Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Struggle for Connectivity

At a time when Carmonize should be posting numerous glimpses into the life of an intern, sadly, the posts have not been forthcoming. Despite what seasoned Blogger's would suggest (They say: Don't post about why you have not written a post) I have decided that I give those of you who follow several reasons:

Numero Uno: June 2 - 20...Finals, numerous papers, and saying goodbye to the friends I made in San Jose. Graduation hits you upside the head - one day you're a student, the next, you're unemployed.

Numero Dos: Finding a job. It's hard I tell you - those of you who have the time to craft your interview skills (which includes the brief, yet compelling emails) I strongly encourage you to do so.

Numero Tres: Moving to San Francisco. Can I just say that living in the city that you've loved since you were a teenager (for me, when "Indie" was Hipster) is completely dream-like.

Numero Quatro: Starting a job with the agency you've jocked since you had a clue. Working for Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners has made the past three years of - well, hell - so worthwhile. I couldn't imagine working with better people & fan-tas-tic clients.

Numero Cinqo: Discovering the joys of a 9 - ... (yeah, sometimes it's 6, lately 8:30pm). I can actually have dinner, go to the gym and enjoy the city.

So what's next for Carmonize? I am compelled to continue to track down internships - I mean, that shit is hard and I try to take out the legwork. However, I think that the direction of the blog will begin to take on a new approach: That of a person learning the ropes of working in an ad agency. I think you'll like. I hope you do.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Drunk-tern: A little advice for the tipsy

Dear Intern -

I feel it's my responsibility as a former 'tern to tell you: Do not drink the punch!

Yes - it's true, agency people love to let their hair down, but let me tell you, do not let yours lose its shape.

I know the feeling of wanting to fit in so badly that you sip, Sip, SIP vodka soda after vodka soda because well - it feels great and it's low cal. However, before you down that next glass of fire water, let me remind you of a thing called a REPUTATION.

A reputation, along with your looks, can quickly fade. A good one takes a lot of time and energy to craft, and at the end of your internship is one of the deciding factors if an agency keeps you on. So here are a few tips for surviving the OPEN BAR e-mail:

  • Do not experiment with your drinks. Nothing says NOOB like someone who orders a Cosmo followed by an Irish Car Bomb. Stick to one drink - preferably something that doesn't scream "I saw this in a TGIF menu."
  • Pretend to drink something that you're not. E.g. I order Non-alcoholic beers and ask the bartender to pour it into a pint glass. Looks like the real thing, feels like your best Sunday dress. I do this when I want to build street cred - Image means a lot in the industry world, but it doesn't mean you need to be a fool. Act smart.
  • Drink a glass of water between drinks. For added affect, ask for it on the rocks in a tumbler with a wedge of lime.
  • Don't be the last to leave. Open bars & agency outings are just like parties - you want to make an appearance but you don't want to be the entertainment. Have a drink, perhaps two, but then leave. Always remember to make your rounds and leave people wanting more.
  • Keep your dirty laundry in the laundry basket. Agency life, just like life, is ripe full of people who love the gossip mill. I highly suggest you watch Mad Men and watch Don Draper handle his business - like a well tuned stealth fighter. My hero. Just remember, your secrets can quickly become email fodder the next day.
  • Finally, have a Wing-tern. They're that fellow intern you can trust to tell you in private that you're nearing the edge baby...step back from that ledge my friend! A good one is hard to find since many interns see each other as competition and would like nothing more than for you to show the ECD just how good you are the Lambada. If you find a Wing-Tern, keep them close.
Readers, feel free to share your tricks of the trade in the comments section - drinking wiser is the name of the game.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Internship: Continuum Crew

Continuum Crew
is looking for two part-time interns NOW.

They're the new kid on the SF block and specialize in the 40+ demo - Boom-Baby-Boom. They are currently looking for (A) 1 Account Services intern and (B) 1 Media intern.

If you're still looking for an internship this summer, send your resume along with a cover letter to Shelby (dot) Jones (at) continuumcrew (dot) com

Internship: Pop Art

So lets say you missed out on the COLABORATORY bus - not to worry, because now, you can apply straight to the source (at least one of them).

Pop Art is an interactive marketing agency in Portland. Their portfolio includes work for Leatherman, Portland Institute for Contemporary Arts, and Freightliner Trucks.

Here's a snapshot of what you could be doing with Pop Art:
  • Interactive Design
  • Editorial
  • Interactive Advertising Media
  • Software Development
  • Interactive Project Management
There are a few requirements for the internships, my favorite being: "College age or older." Lets assume you need to be 18+ to ride. Check out the other requirements and more on their website.

Oh - did I mention, they give you the option for a PAID or Unpaid internship? How novel (like, seriously awesome). Positions are currently open - so run, run fast.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My First Time

Yesterday afternoon, I saw the tv spot for the campaign I had worked on while interning at Campbell Mithun for the first time.

Watching the commercial for Nature Valley, I couldn't help but become really emotional - it was as if those 10 weeks I spent working alongside some of the most hard-working people just came flooding back.

What I remember most, is showing the spot to the client and thinking to myself how great it felt to work as part of the team that created such a moving spot. I want to feel that again.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Creativity Comes from Everywhere

A few weeks ago, a rumor started circulating that a rep from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners would be coming to speak to a group of San Jose State University students. My first thought: Someone has been taking one too many happy pills. Flash forward a few weeks (and a few more rumors) and I'm sitting in a lecture hall with 80 other students listening to John Coyne, Worldwide Group Director for HP at Goodby.

I'm going to spare you the joyful expletives that filled my mind when John first stepped foot into the room - but lets just say that despite working with Goodby for 10 years, he still has the approachability of Joe Six-Pack.

The message of the day: Creativity Comes from Everywhere

John started his presentation with a brief background of Goodby, here's the Cliff Notes version:
  • GSP has been around since 1983 (Sadly, I'm older than them)
  • Currently employs a smidge over 500 employees
  • Client list . . . well their client list is like Oscar role call (Sprint, CA Fluid Milk Processors, and Hewlett-Packard to name a few)
  • GSP has experienced tremendous growth in the past two years in web/interactive campaigns (yes, traditional campaigns are still in play, but they no longer make up the majority of GSP puts out)
John continued with his message by presenting case studies from three clients
  1. Haagen-Dazs: "Help the honey Bee's"
  2. NBA: "There can only be one"
  3. Wii Wario Land: "Shake It!"

The work:
Haagen-Dazs: "Help the Honey Bee's"

The beauty of this campaign isn't in its execution (though it is quite beautiful) it's that the idea originated from a Media Planner who after reading an article about the disappearance of honey bee's, began working with creatives at GSP that eventually led to the campaign as you see it today.

NBA: "There Can Only Be One"

Check out other "match-ups" here

Again, rather than coming from the expected source, this idea originated from a Media Strategist at GSP who understood how to use RSS feeds from the NBA homepage which allowed GSP to pair players from teams who were playing against each other that day (Warning: I could have screwed this up, I tried to get my head around it - really did).

Wii - Wario Land: "Shake It!"

Just go here

This approach by GSP emphasized the importance of approaching creativity from different angles - in particular, how to collaborate with media vendors (like Youtube).

Special thanks to Professor Tim Mitchell for inviting John Coyne to speak with the students at SJSU - Best presenter we've had at the school in the three years I've been here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Internship: Arc Worldwide

You know that saying: When it rains, it pours? Well today - it's pouring internships, which isn't a bad thing. There's something for everyone today, including those interested in post production.

Arc Woldwide is looking for a Motion Graphics intern this summer at their Chicago office.

You can check out the posting on their website (they're part of Publicis so recruiting is held on Leo Burnett's site).

Here's a snapshot of what they're looking for:
  • Strong After Effects Animation skills
  • Experience in keying and rotoscoping
  • 6 months to 1 year of professional motion graphics experience

Internship: Northlich

I've said it once, I'll say it again. If you want to land an internship or entry-level job you must, Must, MUST read the trade pubs.

Today - AdWeek reported that Northlich (Cincinnati, OH) was selected as the creative shop for the Ohio Lottery Commission. Congrats!

As a student, you should connect the dots: New business + more revenue = Warm bodies needed. A quick visit to their website and BEHOLD: An internship opportunity!

Some quick facts about the internship:
  • 12-week program
  • Applicants must be pursuing a 4-year degree or recent graduate, majoring in Marketing or Communications
  • It's cross-disciplinary, i.e. you'd be working across advertising, marketing and PR platforms - so really you'd get your hands dirty (always good for the NOOBs)
Check out the job-posting here

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Internship: BBDO Detroit (cross your fingers)

Update (4.30.09): The internship position has been removed from the job board - perhaps on the heels of Chrysler officially announcing Bankruptcy? Lets hope they found an intern and that's why it's no longer on BBDO's website


There's a job post on BBDO Detroit's website for an Account Services intern. Unfortunately, the internship is unpaid - but I wouldn't really gripe about it since the only client their office serves is Chrysler.

Chrysler, as you know, may be going the way of the dinosaur - yes, bankruptcy could be a very real possibility for the automaker during the midst of the internship. Another possibility is that Fiat may take control of Chrysler which could lead to a shake up of its AOR.

Lets look at it from the cup half full method: You'll get a chance to experience history in the making.

Check out the post here

Tips: Resumes - Part 1 of a 3 part series

Occasionally, I'll get asked how I managed to work my way into BBH NY and Campbell Mithun, and naturally, the conversation always leads towards three things: Resumes, phone interviews and personal interviews. More specifically, people ask me what I did or didn't do in regards to each of them.

Anytime I offer my advice, I emphasize that I'm not the authoritative person on any of the subjects, so I'm always glad when I can get the inside scoop from the people students need to impress - recruiters.

Susan Engle, Director of Human Resources at Mediasmith, recently spoke with students of San Jose State's advertising club about what students need to do to get noticed for entry-level positions. Though recruiting varies from shop-to-shop, Susan provided some solid info about what she looks for in an applicant.

Today, I'll share what Susan recommends students should do to make their resume more appealing. Check back later this week for tips on phone interviews and personal interviews.

  1. Resumes should be one page - no more, no less
  2. Always proofread your resume; Resumes/cover letters should always be free of grammatical errors. Though it sounds easy enough, you'd be surprised how many times I've seen resumes that have simple spelling errors that make you wonder - is this person actually in college? (oh man, like I should talk - I'm a horrid speller but because I know this, I proofread several times - unless it's on this blog :p)
  3. Don't lie or inflate your resume - trust that a recruiter can sniff out a liar
  4. The skills section counts! Susan explained that though there is software that students won't get training on while in college, she can judge if a student has the disposition to learn a new tool by how proficient they are with the software available to them
  5. Incorporate buzzwords from job-postings into your resume
  6. Include something about yourself - like a hobby. This allows the recruiter and applicant an opportunity to relax. My resume states that I have a mac'n cheese recipe that will make me famous - it ALWAYS gets brought up in interviews (yes, the pic is my MnC - drooling is completely appropriate)
  7. Change your objective for the position - in other words, if you're applying for the position of media tracker don't leave that you're desperately wanting to work the dressing room of Urban Outfitters on your resume
  8. Mention projects you've worked on only if you feel that they are stellar and wouldn't mind sharing them during a personal interview
I'll have the next post on phone interviews up by Wednesday, in the meantime, feel free to ask questions in the comments section.