...Building relationships with clients, understanding
their businesses, and identifying their thought process are
University: Cornell University
Major: Policy Analysis & Management
I did not participate in any advertising related
clubs or activities in college. However, I think activities
that develop leadership, creative thinking, project management,
and communications skills can be useful for working in the
Internships: Where? How long? Describe your
Following my junior year, I participated in
the American Association of Advertising Agencies' (AAAA) Multicultural
Advertising Intern Program (MAIP). This program serves to
promote minority involvement in the advertising industry.
I interned for 10 weeks in Account Management at Foote, Cone,
& Belding - San Francisco, working on Levi's Slates and
It was a beneficial experience as I saw first
hand the advertising profession. Opportunities were available
to become involved in my accounts' day-to-day operations and
interact with team members, hearing experiences of what their
jobs were like and the challenges they faced. This internship
exposed me to the many disciplines of advertising from creative
or media to sports marketing. I would encourage future interns
to become involved in every possible opportunity. An internship
is a great chance to learn and grow. Therefore, take full
advantage of it.
To compliment my work experiences, MAIP helped
me to meet peers who shared interests in advertising. I formed
friendships with my fellow MAIP interns as we worked and lived
together in San Francisco. These friends have been an invaluable
form of support by helping me with my initial job hunt, being
an outlet to share the conflicts and challenges I face at
work, and encouraging me to achieve. Having participated in
this program during college, I am active now in the alumni
group - participating in candidate screening and mentoring.
I would also recommend to students in their
sophomore or junior years a summer internship program organized
by the Advertising Club of New York. This program offers placement
opportunities in media, publishing, and advertising in New
York City. It is complimented by weekly seminars, focusing
on various aspects of advertising. While I did not participate
in this program personally as a student, I am involved in
the program's candidate selection and mentoring processes.
On another note to young advertising professionals
just starting out, I recommend volunteering your time with
an advertising organization like the AAAA's or Ad Club of
NY. It can be a rewarding and worthwhile experience.
Where and how did you begin your job search?
I began my job search during the fall of my
senior year. Despite being too early to interview for full
time positions, I was able to set up HR interviews and start
making contacts in the industry. This is an opportunity to
see what each agency has to offer, understand their recruiting
practices, and help put a face to the name on a resume. Other
good options to establish contacts and learn about job openings
would be career fairs, industry events, and Internet job sites.
Alumni contacts and headhunters can also be helpful.
How did you get your first interview?
In the late spring of my senior year, I had
my first non-HR advertising job interview. I had received
the interview by sending my resume to the HR department and
following up with a cold call.
Were you familiar with the company, if so
how did you prepare?
The best sources to use when preparing for
an interview are trade publications like Mediaweek or AdAge.
These sources give you an idea of recent developments in the
industry and at the agency you are interviewing with. The
company's website is also useful to prepare for the interview.
Make note of agencies that have just won new business pitches.
Often agencies with new accounts are looking to hire.
How many interviews did you go on before
landing your first job?
I went on many interviews before landing
my first job. Despite numerous setbacks and disappointment,
I persisted in my job search. My advice to graduates is to
remain positive and keep the situation in perspective - there
are many opportunities out there and hard work will eventually
pay off. Do not stay frustrated or take rejections personally.
If possible, look for ways to improve yourself - a better
organized resume, better preparation for the interview, more
knowledge in a certain area, and etc.
Describe your first position
My first position was with Zenith Media in
NY as an assistant communications planner. The interview process
had moved quickly and I received offer less than a week after
I had visited the agency. I did not have prior experience
in media, however the opportunity to learn a new area of advertising
peaked my interest. My initial few weeks were an adjustment.
Eventually I started to grasp my accounts, learning about
media each day, and became acclimated to my surroundings.
Gradually I became more confident in my abilities. Additionally,
helping out on agency new business pitches were a beneficial
opportunity for me. I was able to gain valuable experience
in areas outside the scope of my daily tasks.
How/when were you promoted?
After having worked for approximately 15 months,
I was promoted to Communications Planner. While I continued
to work on the same account, the promotion was a welcomed
challenge. I assumed greater responsibilities and have gained
valuable experience interacting with the client. Another difference
has been working with an assistant planner. I am responsible
for teaching an assistant basic media skills and helping he/she
utilize these skills in completing projects. Additionally,
the promotion has helped me to gradually improve my communications
skills and task/time management skills.
Any tips you can give to graduating seniors
to help them prepare for a job in the industry?
In advising a new hire, I would recommend
that he/she pay close attention to his/her supervisors. Listen
to what they say and do. Learn from their experiences and
knowledge. I have been fortunate to work with knowledgeable
people who were patient and interested in my development,
teaching me the ropes of the media business. For someone starting
out, it is critical to find an environment where you will
have the opportunity to become involved, supported by your
co-workers, and challenged.
Anything you wish you knew or nobody told
you before going into the industry?
One important thing that I have learned during
my year and half in media has been the role of the client
in the overall process. While this does depend on the specific
situation, the client is an added dimension to the job. Building
relationships with clients, understanding their businesses,
and identifying their thought process are valuable skills.
This differs in comparison to building media plans in an academic
setting, where planning can almost be done in a vacuum with
the absence of continuous change. In the working world, projects
are met with client's changing parameters, deadlines, budgets,
marketplace conditions, and etc.
Andrew Wone, aef