|"The two most important days in your life are: the day you were born, and the day you find out why." ~Mark Twain|
As my senior year was coming to a close, I was told by my teachers and counselors to find an internship for the last month or so before graduation; an internship I am interested in and that could potentially help me discover what I want to do throughout and after college. As someone who has not even finished high school yet, I was and still am undecided about what exactly I want to do professionally. I know what my strengths, weaknesses, interests, and dislikes were but in order to find a suitable internship I still had to figure out how to combine them all together and find a career that is potentially right for me. When I took this assignment back home to my family, an internship in advertising or marketing automatically came to my parents’ minds. As a person who identifies strongly with being creative, having an open mind, and having an interest in all things TV and commercial related translated almost perfectly to what the business – and more specifically, what The Brand Gallery – had to offer.
I am more than lucky enough to have the privilege to complete my senior internship at The Brand Gallery thanks to Phil McIntyre. My fellow Greenwich High School peer, Emily Walsh, and I were eager to start our summer journeys as summer associates and learn as much as we could about the advertising and marketing business. Four weeks and two days has never seemed to go by quicker! My time as a summer associate may have been short compared to most Brand Gallery internships, but I can confidently say I have learned so much – and I am sure I would learn so much more if Emily and I stayed longer!
Within this past month, I have been exposed to so many different aspects of this industry. The great thing about interning at The Brand Gallery is that the company has so many different endeavors, especially being that it is associated with PGM Artists and Standard Directors. As Phil, Iain, and Alison took on different projects, they continued to share with us and teach us about their processes and just how much goes into each piece of work. A simple 60 second video will take days to perfect, something I did not even think about before my experience here. I have become so much more aware of the meticulous process that it is behind the TV, news, and commercial industries as well as the creation of graphic design. From having a behind the scenes look at the Greenwich Town Party video to the graphic design work to volunteering at AICP, my experience as a summer associate has been very well rounded. It has only reinforced my interest in the advertising business and creative work overall, and I can’t wait to pursue these interests further when I start college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the fall!
I knew going into my internship search I wanted something that would have meaning and help me decide what I wanted to pursue in college. Once making my decision about attending Denison University I thought I would reach out to Phil as I knew he went there and we used to be neighbors. I did some more research and found that he has been giving internship opportunities to college students for years. I reached out to him and we set up an interview. This year was one of the first years he had given high school internship opportunities, so I was excited and nervous to see how the first day was going to go.
Although Emily and I were here for a short amount of time we were treated the same as college interns. This respect from Phil, Alison, and Ian helped make the overall atmosphere feel more like we were working here as well. Obviously coming from Greenwich High School we were not the most experienced but they were always patient and willing to answer any questions we had if we were confused. The small company vibe made being in the workplace comfortable but also serious. I think one of the highlight moments were I felt that I had the most impact was during AICP week. Not only were we able to watch the Award shows but to be backstage guiding the presenters to get mic’d up made me feel pretty important. We wore earpieces with walkie talkies and it was really cool to hear the different people talking backstage about the show while we watched it, to make sure everything ran smoothly.
I would never expect that this internship would have taken me to an exclusive rooftop NYC party or another exclusive MOMA party filled with some of the most influential people in the business. This internship was more than I could have expected and helped me figure out so much about myself and how people work. Working in marketing really makes you focus on the needs of people and what they will like/ how they will react. Im beyond glad I was able to experience this at the end of my High school career and can not be more grateful to Phil for giving me this opportunity and for Alison and Aiin for being very helpful the whole time.
Last week, The Brand Gallery’s summer associates volunteered at AICP week – a three-day long event than included informative seminars, abounding networking opportunities, two major awards shows, and two exceptional after parties. It all began on Tuesday, when the girls headed down to the NYU Skirball Center to work behind the scenes at AICP’s NEXT Awards. After being outfitted in their AICP uniforms, they helped speakers navigate the backstage corridors before they walked in stage. As a part of the volunteer perks, they even got to sit front row to see the whole show!
The NEXT awards show was aimed at honoring commercials or ad campaigns that took risks – in a good way. The show honored commercials under a variety of categories, a few of those being Cause Marketing, Integrated Campaign, Social, and Product Integration. Between the awards categories and speakers, AICP aired interview clips of the industry’s experts attempting to describe what the NEXT Awards are. Although each answer was different, they all agreed that NEXT commemorates the ads that are ahead of the curve and doing things that others haven’t thought of yet. After the awards show, everyone moved up to the tenth floor for the reception, which was complete with endless food, sweeping views of New York’s nighttime skyline, and the perfect occaison for networking. Everyone had a great time, eating and talking the night away while they excitedly looked forwards to tomorrow’s Basecamp.
Wednesday’s Basecamp took place at The Helen Mills Event Space & Theatre down in the Flatiron district. The day’s schedule was filled with seminars given by industry professionals on topics such as new production methods and what really inspires this industry’s successful people. In between the seminars, people could be found trying out AICP’s virtual reality installment, where video goggles transported users to an alternative reality that is the future of gaming, films, and maybe even advertising. Wednesday wrapped up with a quick cocktail party, and before everyone knew it, it was time for the final event – Thursday’s AICP show at MOMA.
The AICP show itself was a spectacular event that opened with Kerstin Emhoff, co-founder of PRETTYBIRD and the Chairperson of the AICP Show, giving a speech about the past year in advertising and the exciting times ahead in the industry. Just like NEXT, the show was divided into an array of award categories that gave the night some structure. Cinematography, Original Music, Direction, and Sound Design were some of the many categories that each had at least one winner. Some of the commercials were quick, but some lasted up to seven minutes, almost like a short film. Once the show was over, guests exited MOMA’s theatres and made their way to the museum’s outside garden, which was beautifully furnished with white couches, silver standing dining tables, and lofty clear tents in case it rained. Waiters were buzzing around with trays of tuna tar-tar tacos, savory cannoli, and short rib kabobs. The bar was always busy, and heavier dinner options could be found on the outskirts of the garden, where tables were adorned with mahi-mahi, filet mignon, roasted vegetables, and an array of flatbreads and salads. The night stood out as not only a time to celebrate AICP Week, but also everything that had been accomplished in the past year of advertising. AICP Week left everyone feeling proud of this year’s successes and excited about what next year will bring.