Employee Highlight: Clare Leonard

Clare is an account coordinator and has been at Hirons for about two months. She enjoys her time in the Morton Think Tank, where she can sit on the comfy couch and brainstorm ideas. If she had to describe Hirons as a food, she would choose a Snickers bar because while Hirons appears on the outside as a cohesive company, it has many layers and works with a diverse client base. Clare loves to spend time exploring all neighborhoods of downtown Indy. When looking for a bite to eat, she likes to head over to one of her favorite restaurants, Livery.

How did you become interested in advertising/PR? How did you break into the industry and land your first job?

The reason I became interested in PR was because of Ball State University’s student-run firm, Cardinal Communications. Through Cardinal Communications, I worked with a diverse client base and learned various public relations tactics. This ultimately led to an expanded network and a lot of different opportunities throughout college. One opportunity in particular allowed me to work with Hirons and their client, The ARA Project. After graduation, I was lucky enough to land my first full-time job with Hirons. The job opening was presented to me as a result of my pre-existing network with current employees and Tom Hirons.

What would you consider the specializations/most important tools of the trade?

As a PR professional, you must be knowledgeable and adaptable. The industry is constantly evolving, and being aware of current events and trends is crucial.

What characteristics do you need to be successful in the industry?

You must be a clear communicator. Deadlines, project scopes and meetings are constantly being rearranged to best accommodate the client. In an industry that is constantly changing, we must continue to be clear communicators.

Do you have any interesting hobbies/second jobs/bits of information that make you pop as an individual?

Many of my friends refer to me as the “ultimate planner.” You will rarely find me without a to-do list or a detailed calendar.

When and where do you have your best ideas?

I get my best ideas while traveling to and from work. I enjoy thinking “out of the box” before the workday starts. I challenge myself to bring something new and innovative to the table every day.

What has been the most exciting project/campaign that you’ve worked on at Hirons?

My most exciting project at Hirons thus far is the logo redesign project for Festival Country in Johnson County, Indiana. I have a passion for the tourism industry and working with this client has been a treat. I started working at Hirons right when this project rolled out, so I had the chance to brainstorm new branding ideas with the rest of the team. I collaborated with the creative department and made sure they were creating what the client ultimately wanted. It was great to see this project from start to finish.

Why is effective advertising/PR so important for the growth and success of organizations?

In order for a business to continue to be successful, it must have positive brand awareness. Positive brand awareness stems from successful advertising and public relations. As an account coordinator, my main goal is to provide clients with effective public relations tools to help expand their company brand awareness.

What’s one important tip you would share with anyone looking to go into the agency world?

If you are looking to join the PR or advertising industry, you must utilize your network. I encourage you to sit down and think about your connections in the industry. Challenge yourself to attend networking events around the city. These little tips can lead you to your first job or internship.

What is the most meaningful part of your job?

The most meaningful part of my job is providing positive change for all clients. From creating social media content to planning a press conference, every project provides an opportunity to better brand a client.

Intern Spotlight: Spring 2018

Read our Q&A with Hirons’ latest round of interns to hear about their previous experiences, and why they chose Hirons.

Name: Hanna Jones
Internship: Communications Management Assistant

What college do you attend and what is your major?

I am a junior at Indiana University-Bloomington. I am majoring in public relations with a minor in political science.

Why did you choose to intern at Hirons?

The reputation of Hirons is admirable. The prestige and fast-paced nature of this organization reflects my personality, and I know I will learn from some of the best practitioners in the industry. All my life I have wanted to “play with the big kids.” Absorbing everything I learn at Hirons will help me prepare for the real world and set me up for success in my future career.

What do you hope to accomplish during your internship?

I hope to leave with a good grasp of public relations and all of its facets. I also want to become a more effective communicator overall. Hirons will afford me the opportunity to exercise and improve upon my communication skills.

What kind of work-related experience do you bring to us?

Hirons is my first internship. While I don’t have a ton of experience in the public relations field, I am a quick learner and hard worker. Along with the classes I am currently enrolled in, I am maximizing my efforts to provide Hirons with a knowledgeable intern.

What kind of life experience do you bring to us?

I am naturally a hard worker and a semi-perfectionist. I say that because I know nothing can ever be perfect, but it can get pretty close! I take pride in the work that I do and it’s evident. I am intuitive, goal-oriented and easy to get along with.

What are your first impressions of Hirons?

My first impression of Hirons was how modern it is. The design is clean-looking but not plain. This is a productive work environment and the staff is welcoming and friendly.

Fun facts about yourself:

  • I am a photographer on the side; I do get paid for it.
  • I was born in San Diego, California.
  • I watched all nine seasons of “The Office” in two weeks.

Name: Hattie Saylor
Internship title: Communications Management Assistant

What college do you attend, and what is your major?

I go to Butler University (go Dawgs!) and my major is in strategic communications with minors in French and Critical Communications and Media Studies.

Why did you choose to intern at Hirons?

I had previously heard about Hirons from multiple people and professors who spoke about how amazing it is. I was not

sure if agency life was right for me but, after attending a PRSSA panel where different agencies talked about what they did and how much they loved their job, I knew that I had to give it a shot. After that, I spoke with a mentor at Butler University and then put Hirons on the top of my list. I was ecstatic when I received an invitation to interview and was beaming when I got the internship offer. I really love how creative and collaborative the company is and how they weave “Be Bold” throughout everything they do!

What do you hope to accomplish during your internship?

I really want to be a sponge and soak up all of the knowledge I can. Whether that is learning the ins and outs of a client meeting or how to run a successful campaign. I would love to talk to anyone and everyone to see their professional journey and what they contribute to the continuing success of Hirons. I would also like to enhance my writing skills and ensure they are up to industry standards.

What kind of work-related experience do you bring to us?

This summer I was fortunate enough to intern for Patachou Foundation. There, I did many different things from social media work to planning events and making videos. This fall I worked at Encore Sotheby’s, a realty company, and my focus was on social media. So what I bring to Hirons is not just one thing but a lot of different skills and knowledge about a variety of topics.

What kind of life experience do you bring to us?

Only being 22 years old, I don’t have a ton of life experience, but going abroad has definitely made the biggest impact on my life. I traveled to 10 countries and a several cities in England over the course of four months. Being abroad, I learned lots of important lessons about life and myself, which I love talking about so if you want to hear, come find me!

What are your first impressions of Hirons?

I have really enjoyed my time here so far. Everyone is so knowledgeable about agency life and really seems to be on top of their game. I also love that everyone, no matter their title, is willing to sit down and talk with me. Since I am about to enter the “real world,” hearing stories about different people’s journeys to Hirons is beneficial. The amount of work I am doing is really great as well. I like being treated as more than just another intern.

Fun facts about yourself:

  • My little sister is my best friend. Her name is Betsy, she’s 20 years old and is a sophomore at the University of Michigan!
  • I love podcasts and books. I am super into real or fictional crime/mysteries so any and all suggestions are appreciated.
  • My high school was mentioned in the iconic movie “8 Mile.”
  • I am an ENFP (woo Myers Briggs!)
  • I am a barista.
  • I love dogs and I have a 3-year-old golden doodle named Tucket, whom I love (and miss) so much.

Name: Carrie Latimer
Internship title: New Business Assistant

What college do/did you attend and what is your major?

I’m a senior in The Media School at Indiana University, majoring in media advertising.

Why did you choose Hirons for an internship?

I wanted to get agency experience and make connections in Indy. Hirons had been on my radar for a couple of years after hearing about the agency through fellow PRSSA members, so I always sort of knew I would end up here eventually.

What do you hope to accomplish during your internship?

I hope to get a thorough understanding of how the business model of an agency works. Prior to coming here, I only had experience in corporate PR. The agency-client relationship is totally new to me, so I’m looking forward to figuring out how it all works.

What kind of work-related experience do you bring to us?

I’ve worked as a digital marketing intern at Indiana University Press and social media and PR intern at Cook Medical. I’ve worked for student-run Agency 7 at IU and even created my own job managing Instagram for David’s Bridal Bloomington. Currently I also work as a communications assistant at The Media School at IU when I’m in Bloomington. I love social media (especially the ‘gram) and usually find some way to incorporate hashtags into whatever job I’m doing. I’m also heavily involved with PRSSA at IU and spend most of my free time helping students network and connect with employers.

I am very ambitious and driven. No goal is too big for me, and I’m committed to overachieving and exceeding expectations in every aspect of my life (I usually blame it on the fact that I’m a Virgo). Whether it’s agreeing to plan a symposium on journalism and religion when I already have a million jobs or making it to the final round of Colts cheerleader auditions, I’m always ready to put in work and wear as many hats as possible.

What are your first impressions of Hirons?

It’s a casual and fun environment (so many snacks!), but everyone takes their work very seriously. After a week and a half, I already felt so connected to the Indy community. It seems like this is a place where big things are always happening, and I’m excited to be a part of the team. Also everyone is so trusting of me! I drove Chad’s BMW in a snowstorm on my third day.

Fun facts about yourself:

  • I can beat anyone at Super Smash Brothers on GameCube, but only if I’m Yoshi. I don’t actually know how to do anything other than kick and jump, but it seems to work pretty well for me.
  • I will drink iced coffee no matter how cold it is outside. Tall cold brew in a Venti cup with a splash of nonfat milk, extra ice and two pumps of toffee nut syrup, please.
  • I have business cards that are neon pink and say “HIRE ME” and I’m pretty sure that’s how I got here.
  • One time I met Hulk Hogan at Disney World.
  • I’ve been really into weightlifting for the last two years. I can now deadlift 150 pounds and, more importantly, open a jar of salsa by myself.

Name: Yoonji Jung
Internship title: Digital Media Assistant

What college did you attend and what was your major?

My first school was at York University (Canada) majoring in graphic design, but after a year I moved back to Turkey (where I grew up) and worked at a consumer product company to support my family, who was going through a rough financial time. So, after learning graphic design for two years, I decided to change my major to business administration at Middle East Technical University (Turkey).

Why did you choose Hirons for an internship?

I have a special heart for nonprofit organizations. As I was researching about Hirons, I found out that they work with a lot

of nonprofit organizations, which aligns with my personal interests because I have been freelancing for nonprofits previously. I was sure Hirons would be a great fit for me to learn about how the agency works with nonprofit organizations.

What do you hope to accomplish during your internship?

I am a self-taught designer, so I have been learning things off the internet from design to how to communicate with clients. So, I am hoping to:

  • Get design critiques/feedbacks from more experienced colleagues
  • Learn how a design project works from start to finish (initial meeting, kickoff meeting, client research, pricing, closure, etc.)
  • Learn about design/digital strategy
  • Observe how to effectively communicate with clients
  • Improve communication skills to clients and colleagues
  • Get more accustomed to digital marketing

What kind of work-related experience do you bring to us?

I have been a freelance graphic designer, mainly specializing in designing marketing materials for nonprofit organizations for about two years. So I can understand the general process/operations of how an outcome is created.

Also, I’ve done internships at LG Electronics and Accenture in market research departments, so I hope to apply my research and planning skills at this internship.

What kind of life experience do you bring to us?

I hope my diverse background will contribute to Hirons by bringing a wide variety of ideas to the table (even some travel tips to Turkey or South Korea.

What are your first impressions of Hirons?

My first encounter with Hirons was at the American Advertising Federation (AAF) networking event. The purpose of the event was to meet different people in the industry and get connected to the community. It took place on a beautiful September late afternoon on the rooftop of Hirons’ building, overlooking the streets of Downtown. And something magical happened. I got to meet some awesome, inspiring people from Hirons and we clicked. So I showed my interest in the spring internship at Hirons, and they asked for an interview the next day! A totally unexpected move = BOLD!

Fun facts about yourself:

I was born in South Korea (my grandparents immigrated from North Korea during the Korean War), lived in Turkey for 18 years, have a husband from Turkey, worked as a Korean/English/Turkish translator for more than 30 international fairs and moved cities every four weeks to teach English to employees at Samsung Electronics for about year (that’s how I got to travel a lot in South Korea).