WEST WINDSOR: Creative Marketing Alliance interns become part of the team for the summer

Creative Marketing Alliance (CMA), a full-service public relations and marketing firm based in Princeton Junction, welcomed several local interns this summer.
At CMA, interns become members of the team, working closely with staff mentors to gain hands-on experience to take back to the classroom and into their chosen career paths.
“I learned what a process of creating a magazine, a magazine cover and a logo really is. I was entrusted to work on a variety of projects, such as a magazine cover for the July issue of Card Manufacturing Magazine, a logo design, as well as helping with the layout for a couple of articles for a different magazine, image searches for various projects and more,” said Lawrenceville’s Olga Romashova, an advertising and graphic design student at Mercer County Community College who worked under the tutelage of Dave Sherwood, CMA’s creative director, traditional design.
“Not only did I improve my skills as a graphic designer, but this experience gave me an insight into what it takes to create a successful design,” she said. “It is an invaluable experience to be ‘in the front row’ of the creative process and be able not only to see how much work is being put into each and every project to fulfill a client’s requirements, but be a part of the creative team.”
Sarina Knapp, a marketing major at The College of New Jersey, worked closely with account manager Denise Vargas, concentrating on search-engine optimization for websites.
“I have been helping with the development of the new retail client’s website,” said Ms. Knapp, a South Brunswick resident. “I also gave suggestions for the mall map based on the research I did on other surrounding malls. I have also helped with improving the effectiveness of search engine optimization. One of my projects was to pretend to be a potential client and see where the client appeared on the results page according to what I searched.”
Rick Verbanas, business development and marketing director at CMA, mentored Drew Blumenthal, a Hopewell resident and marketing major in an honors college seminar program at West Chester University.
“Working at CMA has helped me recognize that the skills learned in the classroom are not just jargon or ideals, but actual skills and techniques used in the industry,” said Mr. Blumenthal, who assisted with CMA’s client database. “The textbook gives you the knowledge and tools that are applied not just at CMA, but the marketing industry as a whole. Having the marketing knowledge is great, but by working here I was able to apply my knowledge and thus understand the terms and ideas of marketing better.
“For example, now when I read or talk about certain software systems in class, it is not just a definition or picture, it is now a tangible tool to me, since I have worked with it and understand its full benefits and uses.”
At CMA, interns become a vital part of the team and are incorporated into all aspects of the business.
“Playing varsity soccer at The College of New Jersey, I knew the value of teamwork, but I had not known the true value of it in the work environment until coming to CMA,” said Greg Perri, a Florence resident. “I had the privilege to sit in on client, department, and leadership meetings and all of which called for an open environment, because every member is considered to be a valuable asset.”
“I learned the basics in web design through the use of WordPress and CodeCanyon plug-ins,” said Mr. Perri, who is studying management and marketing. “My portion of the website project was to recommend or develop a way to structure a comprehensive organizational chart and implement it onto the website. In school I have taken courses on advertising and marketing analytics, but they did not give me the hands-on experience that is vital for my future like CMA did.
“At CMA, I was given the opportunity to delve deeper into the many branches of marketing, including what it takes to effectively advertise for a client, how to develop and maintain client relations, graphic design, and so on. Overall, CMA has given me a better understanding and grip on my studies as well as what to expect when working in advertising.”
More than 150 students have participated in the program in the 27 years CMA has welcomed interns.
“I have always believed that students need to gain ‘real world’ experience in the trade they are studying, whether it is accounting, graphic design or marketing,” said Jeffrey Barnhart, CMA’s CEO and president. “We focus on matching the students and employees here so both parties benefit from it. The intern program gives my employees in every department a chance to mentor someone who was probably just like them when they started their careers and they needed someone to look up to.”
Each semester, CMA recruits and selects students to join its intern program. CMA is currently seeking fall semester interns. For more information about intern positions, visit GoToCMA.com/careers. 