By Creative Advertising student Zachary Komorowski
It’s one thing to take classes to gain the foundation of knowledge necessary to work in advertising, but it’s something else completely to be able to step into the industry, if even for just a moment, to get a taste of what it’s really like. That is what this trip was able to provide.
On this trip, we visited big players in advertising and learned about the tools they use. Our first stop was Google – how cool is that? After we had lunch in their bountiful cafeteria, they spoke about powerful technologies like machine learning, which they use to analyze YouTube ads in order to improve skip rates. Publicis, an international giant in advertising and communications, shared with us a glimpse at their upcoming AI platform. Marcel uses artificial intelligence to sift through their company’s expansive workforce to connect employees so that they may exchange expertise in order to provide effective solutions for their clients. It was invigorating to experience first-hand what technologies and opportunities await us after graduation.
Advertising is a fast-paced industry, so it was inspiring to see the willingness of MSU alumni to take time out of their schedules to share with us their expertise and experiences. As they spoke about their work duties and paths to their employment, I learned more about specific roles within the industry outside of the obvious ones like copywriting and account managing. Over the course of the trip, we were afforded the opportunity to have intimate conversations with people working in areas such as paid/unpaid social, search, strategy, project management, etc. This broadened my understanding of advertising and piqued my interest beyond my preconceptions. I realized there are numerous roles within advertising and plenty of opportunities to find what suits me.
As a current student, I took for granted the size and talent of our Spartan alumni network. WeWork graciously hosted an alumni mixer which proved to be a great success. My fellow students and I were able to build connections and pick the brains of a multitude of smart and driven professionals. I spoke to a copywriter with over 29 years of experience as well as the CIO of Columbia University. It was endearing to find that Spartans are not just willing, but excited to help students like us who are on the rise. I look forward to the day I can do the same.
There is nothing more invaluable than the opportunity to peek into the advertising industry before you join it. The ability to garner insight from people who have been working in the field for years and years and being able to, at the end of the day, add them to your professional network is huge. I have already started to apply what I’ve learned on this trip to how I attack the curriculum and to build my portfolio so that I am as prepared as I need to be in order to land the job I want once I graduate.
If you’re a student looking to get out of the state for a while and shake some hands, this is the trip for you. At the very least you get to see some cool offices and tall buildings, but, at the very best (which it was for me and will be for you), you’ll gather unique insights and build connections that separate you from the average student and will ultimately help land you that job you’ve always dreamed about.