It’s COLAB Time!

In 2008, I participated in the inaugural COLAB internship program. It was an incredible six weeks full of collaboration with some really wonderful, forward thinking, tech-savvy, inspiring people.

Plus you get to spend the summer in Portland, which is perhaps one of the loveliest cities, especially during the summer months.  

COLAB alumn were  asked us to create a video talking about our experience with the program. Here’s mine! (:

Brainstorming and Mind Vomit

We’ve done our fair share of brainstorming, mind mapping, brain vomiting, strategizing, reorganizing and everything in between for our Sameunderneath campaign:

1st brainstorm Sameunderneath team Kiwi
1st brainstorm Sameunderneath team Kiwi
1st week Sameunderneath brainstorm - target audience
1st week Sameunderneath brainstorm – target audience
Sameunderneath product benefit and target audience
Sameunderneath product benefit and target audience
So much more - week 1
So much more – week 1
Sameunderneath positioning statement - week 1
Sameunderneath positioning statement – week 1
Sameunderneath brand values week 2
Sameunderneath brand values week 2
brand values Sameunderneath - week 2
brand values Sameunderneath – week 2
Sameunderneath idea mind vomit - week 2
Sameunderneath idea mind vomit – week 2
connecting ideas - week 3
connecting ideas – week 3
Sameunderneath final pitch layout - week 6
Sameunderneath final pitch layout – week 6
Sameunderneath speech layout - week 6
Sameunderneath speech layout – week 6

It’s funny because this really just scratches the surface of all the brainstorming and concepting. More to come… (:

Final COLAB Eval

I still can’t believe COLAB is over!!

As this was the first year, I am extremely impressed with the program as a whole – congrats to the COLAB board for bringing such a great idea to life!

With that said, and with a few days to let it all sink in, here’s my evaluation:

COLAB Programexcellent!!!! – the best way to meet a ridiculous amount of industry professionals, fellow students, network like crazy, see the inside of multiple agencies and create a campaign with fellow interns – in six weeks.

Length- Longer, please. (: 9 weeks would be ideal instead of 6, as it was challenging to take on projects at the agencies with only 8 days. Aside from that, with all the networking events, get togethers, parties, etc. – there’s not enough time to take it all in in six weeks…

Time Commitment- Interns need to know the commitment they will be making with this program – between work, interviews, networking events, intern project, etc. – let’s just say, your plate will be very full. (: 

Team– I spent a ridiculous amount of time with Kiwi, but did not have much opportunity to interact with Lattice – next year it would be nice to have more organized events to bring both teams together.

Intern Roles: an idea for next year’s positions:

Account Manager

Brand Strategist

Media Buyer (if there is a budget)

Art Director


In terms of the intern project…

First and foremost, I couldn’t have asked for a better company to create a campaign for. We had so much fun. (:

Because this year the team project vision was a bit ambiguous,  both teams ended up building totally different campaigns in that it seems Kiwi built more of an awareness campaign while Lattice built more of an advertising campaign.

Overall, I  am of both Kiwi and Lattice – everyone worked extremely hard and produced exceptional work. Beyond that, it is not only our work, our time and our effort, but that of everyone who took time to help us at all of the agencies. Without them, their ideas, their workspace and their dedication to making this internship a success, we wouldn’t have been able to have the experience that we did.

Specifically regarding my team…I truly loved working with them all. Everyone pulled their weight, we were all dedicated and worked together [even though that frequently took longer than necessary due to our tangents and inability to focus for more than five minutes (= ] We made sacrifices and helped each other out so that we could create the best campaign possible. We all have extremely different ideas and backgrounds which at first I have to say I felt might be a problem; however, on the contrary, we were able to take our strengths and put them together in order to get the best out of everyone’s specialties. Communication, dedication, and commitment, respect and most importantly the spirit of COLAB was there with everyone on team Kiwi which made all the difference in the world. Whether or not we knew how to do something or find some sort of information, from the initial brainstorming, to the research and strategy, to the artwork and photography, and recap final video – everything was done by the five of us and I’m really impressed with all the skills that were brought to the team by each team member.

Thank to you all my fellow interns, agencies, Jamie, as well as Bram and Amber for keeping track of us during these crazy six weeks!


One of the many takeaways from Anvil Media came from Kent Lewis – during a weekly staff meeting, Kent challenged us to set aside 10 minutes an hour to tend to email and reserve the remaining 50 minutes for work. I didn’t think this was going to be a huge change, but wow, when I became conscious of my email patterns, I didn’t realize how frequently I check my mail – once I began to delegate ~10 minutes/hour exclusively for email – wow – it really does make a huge difference in terms of efficiency & productivity.

From Kent, Hallie and the Anvil team, I’ve really learned to be more effective & efficient with my time and work by revamping the way in which I approach & accomplish tasks.

Follow are a handful of my takeaways regarding maximizing efficiency and productivity:

1. Make a to-do list and actually follow it

2. Set deadlines and stick with them

3. Plan in advance, prioritize, allocate and delegate

4. Take on one task at a time and finish it before moving on – rather than having Facebook, WordPress, CNN, gmail., iCal, Pandora, adfeed, etc. open at one time, take on one task at a time, complete it, then move on to the next task.

5. Rather that working to improve your weaknesses, invest time in nurturing your strengths

what COLAB should be (and is) all about

From: Vo
Date: Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 11:46 AM
To: Mary McPherson, Kim Karalekas, Bryan Davidson, Allison McKeever, Megan Nuttall, Heather Schwartz, Luke Rolka, Melissa Casillas, Whitney Bard, Heather Dougherty


So I was visiting and this is the intro that I got (see attached)

From: Allison McKeever
Date: Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 11:49 AM

Not surprising….

Twitter’s got it made. Just take a look at their founder

From: Kim Karalekas
Date: Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 12:01 PM

Do you agree?

From: Vo
Date: Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 12:03 PM

I haven’t used it enough to really know. Seems like those who are really using it as a tool have really benefitted from it. Best thing? Nahh.. I think that all varies from person to person. YOU?

From: Luke Rolka
Date: Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 12:04 PM

When I went to the PDX Mindshare, I met Amber Case, “Cyborg Anthropologist,” and she shared with me a thing done with twitter that tracked tweeting during a lecture and put the frequency of tweets onto a graph. When the guy was saying something interesting, the tweets grew like loudness on a sine wave. Pretty crazy stuff. I don’t know if I agree that Twitter is going to be “the best thing” in web socializing, though. I think it hasn’t been well known long enough to be established as a post-fad tool. I personally find it a little mindless, but maybe I just haven’t been shown how to make it worth my time yet.


From: Allison McKeever
Date: Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 12:42 PM

If you don’t use it for its intended function “What are you doing?”, but use it as a networking tool or a place to discover new and informative things online than it becomes very useful.


From: Luke Rolka
Date: Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 12:46 PM

Is it possible for Twitterto announce whenever you update any of your other social sites without you doing it manually?


From: Allison McKeever
Date: Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 1:01 PM

Yeah it is called twitter feed. There is also a facebook app that links your updates to your facebook page.


From: Kim Karalekas
Date: Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 1:06 PM

Yup, Amber is hardcore into twitter. At cre8camp this weekend people were tweeting like crazy (at one point, it was the 2nd most…tweeted? thing on twitter at the moment!)I’m still trying to figure it out, but the 2 extremely attractive things I’ve discovered about it thus far is:1. Provide updates for what’s happen “right here right now”:
Ex. on facebook you can post events, but people forget about them, on twitter people can be informed about an event in real time. So, this weekend, at cre8camp during breakout sessions, people were tweeting about session topics and so everyone could know what was being discussed in each room – this way they could attend whichever discussion they found most interesting. PDX Pop Now also had a twitter which was actually a pretty sweet marketing tool as I continually was reminded of the event which I otherwise would have forgot about…2. Info Database:
It’s kinda like a condensed/succinct basecamp…again, at cre8camp whenever someone suggested a good website/blog/program, etc., someone would tweet it – well now we can go back through the #cre8camp group and find these links…

Regardless of this, still not sure if I subscribe to the whole twitter world, but I suppose in theory, it’s pretty sweet…

From: Heather Schwartz
Date: Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 1:15 PM

Great email thread! For a person who doesn’t really know what Twitter has to offer, you guys are a great resource. Now I know who to go to with all my Web 2.0 questions… lucky you!

Hope everyone is having a great Monday!

Free Time

I think my fellow COLABers will agree that free time has been rare these past three weeks and I can’t imagine that changing any time soon! COLAB continues to impress me, regardless of the infinite time commitment and I’m still so thankful for this internship.

In the little free time we have:

Bram and Amber interviewed Christine and I for their podcast:

We’ve also been enjoying the great city of Portland:

 More soon.

COLAB 2nd Rotation

This week I began my second COLAB rotation at Anvil. It’s been great thus far – I’ve learned so much…which I suppose is good, seeing as I knew little to nothing about SEO and SEM before COLAB.  I’m really grateful for this experience because this is all stuff I want/need to know, and what better way than to have hands on experience with experts? Everyone at Anvil has been so welcoming and resourceful and I’m excited for my few weeks here!

In other news, I took a nice walk around the neighborhood the other night. It’s getting difficult to not fall in love with this city.


Week Two

I had a fabulous 2 weeks at eROI and was actually quite sad to say goodbye. I really appreciate the generosity and willingness to include me and hopefully they enjoyed me as much as I enjoyed them!

Today was action packed. After work, I headed over to dMob with some other COLABers. It was up a Tabor Park which is a beautiful place. 


Since the second I walked into the Turnbull Center for the COLAB orientation, my mind has pretty much been a giant whirlwind of information, experiences, insights, advice and realizations.

Here are a few things I’m been thinking about/learning during the past 1 1/2 weeks:

Portland Discoveries:

21st & 23rd streets

Acai smoothies

The Mississippi Street Fair

Continually discovering that it’s the smallest world out there, I have the strangest connections with the most random people, and again, I have this habit of running into the most random people in the most unlikely places.

There is never a dull moment in Portland – festivals, fairs, concerts, lectures, art shows, sporting events, networking events, etc.


Take your camera with you wherever you go.

Never miss an opportunity to talk with someone and hear what he/she has to say.

A Power Book doesn’t seem heavy until you tote it around Portland on a daily basis.

After living in Linfield dorms, I’ve confired that UO officially has the worse dorms.

Surround yourself with people/things that are inspiring. If it’s not inspired or pushed to do great things, you probably need a change.

Jumping in with both feet is the best way to learn and only way you’re going to get better. Take risks, act first, apologize later (I liked this one), don’t be afraid to say no, in the end, everything is relative, and the earlier you can be organized and find a balance, the sooner you will succeed.

Read anything and everything.

Take time to travel. Never put yourself into a situation where you can say, I wish I would have done _____, I wish I would have tried_____, I wish I would have said____, etc. AKA Take time to do what’s most important to you.

Always be curious and ask questions.

Networking is huge. Knowing people is just as important to producing great work.

Have fun, but be responsible and gain the trust of those around you.

Use your resources and don’t burn bridges, as everyone knows everyone in this industry.