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!

Tiffany: COM Alumni Really Are the Greatest Resources!

Tiffany ImageSpring semester hitting its midway point is the cue for summer internship application deadlines and for interviews to begin! A couple weeks ago, I had an interview for a summer internship position at my dream advertising agency, Digitas. Digitas is a worldwide advertising agency that is not only known for its awesome list of huge clients, but also for pioneering digital advertising. They have offices all over the world, but one of its biggest North America offices is located in downtown Boston, a convenient 20-minute T ride away. I was anxious and excited to be given the opportunity to interview, but was also nervous because I was informed by human resources that upon my arrival, I would be meeting with four of their employees in back to back interviews. I did my research on the agency as well as on my interviewees and discovered that one of them was actually a recent COM alumnus. While this made me feel a bit at ease, I also felt the need to impress her even more since she would be familiar with my background and could very well be tougher on me.

As she walked into the room, she greeted me with a warming smile, but wasted no time getting down to business. She clearly had read my resume, as her first remark after initial introductions was that she realized we had been on BU’s National Student Advertising Competition Team (NSAC) together over a year ago. After sharing with each other our experiences with NSAC, we realized that we probably never really met because my first semester with NSAC was her last semester not only with NSAC, but also with BU as she was graduating early and had a job offer waiting for her at the agency.

She came prepared with questions about my resume and coursework that were so different than the rest of my interviewees as it was clear she, as a COM alumnus, was plenty familiar with my background. We talked about the courses I took, discovering that she took many of the same ones as well, and asked me detailed questions about the projects I worked on, as she had done the same ones only a couple years ago.

Interviewing with a COM alumnus was such an amazing experience that I hope everyone is lucky enough have. It was awesome to be able to talk about my experiences and goals with someone who I had so much common ground with. It was almost as if it was easier to talk about my experiences, expanding upon them in more detail, and convey what I wanted out of my future simply because it seemed as if she already knew me and the environment, mindset, and general background that I was coming from.

Even if I didn’t land the internship, it was still great to make the connection as I’ve come to discover that COM alumni are really one of the greatest resources out there. I highly recommend networking and putting yourself out there as early as you are comfortable doing so because it will only help you in the long run. Even if that is just having coffee with a COM student who is a year or two older than you, chances are that they will be working in the real world when it is time for you to start thinking about it.

A week ago I was offered a spot in their summer internship program and gladly accepted. I’m so excited to have this amazing opportunity and look forward to learning and working alongside BU alumni. Stay tuned for updates in the summer months about my summer in Boston interning with Digitas!

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