"Even the genius asks questions." ~2 Pac

July 31, 2007 2007 Summer Internship Program Concludes

Yet again, another great summer of college students on Charles Street. On Monday May 21st, one University of Denver and six Denison University undergraduates – Nick Lamdin ’08, Aditi Bhansali ’09, Katherine Northy ’08, Rebecca Rothschild ’08, Elisabeth Bergen ’08, John Szendiuch ’08 and Lindsay Hittner ’08 – arrived at the New York City studios of The Brand Gallery and PGM Artists for a comprehensive, hands-on introduction to the worlds of branding, advertising, and marketing.

CEO Phil McIntyre summed it up this summer by saying. “It was a great and enriching summer to have so many talented interns working with us here in the west village. Each functioned very well within our ecosystem. We saw every person grow and evolve nicely across the 10 week program. They are already greatly missed. We of course wish them all well in the coming year and want to thank them for their hard work and contributions to the business.”

Below our interns share what they learned and took away in their own words – Enjoy!

Nick Lamdin

It is an indisputable fact that in today’s highly competitive work environment it helps to have any advantage on one’s resume. An internship has shifted from being an option that a college student chooses, to a necessity. Internships allow for college students to experience the real work environment head on, helping to prep him or her for the real world. Most internships consist of having to work 10 hour days, wearing business attire everyday, and only doing monotonous work such as filing or data entry, while not getting any compensation for the work and effort. Thankfully this does not come even close to what my internship experience at The Brand Gallery/PGM Artists was like.

With college soon coming to an end, I am now faced with the daunting task of deciding what type of work that I would like to pursue once I have graduated. The Brand Gallery/PGM Artists offered me such a place to really examine two different aspects of the advertising business. The one aspect of the company was the creative and design side of advertising, and the other aspect was the businesses side of advertising. On the creative side of the business, I learned how to use such programs as Final Cut Studio Pro, create DVD reels, use Adobe After Effects, and many other exciting programs. On the business side of the company, PGM Artist, I learned how the company and its clients communicate between each other, in addition to learning basic office duties and activities. More importantly, working at this company exposed me to so many different situations that no one could ever had prepared me for which has helped broaden my knowledge of the real work environment.

While the work was a great experience, the overall best experience was working with the other individuals in the office, and the company’s clients. The Brand Gallery/PGM Artists is a small work environment where all the staff from both departments really gets to know whom you are, and will always be there to help you. The other interns that I had the privilege of working with this year were really awesome and crazy as well. In addition, I had to learn how to work with clients and other people in the industry who I might not have seen eye to eye with. I am truly going to miss working here as well as the people whom I have really come to know well.

Aditi Bhansali

My time this summer flew by at the internship program with PGM Artists / The Brand Gallery. I had come to Manhattan hoping to gain a lot of experience and knowledge from this internship, but I left learning more than I could have hoped to.

Let me begin by rounding up the usual suspects. When I signed up for this summer internship in the city, I was expecting to have the ‘New York City internship experience,’ learn about the industry, even about myself, and of course, living it up in style at the big apple. Alphabet soup (on the subways) has now come to be a staple, and the subway map has become my trusty companion, with ’411′ being the most frequently dialed number – I will probably miss this anywhere else in the world. With the daily summaries of the New York Times, the weekly production meetings, the research and the hands-on work, I learned not only about how the industry works, but also about what elements make it work the way it works – I believe that I got a more holistic and in-depth picture of the media/advertising industry than ever before. I learned not to stay quiet (much to my family’s annoyance) and instead how to speak out and be confident enough to say ‘I’ll do it’! We were even encouraged to find projects to do – creative freedom challenged me more than I realized. And that’s why I feel like this internship allowed me to grow, i.e.- not only to learn to work in an office environment, but also to learn about what I like doing and helping me to achieve that. And finally caffeine addiction definitely becomes the norm – when you’re in the city, giving in to sleep before sunrise is never an option.

There were also some aspects to this internship experience that I could not have foreseen. Most importantly, I was taught about the importance of strategic alliances. How companies come to form partnerships for particular projects, how to build, retain, and sustain important alliances, how to be creative and cunning enough to create new ones as well – this is a vital and universally applicable skill I believe that I could only have learned at this internship. In addition, I originally thought that when it came to working in a team, I knew it all. Realizing that assumption was rather premature, I have to admit that I learned my lesson. I worked with six hard-working, fun-loving interns, a crotchety entertaining and fascinatingly brilliant office manager, a boss whose favorite word is ‘jamming’ and can be found jamming with perfect ease at any given time, a sales team that takes incessant speech to a whole new unimaginable level, and tons of interesting and quirky freelance artists -now that’s team work. And lastly, when I was told about hands-on experience, I had not expected to be attending high scale award ceremonies for advertisements that are being entered into the MoMA and becoming part of history; or going for shoots and working with an entire crew on set; or being witness to the process that allows for projects to be found and alliances to be made. But today, I didn’t expect to look up from my computer screen and find the 10 weeks coming to a rapid end.

Rebecca Rothschild

The internship program at The Brand Gallery and PGM Artists fuses creative and production experience within a professional and business foundation. The unique and funky atmosphere of the West Village is a perfect location for these two businesses, which reflect the distinctive personality of the area. My experiences this summer combined genuine New York City exposure and hands on experience with the support of the production team.

The close-knit staff encouraged me to take full advantage of every opportunity during the past ten weeks. Sitting in on production meetings, researching for upcoming projects, and learning several new design programs constitute a couple of the real-world experiences and skills that I have gained. From the beginning of the program, I learned how to develop a program to categorize fonts, how the creative production process develops for projects, and how the different parts of every project come together all within a professional workplace setting.

My final weeks at The Brand Gallery encapsulated all production experiences and I was able to follow a project through from the beginning to the end. At the launch of the High School Playbook, I attended the casting auditions and provided necessary support for freelancers and other individuals working on the project. I worked alongside the production coordinator in creating the production book used throughout the entire project and assisted in scheduling and confirming the talent. The commercial shoot for High School Playbook.com was one of the most exciting moments of the summer where I was on set as a production assistant and fully immersed in the activities.

I gained confidence in myself and my experience as a result of the variety of work and opportunity this summer. The internship program has prepared me for my future in the working world by forcing me to become a successful problem solver with a strong work ethic. Overall, this summer has perfectly meshed professional experience with personal growth, giving me confidence as I return for my last year of college before I enter the working world.

John Szendiuch

At the start of my time here, I didn’t know what to expect in terms of what I would learn and the tasks that I would be assigned. I came in just hoping to do a good job and make a positive contribution to the company. Now, at the end of my time here, the skills and insight I’ve picked up have helped me gain a better grasp of the industry and to better plan my future, whether it be in sales and marketing, production, or even intellectual property law. In the short ten weeks I spent as an intern for these companies the experiences I’ve had, things I’ve learned, and connections I’ve made have far exceeded I could have expected coming in.

When I was first invited to interview for a summer position here, I was excited to discover the business was located in an area of the city I was unfamiliar with at the time, the West Village. With it’s own distinct culture and variety of bars and restaurants, walking to work and running packages through this neighborhood has been a pleasure all its own.

As soon as I walked into The Brand Gallery offices I could tell that it would be a great place to work. The total opposite of the cramped cubicles I had worked in at my previous internship, the open floor plan and glass dividers of the office were conducive to a friendly environment where information and ideas could be shared easily. Even the building itself (the private residence of artist Jennifer Bartlett) was a creative place.

Of the employees at PGM Artists and The Brand Gallery I can only speak highly. They took the time to teach me everything from sending faxes and printing labels to coaching me on making sales calls. While they were always friendly and helpfully, the distinctly businesses attitude of the employees helped me focus my efforts and budget my time.

The sales and marketing team here at PGM Artists is comprised of the two person team of Mike Lobikis and Meghan Powers and headed up by our CEO, Phil McIntyre. Together, the three of them are responsible for repping a full roster of creative clients that includes top notch directors, production companies, web developers, sound designers, 3D graphic artists, and creatives.

As an intern with PGM, I worked directly under the sales and marketing team. My daily assignments included reading industry magazines such as Creativity, TV Week, and Ad Week and gleaning from them (aside from the term glean) not only current trends in the media marketplace, but names and information for potential contacts and job leads. Using that new contact info, I made sales calls to PAs to gather information on upcoming jobs and to tout the services of our creative clients.

The production department is responsible for overseeing the timely creation of deliverables and overall project management. While working for them, I was responsible for doing initial research for our High School Playbook project bid, investigating other sports themed social networking sites, and compiling the material for a presentation.

One of the most exciting parts of my time as an intern was when we were invited to assist in the production of a commercial for the aforementioned High School Playbook project. The weekend before the shoot I traveled to Greenwich to assist casting director Jennifer O’Haver. While Jennifer video-taped and screened potential actors and extras, I manned the front desk, signing in people as they arrived and provided them with information about the content and character of the project. Shot in Greenwich, Connecticut, the all day shoot was headed up by Streamline Content director Peter Kagan. Aside from assisting to set up the shoot and relay information, another intern (Nick Lamdin) and myself were even asked to be on camera. Being involved in both the preparation and the execution of an event of that scale helped me to get a better idea of the number of specialized jobs and people that go into a professional commercial shoot.

My experience here at the Brand Gallery and PGM Artists over the past 10 weeks has been one filled with excitement, and responsibility. While making good friends and experiencing a fantastic part of New York City, I feel I have learned a lot and gained a much better understanding of not only the way The Brand Gallery and PGM Artists operate, but how they function as a part of the advertising and marketing business as a whole.

Katie Northy

As a communication major at a liberal arts school, I have taken various classes that broadly addressed the field of advertising and promotion. However, while incredibly informative, my classes and related activities within the Communication department did not offer the practical experience needed to truly understand the industry. With this said, I am extremely grateful that I have had the opportunity to intern at The Brand Gallery in New York.

While I always understood the importance of creative media in the advertising industry, this internship has truly helped me realize the amount of work that goes into conceptualizing and producing an innovative and creative campaign. By working closely with The Brand Gallery production team and visiting production companies, I came to truly understand how compartmentalized the production process is. This summer, I was fortunate enough to assist The Brand Gallery staff and Streamline Content in producing a multimedia advertising campaign for “High School Playbook.” As I watched the concept move from its initial pitch to the final stages of production, I saw how every person involved, whether they be working on graphics for the website, casting, or the production of the live action commercial, worked hard on their individual tasks and paid close attention to detail. As the High School Playbook project involved many people completing different delegated assignments, the project allowed me to see first hand the importance of communication, accountability, and cooperation between the various departments of production. While communication and cooperation were particularly important for this project, they are also generally valued in the professional world and I will surely remember the lessons I learned from this project when perusing future endeavors.

After ten weeks of work at the Brand Gallery, I am now more familiar with the advertising industry and I have learned practical lessons that I simply could not have attained in the academic classroom alone. While going on location to shoot the Playbook commercial was undeniably an amazing experience, each day spent in the office was also incredibly valuable. Everyday I learned something new and even if I was not directly involved in a project, by simply observing the work that was going on around me, I was able to gain a better understanding of the business. I am so genuinely thankful for the people I’ve worked with at The Brand Gallery, both for their continual patience and their willingness to offer advice regarding work related projects or the industry in general. The environment at the Brand Gallery is one that is extremely inclusive and friendly and it was truly a pleasure being surrounded by people who enjoy what they do.

The lessons that I learned this summer while living and working in New York are invaluable and this experience has helped me mature both personally and professionally. While I started this internship inexperienced and confused about my future career aspirations, I am leaving today with a better understanding of the advertising industry as well as a greater awareness of my own personal strengths and weaknesses.

Elisabeth Bergen

My valuable and rewarding experiences as a summer intern at The Brand Gallery have not only allowed me learn more about the branding and marketing industry, but have enabled me to learn skills and new ways of thinking that will be indispensable for me in the working world after college. Over the past 10 weeks I have had opportunities to observe and work with employees in various areas of the business, giving me the chance to gain a more complete understanding of the branding industry.

At the beginning of my time at The Brand Gallery, I was unsure of what to expect, having never worked in an office environment before. The friendly and helpful staff here made sure that all of the interns adjusted quickly, immediately making us feel comfortable and at home here. I learned many typical office skills including how to make copies, fax, and operate phones, all of which I know will continue to be of use to me long after my internship has ended. In addition to learning these valuable skills, I also had the responsibility, along with the other interns, of reading and reporting the stories in the New York Times business section each day, which enabled me to have a greater understanding of current news in the advertising and business world. In addition to performing these daily tasks, I also worked on the creation of a Font Book along with several of the other interns. Through this project and various other small projects over the course of the past 10 weeks I became familiar with computer programs such as inDesign, PhotoShop, and AfterEffects, all important tools used frequently by producers and designers at The Brand Gallery.

Of all my experiences at The Brand Gallery, I have found my participation in the production of a commercial for the Hearst-Argyle website Playbook.com to be the most interesting and exciting. I was able to observe and participate in the process of creating a successful commercial from beginning to end, which helped me to better understand the huge amount of work, talent, and effort that go into creating a successful commercial. Through researching images for designers, helping out with the casting process, and working as a PA on the set of the commercial I was able to see first-hand the ways in which producers transform creative ideas into reality.

In addition to learning valuable office and computer skills and gaining first-hand experience through participating in the process of organizing a live commercial shoot, my internship at The Brand Gallery also allowed me to have to opportunity to volunteer at and attend the AICP awards show at MoMA in June. At this event I was able to hear successful and talented industry professionals talk about their work and the processes of creating successful advertising campaigns. As a volunteer I not only learned about the hard work involved in organizing and running an awards show, but also about the amount of talent and effort that it takes to produce a successful commercial.

My internship with The Brand Gallery has been a wonderful experience, and has contributed greatly to my understanding of both the advertising industry and the corporate world. My time here has not only been educational, but also fun and exciting. I know that everything I have learned here will continue to benefit me in my future business undertakings, and I truly feel that my experiences as an intern at The Brand Gallery have helped to prepare me for a successful life after graduation.

Lindsay Hittner

These past 10 weeks at The Brand Gallery and PGM Artists have been quite the experience. This internship has taught me that working a 9-6 job, 5 days a week and commuting from a different state causes Mono-like symptoms of exhaustion. After the acute life of the fatigue, I became accustomed to the working lifestyle. Joking aside, I came into this internship hoping to narrow my focus on a career path suitable for me and this internship has truly helped me develop my career aspirations. As a Communication major, this internship provided me with an outstanding opportunity to understand this field in a real hands-on environment. Early in the program, I had the honor of volunteering for the AICP Art and Technique of the American Commercial Awards with my fellow interns. The event was really a turning point for me, where I realized how passionate I was about advertisements and commercials. I viewed reels of people working through the creative process to develop award winning commercials. Additionally, through working the event, I met some truly fascinating people in the field.

Throughout the program, I was also able to get to know and work closely with PGM Artists and The Brand Gallery staff members who taught me more in one week than I could have learned anywhere else in the entire summer! Office Manager, Jim Shallal, whipped me into “office shape,” teaching me everything there is to know about office tasks, while also providing lessons on life. To say that I learned one thing specifically about the advertising industry would be a lie; everyday taught me something new. I worked on style guides in InDesign, learned how to use Final Cut Pro to edit a “PGM News” segment, honed my Photoshop skills, learned new short-cuts from Gabe, a designer at TBG, relearned how to use Illustrator to make a DVD Reel Cover for our Recent Works DVD and much more.

When our office was busy getting ready for a commercial for High School Playbook, I fulfilled the indespensable tasks needed to prepare for the shoot. I was also given the chance to work a casting session for the commercial which proved to be an amazing experience, as well as a full schedule. We, the interns, got the great learning opportunity of working on location for the shoot. Seeing the process from start to finish was excellent. I never would have gotten that type of experience at a larger company. I was able to work as a Production Assistant on location and meet some incredible people. Unfortunately, I also learned how to work with and deal with very difficult and unprofessional people. But the experience has only made me stronger.

It was a pleasure getting to know new people from my university and others. These interns have become some of my best friends and I look forward to seeing them often around campus during my last year of college.