Ad Firm Turns to Twitter for Intern Applications

By Staff Report

Jan. 17, 2011

The number 13 is often said to be bad luck. But not for a group of interns chosen by Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis, which announced today it will hire its group of summer 2011 interns based on an application consisting of 13 tweets sent between Feb. 13 and Feb. 25.

For six consecutive summers, the Interpublic Group of Cos.’ agency has offered a 10-week paid internship to a group of interns, dubbed Lucky 13, who have just completed their junior or senior year of college.

Debbie Fischer, vice president, human resources manager and organizer of Lucky 13, said the application process up until now had been much more traditional. Students would view the guidelines online and generally submit a résumé, along with essays and other materials, via mail.

Why did the shop move the application process onto Twitter? To demonstrate that it’s thinking about the marketing world through a digital and social media lens, the agency said. “This is the right time for us to have applicants engage with Twitter,” Fischer said. “We wanted to move the application process in a new direction, especially considering the recent merger with MRM.”

Campbell Mithun last August absorbed the Minneapolis outpost of the Interpublic sibling and digital agency, a move CEO Steve Wehrenberg attributed to a desire to enhance his agency’s digital offering.

Submitting a job application in 140-character blasts could be challenging, and Fischer declined to provide details on exactly what kinds of tweets the agency is looking for from candidates. “There are no specific criteria. It’s up to the candidates how they want to position themselves.” Students are instructed to include the hashtag #L13 in every tweet that’s part of their application, as well as a secondary hashtag depending on what track they choose.

This year, the interns will choose one of four departments to apply for: account management; media, through the agency’s Compass Point Media unit; creative, where interns work with an art director or copywriter; or technology.

One point the agency stresses is that interns who are selected won’t be fetching coffee and making copies. “They are not here just to shadow,” Fischer said. “The internship was set up as more of an entry-level position or apprenticeship.” She added that every year at least one from the Lucky 13 bunch has moved on to a full-time position.  

Filed by Maureen Morrison of Advertising Age, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail


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