Senior Account Supervisor
...An internship is an interview and a training
ground for that first job so make the most of it in every
College/University: Undergrad @ Southern
Graduate @ Emerson College
Major: BA in Broadcast Journalism
Minor: Minor in International Politics
Masters: MA in Integrated Marketing Communications
Internships: Where? How long? Describe
Fleishman Hillard NY
- Summer Internship Program/Public Relations
- Full-time, M-F in Manhattan
- Projects for J&B, Leggs, Red Lobster, Culinary Institute
- Paid internship
DDB Needham Dallas
- January - May (o formal program) General
- Full-time, M-F in Dallas (my classes were
@ 8am, so I began my work day @ 10am)
- Projects for American Airlines International
(general) and American Airlines (promotions)
- Unpaid internship
This was an internship I talked them into
letting me have as they did not have a program (got in the
door by networking). The advantages for me (and them) were
that I could be with them full-time and in turn, it opened
up doors for me that normally are not accessible to an intern
(e.g., multiple project ownership, client contact).
Words of advice on internships: You make the
internship not the company, not your direct superior. Don't
sit back and wait to be handed projects or work. Look for
ways to get involved in what is going on around you. Read
everything they pass your way and/or will let you read. Ask
questions. Seek to add value to the team you are working with.
An internship is an interview and a training ground for that
first job so make the most of it in every way.
Where and how did you begin your job
My job search in advertising began in
the Fall of the year I was set to graduate. I approached my
search in two ways:
· Networked through individuals I had met through school,
family and friends, as well as internships to make professional
Research and Cold Mailings
· Researched agencies in areas of the country I was
interested in living and those agencies I was interested in
working with. Those that made my list, I phoned for HR contact
information and then issued a cover letter and resume. After
2 weeks passed, I followed up with a phone call to the HR
Both approaches helped me expand my network
as well as successfully schedule informational interviews
(ask for one and/or take one if offered even if they have
no immediate position open). As I was most interested in working
outside of Dallas, I scheduled what I could during school
vacations (Winter and Spring breaks) and invested in my career
when travel was required.
Each phone call and/or meeting was followed
up with a formal note and re-contact at a later date when
a door had been left open. Leads from any professional contacts
I made were also followed up on.
How did you get your first interview?
I got a big leg up from DDB Needham during
my internship. I met my mentor there. She was instrumental
in helping me secure interviews in Boston and NYC with a handful
of agencies. DDB Needham's HR department in Dallas helped
me make a connection in their Chicago office.
Were you familiar with the company,
if so how did you prepare?
For DDB Needham, yes I was, but I still
did research nonetheless on the specific accounts I was interviewing
For the Boston and NYC agencies I met with,
I did my homework the old fashioned way - resources at the
Library as well as industry publications.
Words of advice on preparing for
the interview: It helps tremendously
to be familiar with the agency's background, their client
roster, recent awards and current work. It is also important
to have a general knowledge about the pieces of business you
may be working on. Know why you want THIS job. Know what you
want (have an idea, a plan - not looking for you to give an
absolute) to do with your career a few years down the road.
Words of advice on the actual interview:
Be on time. Make eye contact. Pay attention to your body language.
Have questions for the interviewer prepared in advance as
well as be able to ask more about something he/she tells you.
Be yourself and express your enthusiasm for the career choice
you are making. Ask for the job or to be considered for a
job when their hiring status changes. Ask for a business card.
Write a follow up thank you note. Be caution about using e-mail
as your thank you. It works for some, but not others (not
personal and/or not professional enough)
How many interviews did you go on before
landing your first job?
3 agencies in NYC (one or two individuals
at each agency)
3 agencies in Boston (one or two individuals at each agency)
1 agency in Chicago (The agency flew me out after an informational
interview on my dime and I met with over 8 different people
in one day on three different pieces of business)
1 agency in Dallas (obtained through my internship)
Describe your first position
Account Manager in the Promotions group
at DDB Needham, Dallas working on the proprietary chips products
for our Frito-Lay client. I also worked on the Salvation Army
(pro-bono project) in the Promotions group.
When I was first offered this job (and the
interview for that matter), I was not jumping up and down
like I should have been. I had my heart set on entering general
advertising and leaving Dallas. However, knowing how tight
the job market was at the time and how tough it is to get
into the ad business with a company like DDB, I took it. It
was the best decision I could have made. It provided me with
a great training ground, opened up doors to a national and
international network of offices, and provided opportunities
for my career development that today I wouldn't trade for
Words of advice on your first
position: Your career
is an evolutionary process. You are constantly molding and
nurturing it with everything you do. One position is not the
end all be all, but rather a beginning to what is going to
come next. Actively manage your career.
How/when were you promoted?
I kept in contact with the folks I met
at DDB's Chicago office and almost exactly one year from the
day I started with Dallas, was recruited for their McDonald's
account. Negotiating through the internal politics wasn't
easy. In the end, I was presented with two attractive options,
(1) a counter offer from the Dallas office which included
a promotion, and (2) the job in Chicago which in and of itself
was a promotion. I opted for Chicago as it gave me the relocation
I was hoping for as well as the move over to the general side
of the advertising, both of which I very much wanted.
Any tips you can give to graduating
seniors to help them prepare for a job in the industry?
Be prepared to work hard at your search.
It takes time and dedication. Not hiring/no openings? Get
an informational interview. Things change rapidly in our business.
Look out for who's winning new accounts - may lead to immediate
job openings. Stay passionate. You'll get there if you keep
at it. Network - Network - Network. Each person you meet is
a lead to the next. Maintain and add to your network list.
To this day, I reach out to my network list each New Year
with a personal card. The return on this investment is priceless.
Anything you wish you knew or nobody
told you before going into the industry?
Despite the long and often unpredictable
hours and schedule I may have to keep, I love my job and do
manage to have a fulfilling personal life outside of the office.
The ups and down in our industry can be a
bit tough to take, but with passion for what you do and keeping
a sense of humor, it is all just part of the roller coaster
ride. Personally, I am not ready to get off.
Brie Williams, aef