The O-terns Mean Business

We know the O-terns work here… but what exactly do they do?

What makes the O-ternship so great isn’t that we all come from different educational and professional backgrounds, or that we all specialize in different things, or even that we can bring these differences to the table and work cohesively. What actually makes the O-ternship great is a mixture of all of the above. This summer our O-tern team is filling positions across the agency, from analytics to PR to strategy and all the fields in between that make up ICF Olson. Not only do the O-terns get to learn hands-on while working on real clients like Amtrak or Smucker’s, but they get to put what they’re learning to test on the O-tern project.

To give a sense of the breadth of focus areas in the O-tern program, below is a list of the 2018 O-tern roles, as well as a brief overview of each of their respective responsibilities:

  • Account Management, Brand: Responsible for being the main point of contact for the O-tern project client and making sure everything runs smoothly throughout the engagement.
  • Design, Brand: Responsible for creating concepts and mood boards and supporting creative leads.
  • Brand Strategy, Brand: Responsible for digging up insights on brands, and creating strategy through those insights.
  • Connections Strategy, Brand: Responsible for assisting in all stages of the media planning process and compiling and interpreting media data and statistics.
  • PR, Engage: Responsible for writing and distributing press releases, as well as assisting in executing promotional events.
  • Social & Emerging Media, Engage: Responsible for measuring and reporting campaign results, and managing client social media.
  • Analytics, 1to1: Responsible for using statistical software to dive into data to uncover meaning.
  • Design, 1to1: Also responsible for creating concepts and mood boards, but primarily for email platforms and in support of loyalty and CRM efforts.
  • New Business, 1to1: Responsible for assisting the Olson 1to1 New Business team with marketing efforts as well as pitches and RFPs. Additionally, creating content in support of research and insights into customer loyalty.
  • Strategy, 1to1: Responsible for researching the latest trends impacting consumer behavior, loyalty program design and customer experience, as well as conducting analyses of loyalty and CRM programs.

Even though there may be some overlap between positions, such as two design O-terns, no two positions are the same. “Brand design is about bringing new ways of thinking to the table for your audience,” says Rachel Guck, design brand O-tern. “Every day is different. Currently, I am helping with a rebranding project for a local organization in the North Loop.”

Like Rachel, Mac Heide, the design 1to1 O-tern, also sketches out ideas, while designing and adjusting content, but Mac focuses on creating content specifically for loyalty-related emails and concepting for certain promotions.

At ICF Olson there’s a lot of emphasis on synergy and it shows through our work. This has been something that Myna Sharma, the account management brand O-tern, really appreciates. “I really feel like ICF Olson teaches you how to be a better team player, whether it’s on the O-tern project or on other client work, I’m really seeing the value of everyone working together,” she says. “It feels awesome to be a part of a team full of smart, motivated and kind people!”