Marisha A. Daniels

After five weeks of online voting, a week of interviews via Skype and one day of writing tests and more interviews, the New York agency Affect has chosen a University of Akron senior as the winner of its 2012 New York Intern Project.

Katey Kimpel, from Columbiana, marketed herself against more than 100 college students from across the country. She was chosen through a nationwide search that received more than 236,000 total page views and nearly 16,000 votes.

Kimpel will receive $5,000 and a housing stipend of $2,500 during her three-month stay in New York City.

“I love the atmosphere of the city. It’s more than just a new environment; it is the unique ‘New York’ experience that I’m looking forward to,” she said.

Kimpel, 22, is a communication major with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in consumer marketing. She credits a lot of her success to the PR and marketing coursework she has taken at UA, her involvement in campus-related activities and guidance she has received from instructors Deborah Owens and Julie Cajigas.

“Katey is one of the strongest students I have worked with,” Cajigas said. “She is bright and creative, but most importantly, she is passionate about learning.

“Katey takes constructive criticism and applies it to her work. She will undoubtedly learn a great deal from this internship, and she has a lot to offer Affect as well.”

Affect describes itself as an agency that “fuses public relations, marketing and social media into comprehensive communication programs.”

Kimpel’s journey began after she received more than 1,200 online votes with her video, OH, TO NYC I’LL GO! — A Dr. Seuss Parody that made her a quarterfinalist.

“Julie Cajigas helped me to focus on two different audiences: the voters and the judges,” Kimpel said.

Groomed by Cajigas, Kimpel established a personal brand to represent herself as unique and essential.

“Julie also aided me in selecting my best writing samples for my portfolio and suggested a rhyme because that would be catchy,” Kimpel said.

“I thought of Dr. Seuss. Oh, The Places You’ll Go is my favorite of the Dr. Seuss books, and I took that and created a PR pitch out of it.”

With solid online interviews via Skype, Kimpel won her place in the top two with Kristin Lauritsch, a senior at the University of Virginia. They were flown to New York City for in-person interviews.

“Julie and I did mock interviews, so I felt there was not a question that I was not able to answer,” Kimpel said.

In New York, Kimpel continued to portray herself as an asset to Affect.

“Deborah Owens advised me to not portray myself as the typical ‘cookie cutter’ visualization of a student intern, but to be professional and prepared,” Kimpel said. “I actually went and bought a new suit before I left, which I think worked in my favor, considering the other finalist didn’t dress in business professional attire for the interview.”

As the 2012 New York Intern Project winner, Kimpel said she is “looking forward to working with professionals in the industry and getting to learn from them.”

“I feel blessed and grateful that Affect thought highly of me, and I believe this internship will open doors for me upon my graduation in fall 2013.”

Marisha Daniels can be reached at mdaniels@thebeaconjournal.com.