Do you know what color best represents your personality? Using two of its guiding principles—collaboration and innovation—Ayzenberg set out to answer that question, utilizing its Soulmates.AI technology to create myCOLOR, a tool that illustrates what the ‘color’ of a person’s personality reveals about them.

Developed by Dr. J. Galen Buckwalter, the myCOLOR quiz was developed to provide deeper insights into your personality traits as well as how to interact more effectively with others. As the quiz notes, having a better understanding of your quirks can lead to greater compatibility with co-workers resulting in more effective teamwork and collaboration.

Tasked with creating content for a myCOLOR social media campaign during the summer were Ayzenberg and creative interns, including Jennifer Chocolate and Olivia Gutierrez who we caught up with after the conclusion of their internship. The two worked together to develop TikTok content that drove back to the myCOLOR site. We spoke with Chocolate and Gutierrez about their learnings from the project and their advice to incoming Ayzenberg interns, including how they pivoted their internship into full-time positions as staff. We also talked with Ayzenberg VP of human resources Sara Michelson to find out how the agency nurtures interns to help build their careers and its response to the Great Resignation.

Profile: Jennifer Chocolate

Growing up in South Florida, Chocolate developed a passion for Graphic Design after discovering her Photoshop skills in high school. She went on to major in Graphic Design at the University of Central Florida, and later won the 4A’s 2021 Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP) Creative Fellow of the Year and later secured a spot as a 2021 FUTURE for the ADCOLOR Conference and Awards. She notes that all her hard work led to her becoming first a Creative Intern at Ayzenberg, then an employee.

Other than pitching ideas for videos on Xbox’s TikTok, Chocolate spent a great deal of her Ayzenberg internship developing myCOLOR-related content for TikTok. Despite not having previously used the TikTok app herself (Gen Z plot twist!) Jennifer absorbed everything she could find about the app’s algorithm, ideal posting times, proper tags to use and how to edit videos for the best results for the medium. The amount of creativity she was able to summon while developing videos according to the respective colors of the myCOLOR quiz was her favorite part of the internship.

Chocolate had to ask herself what a “purple” personality, for example, dresses like and spends their time doing. Chocolate and the other interns were the first to create TikTok videos around myCOLOR, also known as @TheColorOfMyPersonality, so they allowed their creativity to run wild. There was no precedent or creative blueprint to follow.

Chocolate’s main takeaway while interning at Ayzenberg: the realization that she would get the most out of her time there if she embraced the fact that she doesn’t know everything, a mindset that made her open to anything.

Chocolate isn’t sure what her professional goals are in the near term but she’s on the road to becoming a Creative Director. In the long term, Chocolate looks forward to potentially teaching as a professor and inspiring young creatives of color and women. In the meantime, she started freelancing for Ayzenberg as a Social Media Coordinator before accepting the same full-time position there. Most recently, Chocolate and her ADCOLOR team won the 2021 ADCOLOR Futures Hackathon, where teams have eight hours to come up with a creative solution to a critical issue that they thereafter present to a panel of judges.

“For me, it’s not really a matter of making revolutionary work or reinventing the wheel. I know that I will have fulfilled a part of my purpose if I can inspire any person who has ever been told that they can’t, or that there’s no way. If they’re able to see me or look at my work and that helps them get to whatever goal that they’re reaching, then that’s more than enough for me,” said Chocolate.

Profile: Olivia Gutierrez

A University of Oregon graduate, Gutierrez was a digital production intern at Ayzenberg for about four months, one month longer than anticipated so that she could work on the myCOLOR TikTok campaign.

Working alongside several other interns including Jennifer Chocolate, Gutierrez helped create the myCOLOR social campaign’s strategy brief, developed content ideas, pitched and finalized ideas, conducted research and gathered content for creation. She also produced TikTok videos, wrote copy for captions and posted final videos. Once the videos were uploaded, Gutierrez would monitor traction and engagement. In a nutshell, she learned how to be a creator on TikTok.

Gutierrez recommended that Ayzenberg assign a dedicated team to the myCOLOR project given that, according to her, consistency is key to any social media campaign. Any lapse in posting inevitably leads to irrelevance and potentially unfollows. Her favorite part of the internship was having total creative freedom to create the type of TikTok videos she felt would be most effective at building awareness and education.

When asked to identify a brand she thinks is killing it on social, Gutierrez named athleisurewear company Set Active, noting the company does “an amazing job at community engagement” via daily content posted to its Instagram story—from product drops and behind the scenes through the lens of its employees to “ask us” series and takeovers.

While Gutierrez doesn’t yet have a preference or specialty, she’s doing a little of everything within social media to find out her end goal. Her dream company for the past two years though? Ayzenberg. The agency hired her to work on a few projects as a freelance social media coordinator, including posting and managing content across several social media platforms for Ad Council’s ‘Sound It Out’ social campaign​​. In September, she accepted a full-time role at the agency as a production coordinator working mostly within the ‘a.OS’ group, or in-house video production studio.

“Some advice I would give incoming Ayzenberg interns is to get to know your intern group. They truly are incredible individuals and they will remain your friends even after your internship ends. You will also learn a lot from them. Secondly, work as hard as you can and don’t be afraid to ask questions and get to know the full-time senior workers in the office. They will have a lot of advice to share,” Gutierrez told AList.

Sara Michelson, VP Of Human Resources

Interns are an important recruiting tool for the agency, according to Sara Michelson, Ayzenberg vice president of human resources.

“Our people are our most important recruiting tool and make up who we are. So when we have an intern join, they become a part of the team and never feel like a typical intern. Team members treat them as equal team members,” Michelson told AList.

While the pandemic has widened the talent pool available to Ayzenberg and allowed it to hire people from all over the world, Michelson says the agency isn’t exempt from the Great Resignation, the ongoing trend of US employees quitting their jobs beginning in spring 2021. According to the latest JOLTS report, a record number of 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September.

“We’re thinking of creative ways for people to gather so everyone can meet each other.”

Sara Michelson, VP of Human Resources

“Our greatest asset is our people so when we realized that they wouldn’t be going back to the office immediately, we started building programs to enable connection, help retain employees and enhance their experience. We’re thinking of creative ways for people to gather so everyone can meet each other,” she said.

For example, for every new hire during COVID, Michelson says the company hosted an on-site tour and lunch, which it will start doing every three months for new hires. New hires are also being paired with someone on a senior level so they have access to someone who’s not on their team to show them the ropes. According to Michelson, this is a boon to retention because if a new hire wants to move around in the agency, they can discuss the possibilities of doing so with that colleague.

Ayzenberg is also enhancing its orientation to have follow-up sessions, or deep dives to ensure the new hire is settled in and understands the different teams that comprise the agency. In October, it also hosted food trucks every Friday, which it will continue to do. More recently, an event at Dodger Stadium was hosted to encourage interaction among new hires. 

“We’re experiencing what every company is experiencing but we’re not having trouble recruiting people. So while we’re feeling the impact of the Great Resignation, we’re also really excited about all of the amazing talent we’ve brought on and we’re pleased how many people are excited to talk to us and join the company,” Michelson said.