TAI Student Cheyenne Tilford Interns with DDB Chicago

Cheyenne Tilford posing with Ronald McDonald statue.

Gaining internship experience is an important part of growing your skillset, and something we encourage all students to take part in during their time at SMU. TAI Strategic Brand Management student Cheyenne Tilford spent this past summer interning with DDB Chicago.

“I was the global account management intern working on the McDonald’s account,” Tilford said. “I was tasked with managing the global network; making sure all DDB offices working on McDonald’s across the 42 markets were performing to standards, formulating plans to strengthen global creative excellence, rebranding the famous Hamburger University, as well as working with the other nine interns to generate an integrated marketing campaign to promote a new product.”

Working solely on the McDonald’s account, Tilford had the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of that client, even getting to work on a team creating a new campaign for a new McDonald’s product.

“We were assigned an intern project where the other nine interns and I had to develop an entire integrated marketing campaign from start to finish,” Tilford said. “The product we were launching was a new line of burgers. It was super exciting. We got to go to McDonald’s headquarters and even taste the burgers. My favorite part of the campaign process was the research and brief-writing portion. I loved digging for insights using research presented from the client and various social listening tools.”

Tilford and other interns provided with plenty of McDonald’s throughout internship.

Being an intern, you never know what you’re going to be tasked with. Luckily Tilford completed a variety of tasks, giving her valuable experience that she can use throughout her career.

“Each day was different, which made it exciting,” Tilford said. “Some days I would be sending mass emails to the account managers across the 42 markets. Sometimes I would attend meetings with clients. I helped in the rebranding of Hamburger University, drew up plans for how DDB-McDonald’s could achieve creative excellence across all markets, coordinated a global brand planning workshop and much more. Some days I would be writing and researching all day, and other days I would be in meetings and discussions. That is the beauty of advertising; every day brings something new and exciting.”

Along with her direct manager, who was an Account Executive, Tilford worked with several other members of the global team that were at the VP level or higher and worked in international offices. All of these factors made her internship that much more beneficial for the future.

“This internship got me even more excited about going into advertising,” Tilford said. “I refined my skills working on Excel and creating sleek presentations. I also boosted my communications skills, both written and verbal. In addition, I gained more confidence as the internship progressed to voice my opinion. It is a very exciting time for the field with so many changes happening. I find excitement in this, and I can’t wait to see what is in store for me.”

Tilford and other DDB Chicago interns.

Internships are one of many opportunities TAI students have to apply what they learn in the classroom to the real world. In addition to gaining valuable professional experience, Advertising majors can also earn course credit for an internship. Learn how to become a TAI internship provider here.

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