by Liz Glover, Class of 2018
Advertising was never a business I aspired to work in, and yet, I have spent the past two summers interning for agencies in NYC. Last summer I was at BBDO, part of Omnicom Group, and this summer, at iCrossing (an agency owned by Hearst that is know for digital, mobile, and search marketing). This summer, I discovered how much I enjoy advertising, and the agency culture. I was hired as the new business intern for iCrossing. The new business team generally works on winning new clients for the agency…but by paying close attention to what was going on around me, I was able to do so much more.
As the New Business intern, I created a photo essay for a successful NESPRESSO new business pitch. I also had the opportunity to prepare and present a CBS All-Access “path to purchase” journey for iCrossing’s US CEO.
After working with the new business team for only a few weeks, my boss quit, and this gave me an opportunity to explore my passion – production. New business was interesting, but there was a man who worked at the desk behind me who I often saw editing videos. I introduced myself, hoping he would let me work with him. Andrew, the communications director, soon became my new boss. He was working on an internal video series about employees at the company. I spent a lot of the summer working on the video series with him.
Andrew created the series because he felt that fun videos would help agency employees get to know each other better. They would also be helpful externally, as a way for people interested in working at iCrossing to learn about the culture. Andrew and I had lots of fun filming interviews across New York city. It was great to get outside and explore, and leave the office behind for a bit. Each interview was at a new location, including a local bar, Central Park, quirky coffee shops, and even the subway. After filming, we would spend hours editing all the footage into a two-minute video. It was often painful listening to the same sentence over and over in the editing room, but at least we were able to suffer together. Most satisfying was finishing a video, and admiring our work. When I wasn’t working on the video series with Andrew, I was working on The Intern Project.
iCrossing has offices across the country, and each office has interns. The HR department decided that we would all work together on a project. To make things interesting, they split us up into two teams; the East vs. West Coast. Our East Coast team included the six interns from the NYC office, and one intern from Reston, VA. Each team created a back to school campaign to increase .edu subscriptions for the New York Times. The team that had the best campaign would “win” the chance to pitch their campaign to the NYT clients. “Differentiate Yourself” was the name of our East Coast campaign.
We showed that students are nervous about finding jobs after college, and that reading the NYT, and staying informed, will give students an edge in interviews, and differentiate themselves from the competition. (check out a sample of presentation below). The campaign presentation included a review of the situation (including research and videos), go-forward strategy, media plan, and creative concepts. I was able to put my production skills to use by developing two case study videos. The videos took place in Washington Square Park, where I filmed one of the interns interviewing college students with questions relevant to our research.
The East vs. West coast competition took place on a steamy Friday afternoon in the beginning of August. It was a draw. Both campaign ideas would be presented to the client. Within one week we were able to combine our research, and create a combined deck that included both campaigns. The following Friday, the NYT clients came to our NYC, office where the East Coast team presented the final work. The clients loved the pitch and are using some of our ideas. Our hard work paid off!
iCrossing likes to talk about “unleashing potential” and what it means for the company and the individuals who work there. This summer I was able to unleash my potential. I had a voice in the agency and my work and opinions mattered. My work helped the company, and I made great friends along the way. As a track runner I know what it means to “give your all;” this summer I learned what it means to “give your all” in the workplace.