Culture Corner: New minds, new perspectives (Philippe Gingues)

Each month, we usually interview a Richter partner to gain insight into how our leadership finds balance and focus in a demanding job, and what non-technical skills contribute to career success. However! For the summer, we’re switching it up a bit. For the next few weeks, we will be chatting with our summer interns, to learn more about their experience at Richter, and what working life is like at the very start of their young careers.

This first summer edition features Philippe Gingues, a returning intern in the Marketing and Business Development division.

This is your second summer internship at Richter. What was it about Richter in your last experience that made you want to return again this year?

Philippe Gingues (PG): I really liked the people I met here and had a lot of fun last summer working on plenty of interesting projects. Also, I was given a lot of autonomy and trust to carry on my duties, which I really liked. There were also many projects that we started working on that I was excited about, so when returning, I knew this summer was going to be a very exciting one with a lot of projects related to the branding strategy and content development, and I really wanted to be part of it!

But what really made me choose Richter in the first place is that everyone here is detail-oriented and professional – I really like that because those are my strengths as well, and also what’s needed for a lot of the projects we work on.

Tell us about your firsts weeks here; what have you worked on so far?

PG: I have been helping mostly on the Communications side of the team. I have been writing a lot of posts for our social media channels and Intranet, preparing invitations for internal events and translating those communications to spread the message. Actually, I’m on social media a lot and I follow businesses personally to see what they are writing about, so it’s been cool to see the work that goes behind a firm’s social media strategy and output. It seems that when a company publishes a post, it only takes two seconds to produce, but believe me, it doesn’t! It needs to be researched, the right words need to be chosen and the proper tone needs to be used depending on the intended audience. So, I was really interested in discovering what goes on behind the scenes. I really like the fact that I’m involved in the production process.

What were your expectations for this internship? Is it what you expected or has anything surprised you?

PG: I really didn’t know what to expect because there are always a lot of different things happening in marketing – I learned that last summer! But I’m shocked by the amount of social media and intranet posts that need to be done. With 500 team members, sponsorships, events, internal committees, etc., there is a lot to communicate and it takes a lot of time! I’m surprised that the team can manage so much with everything that goes on. It’s great though, because we’re involved in a lot of what happens at the firm, and can help share the firm’s stories to the rest of the team members and to external audiences.

“What really made me choose Richter in the first place is that everyone here is detail-oriented”

What skills do you wish to gain from this summer experience? (Any soft skills you want to work on or technical skills you would like to develop?)

PG: The businesses I usually follow on social media have a familiar tone when they’re posting so it’s really been a challenge for me to change my tone to adapt to that of Richter as a business advisory firm. I’m learning that you can’t speak in the same way as you would personally, or if you were a consumer goods company, or even another B2B company. Learning and understanding the tone is really important for representing an organization properly. I’m happy to be able to work on that, and I get to learn more about the branding strategy, as well. It’s so interesting to see the process and to learn how a strategy is built. I’ve always been interested in branding and the components that go into creating a brand. I’m glad to be learning that firsthand this summer!

What are your plans after graduation? Where do you see yourself?

PG: I’m not sure yet. I might pursue a Masters in Marketing or go work in advertising. For the moment, I’m not certain. Maybe it’ll be more schooling right away, or maybe work for a few years then go back. But that’s why I’m here – to explore a few things and see what I like best. We’ll see where it leads!

What advice would you give to younger students looking to land an internship at a firm like Richter?

PG: At your interview, be professional but be yourself and let your personality shine through. I’ve learned that Richter is a community, and it’s full of amazing people with a lot of different personalities. No one here is boring! So be yourself, and be confident!