Tiffany: My Summer at Digitas – Mad Men In Real Life

Greetings from one of those big, tall, fancy buildings in downtown Boston!

This week marks my 7th week interning at Digitas, a leading global advertising agency that pioneered the digital age in advertising. I along with 24 other interns from all sorts of different backgrounds, universities, and interests are working across the many different capabilities within the agency such as marketing, project management, account planning, art direction, copy writing, user experience, media, technology, and more.

I’m specifically interning in marketing, or what some other agencies might refer to as account management, on a Fortune 100 financial services client. In particular, my team works on corporate social responsibility for the client, meaning we tell their story as a brand and manage their overall brand image through our work.

For those who are die-hard Mad Men fans out there, I hate to break your hearts, but agency life isn’t quite how Don Draper lives it out. In many ways, the hit TV show has portrayed agency life spot on in that sometimes in order to be productive, one has to be unproductive first and let the creative juices naturally flow. My team in particular, has set up a nerf gun battlefield throughout the floor to help each other through those frustrating times and just have a little fun. It’s not quite like how the agency in Mad Men likes to be unproductive with their 2 hour oyster lunches, cigarette breaks, and excessive alcohol consumption, but we take breaks as often as necessary and look to each other to join in on the unproductivity to ultimately help each other be productive.

Which brings me to one of the aspects of agency life that Mad Men doesn’t quite portray as well as it maybe should, which is the importance of teamwork. Throughout the 7 weeks I’ve been interning here, I’ve been blown away by how fluidly the different capabilities work together towards a common goal. They all genuinely look out for each other and not only have the client, but also each other’s best interest in mind. With this, the work is just that much better and everyone walks away a little saner and with a bigger smile on their face at the end of each day. Despite their differences in specialties, the Photoshop genius of an art director, the organized marketing manager, and the number savvy analyst all work together to help give the client the best recommendation possible by pulling together their strengths and trusting each other to fill in the holes on their own capability’s weaknesses. So whether its providing the client with our point of view on a certain campaign move or participating in a floor-wide nerf gun fight, everyone is part of the team and looks out for each other no matter how big or small the task/problem at hand.

I’m honestly quite sad for the internship to be more than half way over, because I’ve become an integral part of this hard-working yet silly, nerf-gun playing team. However, I eagerly am looking forward to the remainder of my time with Digitas as I still have much to learn! More updates on my insights in advertising life in a few weeks!

Happy summer, everyone!

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