Coffee Break Chats: 10 Questions with Blake Aviles of The Lunz Group
Have you ever gone out on a limb and went for something you weren’t familiar with? Blake Aviles has!
The senior Communications major at Florida Southern College was out taking her normal “me time” drive around Lake Morton when she noticed a striking glass building she’d never seen before. The building was home to The Lunz Group, Lakeland’s renowned architecture and interior design firm. Having no experience in either of these fields, Blake called and asked if they had any communications related internships available. At the time, they didn’t. Blake’s Marketing internship caries a unique quality – it was made just for her.
We sat down with Blake to talk about her spontaneous internship match up, and what her plans are for the future.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO LOOK FOR AN INTERNSHIP?
Internships are a great way to see what you like and what you don’t like. I’ve been trying to figure out if I want to work somewhere like an advertising agency, or somewhere not related to advertising at all, but that I’m still interested in. I’ve always been interested in interior design, but I’ve never pursued it because math freaks me out. I was hoping to just dip my toes in everything here, whether it was math related or the design aspect.
SO, YOU’RE THE MARKETING INTERN, WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
I work under Maggie Ross, the Marketing Coordinator. She’s also a Florida Southern alum, so it was nice to instantly feel connected. I work on a variety of things, but I usually help her design proposals for some of our clients, which are usually around 50-60 pages long. At first, I was worried they wouldn’t have anything for me to do since I was their first marketing intern, but there’s always something to do. I’m never bored.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY SCHEDULE LOOK LIKE?
Like most people, I just check my email first. Then I usually work on proposals. I ask Maggie to look over everything as I go, and I draft all my questions, so I can ask them all at once. And then there’s snacks! We have a cool hot chocolate machine, so I usually treat myself halfway through the day.
YOU MENTIONED THAT THERE’S AN INTERIOR DESIGN ASPECT OF THE POSITION, WHAT DO YOU DO IN THAT FIELD?
It’s like an extreme version of SIMS. Our client’s come to us with a design opportunity and we provide them with options. Some of the staff will ask me for my opinion on how things look, so I mostly help with picking between color and flooring options. The Lunz Group has done a lot for Florida Southern, so I’ve seen some of the finished products.
IF YOU HAD TO COMPARE YOUR INTERNSHIP TO A MOVIE/SHOW, WHAT WOULD YOU COMPARE IT TO?
I’d probably compare it to “The Office.” Everyone here is pretty quiet, but when they do say something, it’s usually hilarious.
WHAT’S THE TOUGHEST THING YOU’VE EVER HAD TO DO AS AN INTERN?
The first time I had to create a booklet for a client on my own was super tough. It was about 60 pages long and I had to make sure I included the right numbers. The whole proposal process is very time consuming. They usually take about a week to finish. We have to get signatures and forms from other companies and send them out before a certain date or else the entire proposal won’t be looked at.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOURSELF ON YOUR FIRST DAY?
You’ve got this!
WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE FOR FUTURE MARKETING INTERNS AT THE LUNZ GROUP?
I’d just say to come into the position with an open mind because you’ll be working on a variety of things. Also, don’t think you can’t be creative in this environment. When it comes to proposals, the wording part is important, but don’t be afraid to get creative with the layouts. You don’t have to be super good at graphic design either. If you have any questions they’ll walk you through everything.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR FUTURE INTERNS IN GENERAL?
On your first day, come in dressed better than everyone in the office. They might all wear blue jeans every day, but you want to make a good impression. Also, be open with everyone and get to know the people in your office. You never know what kind of connections they have. People have so much to offer.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
My dream job is to one day become a Marketing & Communication Executive for Disney, or a Disney Ambassador. I’ve applied to several Disney Professional Internships for after graduation, so I’m waiting to hear back. I’ve already interviewed for a Marketing Coordinator Internship with Disney. There’s only one position and thousands of people interviewed for it. I’m nervous, but I also know I’m on the right track.
Story Maison Chambless // Photos Laina Sweetney // Edited by Laina Sweetney