2015 Fact Sheet
VPP Lunchtime Talks
2014 VPP Feedback
Professor Katherine Sredl, University of Notre Dame: “I was surprised by how interested the agency was in my research; as academics, we hear from journal editors that our work needs great improvement. It was nice that my academic interest in social groups was seen by the agency staff as relevant.”
Deborah Broda, Account Director: “After speaking with Katherine on the phone to develop her agenda, her interests were clear. In order to make her learning experience a positive one, I tailored the agenda with meetings that centered on her interests. For her interest in consumer insights and research, she met with a couple different strategic planners. For her interest in millennial women, she not only met with a couple strategic planners, but also our community planning group who is primarily made up of this target.
“Additionally, she wanted to learn more about social and she was able to spend time with our digital/social group. Finally, as media plays a big role in advertising, she visited OMD for an orientation on the ever changing media landscape. Overall, I feel it is a worthwhile program. I would say that Katherine felt it was very worthwhile on her end and she left with a number of contacts and will be keeping in touch with them. DDB would be happy to host another professor next year.”
Deutsch Inc. Los Angeles
Professor Lisa Cavanaugh, University of Southern California: “During my time at Deutsch LA, most of my days were comprised of a series of approximately 30-minute one-on-one meetings with various individuals throughout the agency. The meetings were with various individuals across the organization and included time with people in account management, planning, media, creative development, production, digital, and invention. Some of the most generative meetings were with individuals in the planning, experiential, and creative departments.
“Ties between myself and the agency were developed. Since my time as a visiting professor, I have been contacted by some Deutsch employees for advice; connected Deutsch employees with other academic researchers doing work related to their current interests/ projects; and connected Deutsch LA CEO Mike Sheldon with the Dean of USC’s Marshall School of Business after he expressed interest in becoming more involved at USC during our one-one-one meeting.
“The experience has greatly benefited my teaching this semester. I have used numerous examples of great creative featuring Deutsch’s work. My students sincerely appreciate the inside perspective on how real agencies work (beyond the textbook), and the additional background and insight that I’m able to share owing to my time with Deutsch.”
Nancy Alley, EVP, Director of Human Resources: “We had Lisa speak with a representative from every department or discipline. In some cases, she met with many different people from the same group—creative, planning, account. Lisa’s Lunchtime Talk was relevant to our business and very provocative. I could see us using her and her research at some point. It was well attended and there was good follow up discussion.”
Deutsch Inc. NYC
Professor Allie-Ryan Butler, Hampton University: “I felt very welcomed by my host agency from the beginning of the process through the end. They made sure I was scheduled to participate in a variety of meetings and activities and truly valued my opinion and input. I was introduced at the beginning of every meeting and also had one-on-one meetings with almost every high-level executive within the agency.
“I was able to participate in various meetings for four clients. The clients were each very different. Each meeting offered a new learning experience. The most rewarding part was that they let me participate in the meetings and not just observe.
“After spending time at Deutsch, I realized that the industry today has to be more holistic and business solution oriented. Before my time at the agency, I thought it was all about creativity, but I realize now it is more about strategy, planning and storytelling. Everything I learned during the experience will enhance my lesson plans and class assignments.
“I can emulate the workflow and creative process in my class. I can teach industry lexicon and the current industry standards. All of this will only make my students more competitive applicants and better prepared for the workforce.”
Robin H. Lander, Partner, Director of Human Resources: “Allie-Ryan was a great fit. He’s early in his career, energetic, passionate, curious and came to every meeting prepared with questions for the leader he was going to meet. Frankly, we would hire him, that’s how perfectly suited to Deutsch he was!
“He participated in internal meetings and client meetings. He was encouraged to participate and he did. He always had something to share and was not afraid to express his point-of- view. He voraciously read every deck given to him and he classifies himself as a “nerd.” I classify it as fantastic!
“Our folks understand the importance of the VPP. While schedules had to change and meetings had to be pushed, Allie-Ryan did have the chance to meet everybody as well as some recent college grads we had just hired. We thought it important for him to see the kind of entry-level people we recruit so that he would be better able to send us his best and brightest students for summer internships as well as full-time positions.”
Professor Bryan Wang, University of Nebraska - Lincoln: “I have brought what I learned from the AEF Visiting Professor Program (VPP), especially my experiences at Grey, to my classroom teaching right after I returned. In a class on advertising campaign strategy, I was able to show the most recent successful campaigns, the strategic thinking behind them, how agencies were structured, and the skills that my students needed to have. I also revamped the assignments to enhance their relevance to the industry. The feedback from the students in that class was overwhelmingly positive. In the evaluations one of the students said, “Professor Wang did a really good job incorporating real-life skills to the class.” I really have Grey and AEF to thank for being able to accomplish this.”
“Moreover, I was deeply impressed with how Grey did everything they could to help me make the most of the program. When I asked for access to their research resources, they made that happen; when I asked to talk with someone not on the agenda, they made that happen too; when I asked to be connected to their office in Asia, they made that happen again. To be frank, I did not expect such unrelenting support at first considering how big and busy of an agency Grey was.
“As a result, Grey and I have developed close ties and I expect to continue the relationship we have built. This fall, our college is taking a group of advertising and public relations students to New York City for the Advertising Women of New York (AWNY) conference. Grey will be one of the sites that our students will tour. Furthermore, a colleague and I will take a group of students for an education abroad trip to China next summer and we plan to visit Grey’s office there as well.”
Suresh Nair, EVP, Director of Global Strategic Planning & Maria Gallione, Account Management Development Director: “Bryan fit in well at Grey. He was flexible and open to participating in as many opportunities as he could in order to get the most out of his eight days at the Agency. This included running the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge to help bond with his new team. Bryan did this despite never running a race before and as it turns out, he was one of Grey’s top performers.
“Bryan did contribute to the Agency. From a talent and development perspective it was helpful to hear what Advertising and PR students are learning in school today. Additionally, the Agency hires a lot of Millennials, so it was interesting to hear Bryan talk about how he keeps his students engaged.
“Bryan’s agenda was designed to provide him with a broad overview of Grey. It started with our New Business credentials and case studies on day one followed by one-on-one interviews with the various departments including Planning, Broadcast Production, Casting, Studio, Digital, Analytics, New Business, HR/Talent Management and PR. Once Bryan had a good sense of all the departments, he was embedded with one of our teams so that he could see how the Agency teams integrate in the development and execution of creative platforms for our Clients.”
Professor Zahr Said, University of Washington Law: “In my case, I was placed “brand-side,” with IBM. I learned an incredible amount, and IBM was a wonderful host-organized, generous, and responsive to my questions and interests. I had the opportunity to meet with many people in different areas. I got exposure to people who worked in marketing and communications; legal (especially advertising, trademark, and patent law); media; and social media. Because of IBM’s historic (and unusual for the industry) partnership with Ogilvy, IBM spends a day per week at Ogilvy and works intensely together. I got to spend two days inside Ogilvy, and talk to teams of creatives for some of the most interesting conversations about advertising I’ve ever had. While there, I got to meet with creatives, and I got to exchange thoughts about what good advertising does and should look like. This was invaluable.
“From this partnership, I learned a great deal about brand strategy, the rollout of a major campaign—in this case, IBM’s “Made With” campaign—; media planning, consumer engagement, data-driven marketing, the importance of social media, and native advertising. Also, I learned a tiny bit about what it feels like when an entity has almost half a million employees! They can become a great source of corporate culture tied into inspiring brand marketing, when they believe fervently in the value of what they are doing. I had never once thought about employees as voices for marketing, but in IBM’s case, they are a huge source of capital, and it makes perfect sense. In sum, I came away deeply impressed with the coordination, goodwill, loyalty, and integrity of all parts of the IBM advertising and marketing teams I was introduced to. It was inspiring actually, and I don’t say this just because they hosted me and took me to the Effie’s. (Congrats again! 3 prizes, well done!)”
Ann Rubin, VP, Branded Content and Global Creative: “Professor Zahr Said was a pleasure to have for the two weeks at IBM. We believe it was very beneficial to both IBM and Ogilvy and, hopefully, to Zahr as well.
“Our objective was to give Zahr an overview of what happens in advertising and marketing on the Client side as well as give her a glimpse of the Agency side and provide insight regarding the partnership.
“She met with teams from both IBM and Ogilvy and given her background we ensured she spent with IBM and Ogilvy legal departments. Beyond that we had Zahr meet with, at IBM, the advertising team, content team, social team and media team. And, at Ogilvy, the creative team, account team, media team and social team. It seemed that her time with the media team was most beneficial due to her work on native content. Based on this, we adjusted her schedule to add additional meetings with the media team.
“Throughout all the meetings, Zahr asked insightful questions, made interesting observations and seemed to appreciate the open, honest communication that is part of how the IBM and Ogilvy team operates. She also seemed to learn a lot and the discussions got her thinking differently about certain spaces.
“The professor’s lunchtime talk was highly attended and received great feedback from the attendees, as it related to their day-to-day activities. Since many of us do not have a legal background, it was helpful to hear her points of view on how the law is impacting advertising. While it was a benefit for all of us to hear her lunchtime talk, it was also great having her in smaller group meetings, getting to hear her points of view on the individual topics at hand. We were given feedback that the conversations were truly two ways and both parties saw a benefit.”
Professor Joseph Clark, Franklin & Marshall College: “My primary goal for participating in the program was to use the experience to update and improve my course on American Advertising. The syllabus for this course is divided evenly between the history of advertising in the United States and contemporary issues. My experiences at JWT and during the orientation will allow me to significantly update the second half of the class. I hope to bring in a speaker through the AEF’s speakers program, use the visit to d’expósito as the basis for a case study on race and ethnicity in advertising today, and I will completely update the final group project in the course to include consumer insights and client briefs modeled on those I saw at JWT.
“Lastly, as a result of the conversations I had and observations I made while at JWT, I plan to create a unit on branded content that looks at the future of marketing and branding beyond advertising and sponsorship. Indeed, I found many of the new uses of branded content so intriguing that I plan to begin a new research project focusing on the impact this content is having on traditional media producers and programmers – focusing specifically on documentary production and reception.”
Agency evaluation form was not returned.
Professor Sven Tuzovic, Pacific Lutheran University: “In my first week I met with a number of strategists in various departments. All of them were very enlightening. I had meetings with two Experience Design Directors, the VP, Director of Community Management, a Digital Strategy Director, a member from Optimization and Analytics, a Content Strategy Director, a Research and Human Lab Director, a Global Account Director.
“I also attended a Future Retail Exhibit where a number of vendors presented their products and services. That was quite interesting. I collected several brochures and I need to look up some of those firms for my classes. I joined several conference calls with an international client. Those were truly fascinating as I witnessed the stress and hectic life in launching a new campaign.
“One final meeting in the second week was with production on the lower floor. Two other employees and I got a tour of the digital production floor. That was quite amazing. I would have liked to spent more time there and observe some of the real work that is done there.
“My perception has changed dramatically. I thought of agencies being responsible for large TV and print campaigns. I did not expect to see that companies are outsourcing so many different tasks to agencies like marketing research, segmentation, or social media. It was interesting to learn about some of the proprietary tools. And I was surprised that Leo Burnett focuses so much on content and participation. I had an interesting talk with a manager who’s in charge for new and emerging technology. He told me that he is responsible for finding channels (i.e. on YouTube) with large audiences, and then they find a product that can be placed in those channels. This fits exactly with a recent article on AdAge where LG has teamed up with a group of guys on YouTube to promote the LG phone. It was interesting to learn how (1) the world is changing from creative to production and (2) that this trend has not reached the top hierarchies in ad agencies; but that it’s on the way to influence also top management. I think the VPP is a fantastic experience.”
Aivy Nguyen, Senior Account Director: “Professor Sven was very eager to learn and adapt to Leo Burnett’s overall agency culture. He was always keen on immersing himself within our daily meetings, and just learn from all sides of the agency roles and what we face on a daily basis. His lunchtime talk was found very beneficial, especially to our digital and mobile teams since that is an ever growing department in our agency. I found that our colleagues at Leo Burnett were very open in spending time with Professor Sven and discussing their individual roles in the agency.”
McCann and Universal McCann
Professor Byung Lee, Elon University: “My experience with McCann and Universal McCann will have tremendous impact on my future teaching and research. I had had almost no experience in advertising. This fellowship had me learn what advertising agencies are doing, what kind of strategies they are implementing, why they are doing them and especially what will be important topics for the advertising industry.
“Since news media needs to pay attention to not only production of content, but also the selling of their audience to advertisers, understanding the audience and how to present them to advertisers are increasingly important. Teaching journalism in a new broader context will be vital in today's journalism education. Since I am planning to teach media analytics courses, all the things I learned from the agencies would be directly introduced to my media analytics classes. I haven't done any research on advertising so far. Now with some experience with the advertising agencies and contacts under my belt, I would explore advertising topics for my research soon.”
Kevin Moeller, Executive Vice President: “Byung Lee from Elon University came to visit our media agency. He was able to contribute to the organization by sharing some of his on-going work as well as discussions and brainstorms with the current active business of the agency.
“I believe we provided him with a full background about what a media agency does, how we do it, why and in what context. He was thoroughly engaged in discussions and participated with enthusiasm.”
Ogilvy & Mather Chicago
Professor Scott Rick, University of Michigan: “Overall, this was a great experience. I had one-on-one meetings with the President of Ogilvy Chicago, multiple planning directors (spanning both B-to-C and B-to-B accounts), a public relations director, a digital media director, a social media director, an experiential marketing director, an HR coordinator, and the executive producer and several members of an on-site production studio. I also informally chatted with a number of people around the office and got to learn a little about their day-to-day experiences. I sat in on a wide variety of meetings, offering feedback during less structured brainstorming moments. I was also asked to provide feedback on a brief discussing the interplay between emotion and cognition in decision-making, which is my area of research.
“This experience will likely benefit my teaching in expected and unexpected ways. Certainly, I picked up several new examples, facts about agency life, and best practices that can be immediately incorporated into class materials. However, I anticipate that students will often ask questions that are relevant to experiences I had but did not plan to discuss in class. This experience will also surely benefit my research…overall, it’s a great program, and I’m really happy to have been a part of it. Thanks again.”
Piper Ginsburg, Brand Planning Director: “Scott was a great fit within Ogilvy. He was professional and smart and also easily adapted to the causal ad agency culture. He was a pleasure to work with. Scott was always curious, inquisitive, and willing to get involved. For example, he sat in a session on one of Ogilvy’s proprietary planning tools and then assisted us in a brainstorming session as we used the planning tool to map out a consumer journey.“
Ogilvy & Mather New York
Professor Clayton Critcher, University of California, Berkeley : “I was placed in the account planning department. But in my time at Ogilvy, I also met with and sat in on a few meetings with those in the Analytics or Metrics group. In general, I shadowed activities that were going on, but tried to be an active questioner. My hosts provided me not merely with the opportunity to observe, but also to have access to internal documents that outlined the mission, culture, frameworks, and differentiating approach of the agency. I was grateful to be able to leave with many of these materials, which will prove valuable for my teaching.
“I do feel tremendous allegiance and loyalty to Ogilvy and plan to remain in touch with them. I usually have several especially talented undergraduates who are interested in positioning themselves for a career in advertising, and I will be pushing them to apply to Ogilvy’s summer internship program. I had extensive discussions with members of the metrics team so that I could better know what skills my MBA students might have to offer Ogilvy (and other agencies).
“The VPP is clearly already a very strong program, so I have little to offer in the way of specific suggestions for improvement. I look forward to sharing this gem of a program with others in my field.”
Alison Demos, Senior Partner, Director of Ethnographic Research: ”Clayton got to sit in on the work of several different teams; the one that appeared to be most germane to his research interests involved the Nestle analytics team setting up a dashboard/set of metrics to track the full spectrum of digital and offline marketing efforts. It was instructive for Clayton to compare what he knows of the “theory” of such a project with the somewhat messier reality of how it actually plays out.
“Senior management fully supports the program, and colleagues have been open and generous with their time in meeting with Clayton and otherwise including him in their projects. Finally, Clayton’s lunchtime lecture was well-presented and truly interesting. I think the audience enjoyed it.”
Publicis Kaplan Thaler
Professor Nicholas Boston, Lehman College CUNY: “First let me state that Danny Flamberg, my supervisor at PKT, was extraordinarily dedicated, organized and informative. My daily schedule of visits, interviews and fly-on-the-wall meetings was thorough and made the absolute best use of my time. At no point did I feel that I was left to my own devices at the agency. Danny himself took quite a bit of time out of his own schedule to discuss agency practices with me, and took every opportunity to introduce me to the agency staff. Besides the schedule set for me, Danny was responsive to my requests to visit specific departments and meet with specific individuals. I visited several departments of the agency, including digital and CRM, Creative, “Newsdesk,” and Account Planning. I wouldn’t say that I was particularly immersed in any one department, but rather floated amongst the various departments based on the interviews I was conducting with staff from each of the areas. As Danny is the SVP, Vice President of Digital and CRM, much of my contact was with this department. While I went into the program with the creative department foremost in mind, I found it very informative to gain insight into CRM, about which I’d previously known very little.
“This experience and the research I conducted will benefit my teaching enormously for all of the reasons I stated above. I have a much clearer sense of digital strategizing, for example. I also have made connections with practitioners who have offered to further inform me about the workings of the industry, and possibly make the occasional class visit. And, I have a detailed case study of one advertising firm’s ecosystem.”
Patricia Enright, EVP, Chief Talent Officer: “Nick Boston was a good fit for PKT. He had a strong understanding of the marketing world and was eager to get under the hood of a large, complex agency. He contributed a handful of ideas to the sessions he was invited to. He also offered our people some interesting context based on his professional, personal and global experience.
“Nick cycled through departments and account teams at all three of our locations. He was briefed on client projects, participated in brainstorming sessions, reviewed creative development in-progress, sat with department heads and actually met a few clients. We tried to give him a 360-degree taste of our world. We liked and enjoyed him. He fit easily into our environment.
“We clearly think the VPP program was worthwhile. There was a mutual value exchange not to mention the impact of seeing our work through a different, more academic lens. This was especially true in his lunchtime talk, where Nick launched off into the realm of academic communications theory, which simultaneously fascinated and confused our people. For those of us with a more academic/theoretical bent it was eye opening. For others, it was above their heads.”
Professor Kate Pounders, University of Texas-Austin: “My VPP experience was exceptional and exceeded my expectations. My host agency was R/GA and they were phenomenal. I feel very lucky to have been placed with R/GA. I was able to meet and spend time with dozens of people representing all aspects of the organization – creative, account planning, research, and analytics. From these meetings, I was invited to attend several client meetings, which was a wonderful and unique experience. I could not have asked for a better host agency or experience.
I didn’t have a specific perception about the industry prior to visiting. My background is in marketing and psychology. I wasn’t trained specifically in advertising, nor have I had the opportunity to work in advertising. R/GA was a perfect fit for me. Advertising is only one part of R/GA; they are a full-service digital agency. I was pleasantly surprised to see and hear the variety of backgrounds of their employees. Several were interested in the notion of behavioral economics and other aspects in psychology.
“In addition, I saw the importance of CRM and other broader marketing strategies evident in meetings. This was somewhat of a surprise to me as our students don’t seem to think the psychology or broader branding strategies are as important as the creative aspect of things. This is something I have been able to convey to them and has helped me in the classroom. I was also able to identify examples to use in my ethics and consumer behavior classes. In sum, the VPP was an amazing program and I am very grateful for the opportunity. I think it’s an important and meaningful program that benefits educators in advertising, and, accordingly, also the students in advertising. I also cannot say enough positive things about R/GA. I wish I could have spent more time there.”
Dave Edwards, VP Managing Director, Business Development: “Kate fit in quite well with the agency staff. We set up 30-minute meetings with Kate and senior leads of the following departments: Visual Design, Experience Design, Copy, Planning, Technology, Media and others. Kate was very respectful of the work environment and is a true professional.
We have connected Kate with folks from R/GA’s Austin office and given her a point of contact should she want to connect. Kate’s Lunchtime Talk topic was “Self-Conscious Emotions in Consumption”. Although the topic was atypical to the topics we traditionally have, it really made people think and several staff members approached me afterwards complimenting me on our choice of professor. Kate is welcome any time! ”
Starcom/Tapestry for Coca-Cola
Professor Amy Jo Coffey, University of Florida: “I did not have a definitive perception of the industry prior to my VPP experience, as I had worked in a different industry and had no preconceived notions. My perception following the experience is that media planning and buying is an increasingly complex process for many reasons. It is more and more an industry about building experiences for consumers and establishing relationships—and less about directly selling or marketing products to them. Consumers are seeking relationships with their brands.
“I established some valuable relationships during the VPP, both at MediaVest and Tapestry. Many personnel I met invited me to call upon them anytime for questions later on that could aid my teaching or research. Key personnel also told me how much they valued my research presentation and that future collaborative projects might be possible.
“I have a much more thorough understanding of the many “layers” and complexity involved in the media planning process—the number of persons involved, as well as the many considerations undertaken, including the numerous media platforms today. I have a more realistic and accurate picture of the industry post-VPP, which will aid both my teaching and research. On the research end of the spectrum, I learned that many of the questions I am asking, and the studies I’ve conducted, are in line with what the industry wants to know. This was affirming, and it also provided insights into new questions I may wish to probe as a scholar.”
Jack Triolo, SVP, Group Client Director: “Amy Jo Coffey and SMG was a great fit! The convergence of Amy Jo’s research with our real-world experience in the multicultural space created the perfect learning environment on both sides.
“Amy Jo’s research is focused on three key areas which were woven throughout her SMG connections and conversations:
- Audience economics and language
- Market segmentation
- Non-English language television content in the U.S.
Amy Jo delivered an interactive Lunch & Learn demonstrating how the fundamental principles of her research can be applied to advertisers’ presence in the marketplace. The audience was engaged and the presentation was followed by a lively Q&A. Amy Jo felt she had a rich learning experience that helped confirm many of the hypotheses in her research. She is grateful for the opportunity provided by the AEF and Starcom MediaVest Group. She plans to keep the dialogue going with us and we’re keeping the door open for her students to visit SMG.
“SMG would be interested in continuing to partner on this program. The team enjoyed the experience, and we value diversity of opinions and viewpoints. Amy Jo brought great insights, new ideas, and a winning attitude.”
Saatchi & Saatchi and The Advertising Council
Professor Cathy Bullock, Utah State University: “The staff of The Advertising Council gave me an overview of how the Council works, talked me through several campaigns so I could see how all the pieces fit together, allowed me to sit in on two creative meetings (one involving a pitch from a Saatchi & Saatchi team) plus a Creative Review Committee meeting (also involving the Saatchi & Saatchi pitch), set up one-on-one meetings with people from a number of areas (media, campaign management, media measurement and analysis, public relations and social media), and included me in the breakfast during which the head of the Council addressed the interns. The staff knew about my research interest in media coverage of domestic violence, so they set aside a time to talk about the history and status of the teen dating violence campaign. I did not work on any assignments for the Council. Instead, the staff let me ask dozens of questions and soak up information.
“I spent most of my time with Saatchi & Saatchi working on an assignment. This was a nice complement to the experience gained at The Advertising Council, and I appreciated the opportunity to feel useful. My assignment was to draft a white paper on the shrinking middle class, a topic of particular interest to Saatchi because of the agency’s work with Walmart. This also became the topic for my luncheon presentation.
“Before my experience with the VPP, I didn’t understand how public relations fit into the overall scheme within an advertising agency. I now have a much better appreciation for the ways public relations and social media are linked.
“Finally, I didn’t expect the advertising industry to be so altruistic. Perhaps it was just because I spent three days with The Advertising Council, but I was very impressed by the amount of time, effort, and money invested in pro bono work designed to make our society a better place.”
Lynne Collins, Director of Communications: “We were very fortunate to have Professor Cathy Bullock spend time with our agency. She was a great fit within the agency as we both were able to learn from each other how important it is to realize the collaborations between the advertising and academic worlds. She was able to meet with the departments of strategic planning, account management, and broadcast production. By being in an atmosphere of the advertising world, she was able to learn new information that would strengthen the Advertising/PR portion of her Introduction to Mass Communication class and show to her students that research and numbers are relevant within the communication industries. By having her present her talk, “Vanishing Middle Class”, to our agency, we were able to open up our minds and learn from her the socio-economic reality Americans are facing today within our current society. It was valuable for us to learn insights that Professor Bullock has researched on the eroding middle class, so we can further connect with our consumers. The VPP is definitely a worthwhile program, and a lot of our colleagues participated and really enjoyed the education component and her presence in the agency.”
Young & Rubicam
Professor Simon Blanchard, Georgetown University: “Whitney did an amazing job at scheduling me. Not only to keep me busy, but also making sure that I meet with people that are relevant to me. For instance as my work was most relevant to the planners, she made sure that there were people in that area present at my talk. It made a lively discussion.
“Although I have not worked on assignments, I witnessed a director casting call, was present during a client pitch (the teams gave me overviews of their presentation). The majority of the time was spent chatting about their positions and tracks, and their careers. I was assigned to stay with “the planners”, which was superb as they were the “types” that I wanted to learn the most about.
“The biggest influence will be on how I can counsel students who are interested in going into the industry. I will be able to be a lot more specific about the career paths, the skills desired, and the approach to take to have a job. I will have a few anecdotes about campaigns to share as well.”
Whitney Goodman, Account Director: “Simon was a great fit for Y&R. He came to the agency with a very quantitative perspective on how brands are positioned. By sitting with the planning team, he was able to meet with many people who shared his quantitative perspective but he was also able to benefit from their qualitative insights. Seeing how Brand Asset Valuator worked and how we use exploring was eye opening for him. People enjoyed hearing about his methodology too.
“My colleagues were very supportive of the program and really enjoyed meeting with him. They thought he was very intelligent and well-spoken and interesting. I can generally count on the same people each year to offer an hour of their time. It is harder to get new people in the pipeline.
“The lunchtime talk was very approachable and easy to understand. We had an overflowing group of planners who were really interested. The topic was relevant and valuable to planners primarily. Simon did a good job in formatting his lecture based on the input I provided about the audience.”
Career Services Administrators
Carol Sharik, Assistant Director for Programming & Outreach at Amherst College: “I’ll be able to advise with more confidence about the advertising/marketing industry, the differences between firms and how this is an important factor for students to consider – large vs. small, open floor plan vs. offices, niche vs. cutting edge, etc.”
Rachel Cirelli, Associate Director of Career Placement at Barnard College: “I learned more about the intricacies of the advertising field, and got a better sense of what our students can do to be competitive for positions. I also got to see the cultures of four agencies first-hand. I learned more about the various sectors and which may be a good fit for Barnard students in terms of entry-level positions.”
Andrea Culp, Career Coach at Colorado College: “The two-day orientation was a fantastic direct introduction to the industry of advertising. I gained insight into the intricacies of these very different industries as well as a better understanding of the variety of opportunities available within each. It was great to see the varying personalities and perspectives that it takes to do the work of these different organizations.”
Heather Wixson, Associate Director of Hamilton College: “I really enjoyed the two-day orientation program. It was great to get an insider’s view of these four agencies. It was fascinating to see how they were all different, and in some ways alike. I feel like I have a better sense of what really happens at these agencies.
“I honestly was not sure what to expect. I have been to several programs in the past few years that have simply not been informative or interesting. I am happy to say that I think this was the most relevant and interesting program I have been to in a few years!”
Kimberly Joy Dixon, Assistant Director of Employer Relations & Diversity at SUNY Stony Brook: “Before the VPP Orientation, I had very traditional views of the advertising industry. After the visits to d’exposito & Partners and R/GA I realized that advertising is much more than I knew. The focus on diversity and business transformation that these two companies have, was just amazing to witness. I was truly impressed!
“I certainly have increased my knowledge of the industry and feel more confident speaking with students about career opportunities in advertising. I have been able to share my experiences with faculty members in the College of Business at Stony Brook University and I believe a few of them would be very interested in participating in the future. Also, I never really thought about the IT related positions in this industry until my visit to R/GA. Their approach and the work they do mirrors the work that Stony Brook students experience at Google or Facebook. I want to make sure that students are aware that this industry has a career path for students interested in technology.”
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