Doing EverythingFebruary 19, 2018
By Phil Levine, Associate
Hi, I’m Phil, one of the new Integrate interns, and I’m sort of all over the place. I was born in upstate New York, but raised just outside of Chicago in Northbrook, Ill. My upbringing was the definition of suburban: I lived on a cul-de-sac, took tennis lessons and went to the same high school as John Hughes. Go Spartans.
I moved up to Minnesota in August 2013 to study psychology at the University of Minnesota, promptly joined a fraternity and began experimenting with gingham shirts and khakis. They didn’t take.
Two-and-a-half years later, I boarded a plane to Florence, Italy (in jeans and a graphic tee). The subsequent four months taught me a lot. I learned how to be conversational in a language I’d never spoken, that 1.5 liters of red wine is too much red wine, and that a good brand story can be the difference between an inanimate object and cherished keepsake. The most important lesson I learned, though, was to embrace the idea of doing everything — so much so that I got “Facendo Tutto” tattooed on my left arm.
Upon returning to Minneapolis, I did everything I could to embrace my new mantra. I started by picking up two minors in business management and sociology of law. One day I’d be sitting in business school hearing about the difference between international and global marketing and the next I’d be nose-deep in Goffman, Weber and multiple seasons of The Wire.
Next, I started an indie rock band called Stone Arch Isles. In just under a year and a half we’ve played at venues like 7th St. Entry, Triple Rock (RIP), The Fine Line, The Terrace in Madison, and several basements. Our debut EP, Kingdoms, is out 3/9/18.
To top it all off, I spent my last semester of college working downtown three days a week, taking six hours of lectures on the other two, and writing a 20-page thesis on the morphological, physiological and behavioral differences between musicians and non-musicians.
As soon as I graduated, I went on a 10-day tour with my band through Chicago and Wisconsin, getting back just in time to start my next internship. I spent that summer typing numbers in a cubicle by day and ruining my eardrums in basements by night. The internship was a great experience, but I couldn’t compartmentalize anymore. I needed my day-job to be something that could challenge me to be meticulous and creative, the same way music did.
So, there I was at the beginning of last fall: no schoolwork, no job and no certainty. I was horrified that my choices in life had boiled down to whether I was going to do one thing for the rest of my life or do absolutely nothing.
Lucky for me, Fast Horse exists. We blend strategic thinking with bold imagination to solve problems for our clients every single day, and as an Integrate intern, I get to do pretty much everything. What could be better?