The Publicis Health Égalité Internship and Me: A Diary
By Yuchien Wang, 2019 Copywriting Intern, Heartbeat
Friday, May 17
My Publicis Health internship journey begins in Iceland — a place that’s so beautiful, I feel as though I’m on a different planet. As I’m staring at the vast ocean that stretches across the coastline, my phone lights up. It’s an email from Lori DePace, Program Manager at Publicis Health. The email details an internship opportunity with Égalité, Publicis Health’s business resource group for LGBTQ+ employees and their allies. Lori explains that Égalité means “equality” in French, and I’m immediately sold. I grab my laptop and start filling out the application.
Monday, June 10
It’s my first Égalité meeting in the office downtown, and naturally, I’m late due to the subway.
Does the metro system ever get easier?
Despite my tardiness, the interns are friendly and the board members are welcoming. They also are hilarious. We learn about the internship program, and as we part ways, I’m gifted with a bag of Égalité goodies. I think this is going to be a purposeful summer.
Tuesday, June 11
The highly anticipated annual Employee Charity Drag Pageant, hosted by Égalité, is finally tomorrow. I will be handing out pamphlets at the door.
Wednesday, June 12
On my way home from the drag pageant, I reflect on the experience. This night touched my heart in ways I didn’t think an internship could. I witnessed a vibrant group of people coming together to celebrate love. I thought to myself, This must be what it means to be human. To exist and to accept the way others exist. Being vulnerable is courageous. Whether you’re in the Publicis Health family or simply looking for an evening out, this event is a must-attend.
Thursday, June 27
One of our goals for the summer is to compile a report that dives into how to better market to the LGBTQ+ community. Sarah, a fellow intern and friend, and I start by interviewing people who were involved in making LGBTQ+ ad campaigns. The other interns begin their research.
Friday, June 28
After nearly a month, I finally learned how to work the phone system at Publicis, or as I call it, the fancy dial-in jazz. During a phone conversation with a Publicis Health alumni, we talk about Queer Prom — where marginalized teens are invited to the first-ever inclusive prom in which they aren’t alienated anymore. While many of us went to prom and had wonderful memories, prom has negative connotations for some as they couldn’t be their true selves. Égalité now filters my world with different perspectives as I move forward into the future, and it changes the way I reflect upon my past.
Tuesday, July 2
JohnMark Conklin, Global Communications Manager at Publicis Health, and Scott Carlton, Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness walk my team through the Thrown Out Flag campaign — an awareness campaign to combat LGBTQ+ youth homelessness. I’m intrigued, and I’m shocked. I wasn’t aware 40% of teens who come out to their parents are thrown out of their homes. I have always admired people who are observant enough to notice groups being left behind. How lucky am I to meet people who leave me wondering more about the world after we interact?
Thursday, July 11
With more than a month as an intern under my belt, I start to form a community at Publicis Health. There are familiar faces everywhere in the office.
Wednesday, July 17
Today I’m shadowing Scott Carlton, Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness and dog person. I attended meetings with him, and he gave me helpful advice on how to become a better writer.
Thursday, July 25
We’re finishing up the LGBTQ+ market report. We’re also juggling another intern project for our nonprofit client. However, in the madness of all the projects, we’re able to take a step back because today is National Intern day. I quickly indulge in the celebratory waffle truck parked outside the office before returning to work. It’s not every internship where an intern gets to put work on hold for a delicious waffle.
The report is slowly coming together. It’s easy to lose sight in data — we can’t forget we are all humans, after all. As humans, we’re driven by emotions in our everyday lives. If a brand can bring out this emotion authentically to its audience, the sentiment is valuable.
Friday, July 26
Ah, my last ride to the office downtown on the metro. I can officially confirm: it does get easier!
Monday, July 29
With the internship coming to a close, I reflect on the entire experience. What started as a simple application turned into knowledge, friends, mentors, and above all, new perspectives. Égalité gave me an extra lens to see the world in a new light, and I’m so grateful.
I think back to May 17 in Iceland when I first received notice of the internship program. I think back to the vast ocean, with endless possibilities and many unchartered waters. At the time, I was about to enter into “unchartered waters” myself.
Little did I know, entering the unknown would lead to a life-changing experience. Now, I think to myself, how lucky am I to leave a place knowing I have grown.
Yuchien is a 2019 copywriting intern at Heartbeat. She graduated from Syracuse University this May. Outside of pursuing a career in advertising, Yuchien wants to eventually be a professional dog trainer. Connect with her on Linkedin.