What are you doing now and how did you get there?
I am an Assistant Account Executive on the Procter & Gamble account at Arc Worldwide in Chicago. Arc is the shopper marketing agency within Leo Burnett. I was well into my job search when I graduated in May and I managed to keep in touch with a contact I had in the HR department at Leo Burnett. Although nothing was available at the time, I sent him emails of interesting ad articles/campaigns every other week for a few months and mailed him a new marketing book I was reading so I would stay on the top of his mind.
When a position opened up for an entry level account person at Arc, I had a few phone interviews and was hired shortly afterwards. I stepped into the office on August 15th and have been learning, developing, and loving my position here ever since.
What are your responsibilities as Assistant Account Executive at Arc Worldwide?
A position on the account side is a great opportunity to work with every dimension of the business from creative and strategy to brand management and production. I help coordinate a number of in-store executions including product trays, displays, coupons, and online e-commerce.
My team is founded in shopper behavior and a constant drive to grab the attention of the shopper while he/she is in the store or shopping online. Shopper marketing is one of the fastest growing specialties in advertising because it relates directly to the point of purchase. Each day is different than the one before and I can honestly say I look forward to coming in every morning and contributing to great work.
What is your favorite Grady memory?
Grady has an amazing program, but the faculty is by far the program's greatest asset. My favorite Grady memory definitely involves Dr. Peggy Kreshel and Dr. Kirsten Strausbaugh-Hutchinson's campaigns class. The campaign assignment was challenging, time-consuming, and intense, but having that experience as an undergraduate was invaluable.
During that semester, most of my dinners can from a vending machine. I think I single-handedly supported Jittery Joes' business and I had a long-term relationship with the media wing in the MLC, but I made great work and that's what this business is all about. My team's finished product might not be Effie-worthy, but the guidance and feedback from Drs. Kreshel and Strausbaugh that we received along the way is so applicable to the industry. I can not thank them enough for preparing me for this career.
What advice do you have for current AdPR students?
The best advice I can give to any student involved in Grady's program is to stay curious. The main point of difference that set me apart in the interview process was the way I sold my sense of curiosity and passion for the ad industry rather than just pitching myself as a potential employee.
Grady provides a great platform for you to excel in the industry, but its your sense of curiosity to learn more about what makes a campaign great that is going to give you an edge in this industry. Going above and beyond a basic cover letter and resume will make you a more desirable candidate in the job market and, when you actually get a job, will lead to great, insightful work that positively impacts the brand and its consumers. Best of luck!