First Week as an Intern at RBA

Hey there! Glad of you to drop by! 

My name is Tanay Mankad and I’m a Digital Media Intern here at RBA! I am also a writer/director…and more on that in a minute. 

But first! I’m going to give you — yes, YOU in the shirt reading this — some credit. You could be doing anything else with your time, but you’ve found my blog post instead. So, I’m going to make sure you leave this page slightly older, slightly wiser, and more than slightly entertained. 

As a first timer in Digital Media and as a first timer at any agency, I couldn’t have asked for a better first week. The second I walked in through the front door, it was obvious that I was at RBA — and not just because of the three big letters on the door to make sure I wasn’t lost. But because the distinct culture here bursts with kindness, curiosity, and a genuine love for the craft that’s quite intoxicating to a romantic such as myself.  

Now when someone tosses around words like “kindness,” “curiosity,” and “love”…that can be considered too broad or in some cases even a red flag, right? Honestly, maybe. But not this time! No sir! This is the one exception. 

By Day 3, I realized that the opportunity to work with fellow advertising romantics in a truly safe space is nothing short of a gift that keeps on giving. 

For the average eight-to-five or nine-to-four employee, we spend a comparable amount of our weekday waking life at work rather than with our families, friends, or significant others. This means, if our colleagues are any less than a second family… oh, buddy we’re in for a rough time aren’t we? And those who know what I’m talking about, REALLY know what I’m talking about. 

Thankfully, that’s far from being the case at RBA. So, no sweat here. 

This was a week of many firsts. My first experience working in the advertising world, my first job working in digital media, and for another reason. As I previously stated, I am also a writer/director. And my very first short film premiered on the big screen —  and yes, for the first time. 

I was flown to Orlando, FL to premiere my movie on a 45 foot screen and to do a post-screening Q and A. It’s as magical an experience as you think it would be to watch your work in a crowd filled with people — and then some. Funny thing is, on the big screen, the good parts of the movie look extra good and the mistakes look extra bad. So, you learn that just because something is bigger, that doesn’t necessarily make it better. 

But my key takeaway was my lead actress. Let me just put it to you this way: There’s a difference between an actor and a star — she’s undeniably the latter. You could feel the audience lock in with an intense focus on every line, rhythm, and movement. I remember walking away from my screening, thinking, man, this industry is such a tough game, I just hope she gets offered roles that she can really sink her teeth into. Because when she wants to…she can go nuclear. 

The Q and A was great too! The questions weren’t only “What inspired you to make this movie?” or “What do you hope the audiences’ takeaway is?” Now, those are good questions and certainly necessary questions, absolutely. No issue there. But I love when people ask me process questions. “What equipment and lenses did you use to get the shot of the guy with the thing at the place” or “How many overlays did you have in the sound design to capture (x) moment.” Nerd questions, I love ‘em! Those are like bread and butter to me. You hardly get asked those, but when you do, you feel…seen. 

Okay, if you’ve stuck with me this far, I have good news. One more thought and then we’ll bring it home. 

Advertising and film aren’t completely disparate. Both fields overlap on a vital purpose: and not simply just to tell a story, but rather to make you feel something. When you come across a 15 second TV spot of a double burger, the purpose may not be to tell a story, as much as it is to make the audience salivate. When you watch a film or television show, the story is merely a vehicle to take the audience on an emotional roller coaster. So, whether it’s about the journey or the destination, the key to advertising lies in sensationalizing sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. And a sixth sense. (And no, not the Bruce Willis kind.) But rather….heart. Is that much different from making a film? 

Either way, they’re cueing up the music which means it’s time to step off my soap box. If you want an encore, I’ll only be back by popular demand. 

But if not…I’ll leave you with one cheesy, albeit genuine note: I had a great first week. And if love at first sight is real….boy, am I head-over-heels for RBA.