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Career Stories - Antoinette

Account Executive
Ogilvy & Mather

...regardless of the obstacles or setbacks, never surrender your goals until you have exhausted every possible means of reaching them...

In December 2000, I graduated from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a degree in Mass Media Communications. Seemingly, far from the bright lights and big city of New York where I had my first internship.

I remember sitting in front of my computer during the latter part of April searching eagerly for a summer internship. I went to countless search engines and typed in anything that fell into the realm of communications. As my search narrowed within advertising, the words American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) seemed to lift off of the page. Excitedly, I discovered this incredible association developed the Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP) to bring young talented professionals into the industry.

I was accepted into the 10-week internship program after going through an intense selection process, which include submitting: a resume, two essays, letters of recommendation, and transcripts. Moreover, as a semi-finalist I had to interview with an AAAA member agency, further identifying me as a good candidate for MAIP. I will digress just a bit to note, regardless of the obstacles or setbacks, never surrender your goals until you have exhausted every possible means of reaching them. After becoming a semi-finalist I was scheduled to interview with Ackerman McQueen in Oklahoma City, an hour from Tulsa.

Being a typical bright young student, I filled up the gas tank and gave myself a two-hour allowance for the destination; bear in mind, originally from Virginia, I rarely ventured outside the Tulsa City limits. Much to my chagrin, I was given wrong directions and happily drove an entire hour before I realized I was going in the opposite direction. Completely mortified, I could have called the agency and told the secretary I botched the interview and will send a letter of apology at a later date. However, I pulled myself together and called the interviewer directly and explained what happened. After we had a good laugh I showed up as promised, an hour late, and the interview went very well; I became a finalist.

Hello New York City! I interned in the media department of MediaCom, a division of Grey Global Group. I was fully immersed in the media planning process and enthusiastically accepted projects that heightened my experience. After eight weeks into the internship I was offered a fulltime assistant media planning position upon graduation. That certainly was easy enough wasn't it? Well, not exactly. Several factors allowed that offer to come through. First, we were not in the economic slump in which we currently find ourselves (a huge factor!). Secondly, there wasn't a day that went by where they were not fully aware of my zeal for the business and passion to learn. If you think you could show a little more enthusiasm or interest, nine times out of ten that's exactly what you need to do. Employing the same standards I had in my internship, I was promoted to media planner after seven months.

Fast-forwarding to 2003, I find myself as chairperson for the MAIP Alumni Association and Account Executive for Ogilvy & Mather. Looking back, I am amazed at how time flew by and different opportunities presented themselves. Is seems everything I heard prior to getting my first job in advertising was true:

-Stay ahead by reading the advertising trade publications
-Research, research, research prospective agencies
-Be enthusiastic for even the smallest assignments; big rewards come in small packages
-Get involved with organizations and clubs within the industry
-Don't burn bridges; the sour grapes you produce may be in the glass you drink years from now

Through advertising I have found the perfect balance between business and creativity. It's a balance that keeps me delighted about being in the industry.



Antoinette Gaboton-Moss

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