soccer team and UGA's Recreational Sports Division. This includes submitting weekly travel and update forms, planning each semester's game schedule, and responding to inquires about the team.

I also write for The Chapel Bell, a positive press publication at UGA. Our goal is to inspire others through creative, original articles.
What kinds of internships or work have you been involved in, and what were your responsibilities?
Last summer (2013) I interned with Susan Fonseca, Women@TheFrontier founder. As I had previously worked with her during TEDxUGA'13, we already had a great working relationship. She allowed me to explore the various internship roles, from "social media guru" to blog contributor.

What were the best parts of these experiences?
The best part of my time with Women@TheFrontier was the flexibility I was allowed; because I had the freedom to explore multiple roles, I quickly found out what I was passionate about.

What part of your Grady experience (classes, professors, etc.) has been helpful in your internship or work experiences?
By far the most influential experience I've had at UGA was my time at Grady's Cannes Lion study abroad program. Quite simply, it shaped how I view the advertising industry as a whole, revealing advertising's ability to positively impact the world. It was inspiring to see the incredible creative work - the stories you can tell in a sixty-second commercial, or a single print ad.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering pursuing an Ad/PR program?
In the words of Michael Patrick King, "Risk enthusiasm." Get involved. Get out of your comfort zone. Work hard.

What are your career goals and interests?
As of right now, I'm leaning more towards pursuing a creative career on the client side of the ad industry. I'd love to work in the entertainment industry, specifically for HBO.

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