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2016 VPP Feedback

Quotes from 2016 VPP Participating Professors, Host Companies and
Career Services Directors



Professor Guari Kulkarni, Towson University: “I had mini-sessions with each of the departments – creative, product development, insights, shopper marketing, brand communications, corporate communications, nutrition communication, category management, etc. Many people offered to provide information or data that I will be able to use in my classes.  I will be able to provide context and real-world examples.”

Katie Cras, Manager Corporate Communication: “The professor had a tour of all teams with the marketing department and met with some other departments, such as R & D and Sales, to get a wider view of the lifespan of Chobani’s product from development to marketing, to point-of-sale.  The teams the professor met with included one-on-one leadership meetings with team leads and some executives, as well as full team meetings, even engaging in marketing-agency meetings where she was able to view the client-agency relationship.


Professor Morgan Poor, University of San Diego: “I took so many notes!! An entire booklet worth, which I plan to incorporate into my class. So many of the gaps in my knowledge were filled, so I am excited to be able to talk more confidently about the entire process, as well as specifics. I also have some cool new examples and case studies to share.  In terms of research too, I got great feedback from my Talk and some ideas for new projects.

“I would definitely say there were ties developed.  I’ve already connected with everyone on Linkedin and Debbie knows that I’ll be sending my best and brightest intern candidates her way.  I also offered to do any consulting on food clients for them.”

Deborah Broda, Account Director: “Morgan’s fit was excellent. Her Lunchtime Talk was well attended and many followed up with her to exchange emails to keep in touch or to obtain research from her Talk. Professors can provide interesting information at their Lunchtime Talks and funnel excellent students/future candidates to our talent area for consideration.”

J. Walter Thompson

Professor Lynne Pepall, Tufts University: “I hope to make use of the services of the AEF in my teaching. From the VPP I gained valuable experience in seeing how an ad campaign is conceptualized, in getting insight into the challenges in agency-client relationships and of the challenges of digital technology.  These will be reflected in my teaching. I hope to pursue some research ideas on the organizational structure of the advertising industry.”

Hannah Benabdallah, Public Relations Coordinator: “She was great – intellectually curious, eager to learn, fun to be around and offered interesting insight from a very different perspective. She covered all departments – creative, production, account management, planning, HR, analytics as well as our specialized data and research teams. Everybody enjoyed her.  She got to learn the overall process of getting work made from department to department.”

Leo Burnett

Professor Kent Grayson, Northwestern University: “I enjoyed getting overviews of Burnett and Ogilvy – it was very valuable.  At Burnett, I spent my time in the social media department. However, I also met with people in a wide range of the departments, including shopper marketer, digital strategy, innovation and account management.

“Before, the program, I had only a general understanding of how agencies run social media for their clients.  After the VPP, I now have a much more detailed and nuanced understanding.  In the classroom, I will be able to talk with much more confidence and authority about the fastest-growing aspects of marketing management today. It is hard to image how the VPP could be more beneficial. My experience was a really a dream come true.”

Joanna Hussey, Account Supervisor: “Kent was an excellent fit!  Everyone who met Kent had a wonderful experience with him.” He met with several departments and shadowed them for days throughout his two weeks- account management, participation strategy, community management, production, social strategy.  Employees appreciated his questions and thoughtfulness and overall desire to learn.”


Professor Kacy Kim, Elon University:  “It was a great opportunity to have an integrated view for the whole advertising world.  My learning and education (basically from textbooks) were more about pieces of advertising, but the AEF program helps me to get all pieces as one.  Auditing the social media branding workshop in McCann was really helpful for my teaching.”

Keisha Kellman, HR Operations Manager: “Kacy was able to add value to our 2016 Summer Internship Program as well as the Social team in an observatory basis.  She advised the summer interns on their group project and provided ad hoc mentorship to them on an individual basis.  We are working with Kacy to develop future intern talent from Elon University.”

Ogilvy & Mather
Professor Rajesh Bhargave, University of Texas, San Antonio: “I met with planning groups at early, middle and late stages of their projects. I saw some of the creative work. The main part where I got to contribute was in a brainstorming session for a new potential client.

“In teaching consumer behavior, I discuss many marketing tools and tactics that are grounded in theory.  However, now that I have better perspective on practical limitations of applying these ideas, I will draw these limitations out more in my class discussions. I see immense benefits to my research. I left the VPP with a list of specific research ideas to pursue going forward.  More importantly, this highly involving and memorable experience will stay with me over the coming years whenever I evaluate research questions.  It’s very important to think about how marketers, including advertising agencies, might apply certain research topics, and this experience will offer a vivid representation of that advocate in my mind.”

“Finally, visiting professors can act as a bridge between how advertising/marketing is taught and how it applied.  In this sense we are ideal discussants and leaders for some college internships activities.  Agencies may put us to work by having professors lead the interns on some task of interest to the agency.”

Ogilvy & Mather:  Eval not returned.


Professor Ed Timke, University of California, Berkeley: “I am more aware and cognizant of the circumscribed power that agencies have – they need to make clients happy and try to convince them to do more progressive things, but sometimes clients just don’t want to do that. I think my image of the power dynamics has altered – the scales are certainly tipped more in the hands of clients and agencies do everything in their power to be ethical and more progressive.  The picture is not as simple as some naysayers of the industry might say.  This experience will feed my teaching.

“I developed a close relationship with Lauren, my daily contact at R/GA.  Everyone who was sitting around me in my temporary desk was very welcoming and kind. I would welcome an on-going relationship.  In fact, I’m already working with one of R/GA’s marketing science directors on a data-driven research project with one of its data partners.”

Barry Wacksman/Global Chief Strategy Officer: “We had a fully planned agenda for Ed’s entire stay at R/GA. He was a good fit. His interests aligned with our work.  We connected Ed with the Managing Director of our San Francisco office and they plan to stay in contact.   I believe the VPP needs to become more focused and pointed going forward, with an emphasis on creating relationships with professors as a pipeline for career opportunities for students.”

Saatchi & Saatchi

Professor Jooyoung Kim, University of Georgia: “I attended various meetings of the digital team.  Special meetings with digital/social media team and planning team designed for me.  Very informative.  This experience has confirmed and updated the kind of skills students should prepare for their career.”

Wanda Pogue, Chief Strategy Officer: “He was great!! Eager. Kind. Interested. Spirited. Jooyoung asked provocative questions, which stimulated my team. He attended meetings, presentations, shadowed a few senior leaders to get a feel for the crazy day of the advertising world.“

Young & Rubicam

Professor Sabrina Habib, Winthrop University: “I really enjoyed being assigned to a single account and having a person to shadow.  I hope they consider this approach again in the future. Rachel was very patient and welcoming as I followed her around every day.  She included me in everything and was very thorough with explanations. 

“While most professors have some practical experience in a given area of the industry, none of us have experience in all areas, but are expected to counsel and prepare students of all interests.  Furthermore, since this is a fast-paced and ever-changing industry, this program allows us to understand changes through an immersive experience that we wouldn’t get anywhere else, or any other way!”

Dot Gianonne, EVP, Account Management: “Sabrina was absolutely fantastic.  She contributed during brainstorming sessions and a seminar.  She worked on an account from strategy, creative development to final project. Ties were developed. We are going to work on getting a few Winthrop students into our summer internship program.   Sabrina’s Lunchtime Talk topic – looking at creative from another angle was very insightful.”


Professor Lu Zheng, University of Florida: “I attended training sessions, meetings with different departments and focus groups.  This is a great agency and I believe that a long lasting relationship has been established as a result of the VPP.  This experience will help me update my curriculum and I hope more of my students will have internships and land jobs with ZenithOptimedia.”

Brian Vaught, SVP, Training, CSR & Inclusion: “Lu was an absolute pleasure to and a welcomed addition to our team during her two week stay with us.  We gave Lu a full schedule including meetings with department leads, interns, and our past Media Trainees.  We plan to reach out to Lu in January to recruit her students for our January program.”

Career Services Directors

Jessica Long, Wake Forest University: “I highly recommend this experience as it is hugely beneficial to get face-to-face time with people in advertising. The time with AEF was awesome for brainstorming and coming up with new ideas, as well as hearing best practices.  Continue doing these programs! They are an amazing and unique way to connect faculty, career professionals and advertising professionals.”

Kali Odell, Amherst College: “I found he Orientation to very useful.  It was helpful to get both big picture and information about the kinds of projects different agencies work on and their particular approaches, as well as some more detailed information about what different people do in their roles on a day-to-day basis.  I also like that we went to a Hispanic-focused agency, because I didn’t know that multicultural agencies existed, and I can see that as an option that would appeal to many Amherst students give our diverse student body.”

Anne Petersen, Washington University in St. Louis: “The two-day Orientation was excellent We got exposed to the inner workings of some top NYC agencies as well as the opportunity to meet AEF board, who shared with us some of the challenges the industry currently faces.  We also got a sense from some agencies what they are looking for in student applicants.”

Bryan Schealer, St. Olaf College: “As a member of a liberal arts campus, it was very helpful to chat with and learn from the professor who teach in the field of advertising and marketing.  It was interesting to hear their questions – coming from a position of “theory” - and how the professional responses were different. It got me thinking that students really need internships to truly learn how it’s done.”









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