Internship Success Stories

We’re extremely proud to highlight the success of our interns. Here is a look at what some are doing now and what the internship was like for them.

karissa kouchis speaker

Karissa Kouchis

National Speaker for Tony Robbins

Karissa has a Master of Arts in Organizational Communication from Western Illinois University. She started as an intern while working towards her Bachelors.

At 26 years old and hand selected by Tony, she is the youngest woman to hold this role in the history of the 42 year company and currently the only woman in the last decade.

She’s brought her high-energy training to companies like Fox Sports,, The NFL, Zoom Video Communications, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and more.

Haley Langer

Support Manager for Idea Marketing Group

Haley is a graduate of Northern Illinois University where she received a Bachelor in Fine Arts for Visual Communication. Her position has evolved over the years due to her versatile skill set. Ranging from graphic design and social media campaigns to front end development. Her work is seen by millions every year.

Today, she works with a variety of clients every week to help them achieve their goals by providing guidance, making updates, and educating them about the current standards in web design.

Favorite memory from the internship?

  • Getting the opportunity to design actual website’s mockups for clients
  • When Darren bought me a slice of pizza because I used to never take a lunch and said I need to take a break
  • Being trusted to handle client’s social media accounts after being trained by Darren
  • Watching Family Fund together during breaks
  • Making website updates for our early clients, Celebrate Differences and Phil Stefani

Overview of projects worked on?

  • Updating content on HTML websites we created (menus, sliders, pages, etc.)
  • Managing social media accounts posting for a variety of clients
  • Creating blog post for Idea (4th of July Fireworks Best Spots to View)
  • Designing homepage mockups & logos

Why the internship originally?

  • Wanted to get real-life experience and start building my resume
  • Darren came and spoke to my college class encouraging internships, when I reached out to him for advice on places to apply, he let me know Idea was hiring and invited me to interview.

One tip or thing you took away?

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions and reaching out for help
  • Best to fully understand what a client needs before you begin designing their website/logo

shannon bachar marketer

Shannon Bachar

Marketing Coordinator at Akili

Shannon has a Bachelor of Applied Science with a focus in Journalism / Communications from Bradley University.

She has worked in marketing positions with brands like Continental Motors Group and Hewlett Packard gaining expertise in the technology and services industry. She continues to maintain her love for the casual environment of a small company and enjoys wearing many hats.

Favorite Memory:
I really loved the office atmosphere. There was so much personality and everything was super casual (except when it came to the quality of work)!

Overview of projects worked on?
I worked a lot with social media accounts whether it was growing followers or scheduling posts. I also had the opportunity to review websites for content and learn some basic SEO strategies!

Why the internship originally:
I studied Journalism / Communications in college and really wanted to get my feet wet in marketing. It turned out that the skills I learned to market myself as a journalist translated well into the internship role.

One tip or thing you took away?
To not be afraid to voice your opinion. Everyone has unique ideas to bring to the table. With marketing being sort of a “trial and error” kind of practice, you have to be willing to pivot and try out new strategies – but those won’t happen without making your voice heard!

Ashley Bowling


Ashley owns and operates a photography business that specializes in weddings, portraits, couples, and families. Allowing her the opportunity to express her creativity as well as create a lifestyle which she loves.

Ashley started as an intern with Idea before being hired as a full-time Marketing Associate. With a passion for fashion and merchandising, she pursued opportunities to help gain that experience with brands such as Maurices and Crate & Barrel.

ashley bowling photographer

Favorite memory from the internship?
The team! And all of the office shenanigans and goofiness – Jenny, the Justin Bieber cut-out, Darren’s pranks, and playing inappropriate songs on the radio.

Overview of projects worked on?

  • Content writing in the form of blogs, location pages, & other pages
  • Optimizing websites with title tags, keywords, link building, etc
  • Managing social media accounts and creating/posting engaging content

Why the internship originally?
I was just starting out exploring careers and wanted to dip my feet in and get a feel for the job and try something new! I’m huge on shadowing / interning and believe it’s one of the most valuable ways to gain experience and make headway. (College is scam – no thanks!)

One tip or thing you took away?
I learned so much throughout my internship at Idea. I now know what goes into marketing a business and what a successful marketing strategy looks like.

I also learned that marketing branches off into way more areas than I realized – it incorporates writing, graphic design, photography, web development, story telling, branding, + more!

My internship at Idea has taught me how to market my own business which is SUPER valuable and saves me a lot of time! It was one of the most valuable experiences in my career development and I will always use the skills/knowledge I gained as I move forward.

sam ellertson automation engineer

Sam Ellertson

Automation Engineer at Facebook

Sam completed his internship with Idea while a student at Yorkville High School. He graduated with a Bachelor of Computer Science from CalPoly in just 3 years.

His ability to solve complex problems is invaluable. Over the years, he has become well versed in Python making coding a breeze within areas like Node, HTML, and databases.

Favorite memory from the internship?
I once had to transfer over a ton of images from a clients old website to a new one. I wrote a quick JavaScript script to automatically download them all from the page, which saved a lot of time, and I recall a colleague being impressed.

Overview of projects worked on?
I worked on transferring content between sites, configuring WordPress settings, and developing a WordPress plugin for displaying dropdown FAQ’s.

Why the internship originally?
It was a good opportunity very early on, I took it to get some industry experience before nearly anyone else my age.

What you are doing now and what you love about it?
I work as an Automation Engineer at Facebook. I get to work with a very talented team of professionals to help ensure the reliability of Facebook’s Portal Devices. I enjoy the freedom given to me, and it’s rewarding to have my team depend on me to do good work.

Jennifer Stark

Marketing Associate at Idea Marketing Group

Before being hired as a Marketing Associate, Jennifer started as an intern fresh out of Aurora University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication. She took on two internships in conjunction to help gather as much experience as quickly as possible.

Today, she is the integral part of the marketing team at Idea where she is producing website content, optimizing websites for SEO, and executing social media ads for brands all over the country.

Favorite memory from the internship?
On my first day, the team had a potluck around the old ping pong table. It was a great way to get to know everyone.

Overview of projects worked on?
While I was at Idea, I worked on writing location pages, as well as creating graphics and some social media posts for clients. My big project overall was helping create product pages for a client, Show Your Logo. 

Why the internship originally? 
I was looking for more experience in the marketing industry, especially with an agency. I had been working with a local company at the time of my internship, doing their marketing but I wanted to see what working with a marketing agency would be like.

One tip or thing you took away? 
Keep learning and working hard. If you work hard and do everything you can for your clients, you’ll go far in your career.

amy geldean

Amy Geldean

Marketing & Technology Associate for Resource 1

Amy received a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Northern Illinois University shortly after completing an internship with Idea. After-which, completing additional internships at local PR agencies.

Amy developed a solid foundation in marketing communications which continues to grow and evolve. She loves learning about technology and the challenges presented.

Favorite memory?
My favorite memory from the internship was working on a rough design for the Bird Brain Energy Drink website. It was interesting to see the behind-the-scenes of website creation and understand the little details that went into it.

Projects worked on?
During my time as a digital marketing intern, I had the opportunity to write content, including blogs and location pages, for several clients. In addition, I assisted in the creation of social media graphics, organized information in Asana and created baseline data analytics for each client.

Why the internship?
I chose to do this internship because I had an interest in digital marketing and wanted to gain more professional experience. I also liked the environment at the company. When I went in for my interview, everyone was nice and welcoming. It was not as intimidating as other places had been so I felt more comfortable.

One takeaway?
One thing I took away from the internship was to embrace the culture of where you work and make professional connections. I enjoyed spending time with my coworkers whether it was going out to eat or watching documentaries during lunch. I think it was vital to the internship to get to know who you are working with. It makes a big difference in the workplace. I also appreciated the professional connections I made because it has helped me further my career.

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