TAI Student Sara Jane Stephens Interned with Trader Joe’s

This summer, TAI student Sara Jane Stephens worked as a Marketing and Merchandising Intern at the Trader Joe’s headquarters in Monrovia, California.

Stephens at the grand opening of the Trader Joe’s store at USC Village.

Her regular responsibilities in the marketing department included drafting articles for the Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer, assisting with marketing promotions and communications on social media, the Trader Joe’s website, and radio advertisements. But before she could start any of that, she worked as a crew member at the store level for one week.

“[Working as a crew member] allowed me to see how the store is run and was a great opportunity for me to interact with customers and other crew members,” Stephens said. “Working at store level was essential to my success in the office because without truly observing and understanding the operation of a Trader Joe’s store or interacting with customers, I wouldn’t have truly understood the Trader Joe’s brand. Once in the office, I divided my time between drafting articles for the Fearless Flyer, assisting the Marketing department with marketing communications, and responding to customer emails with the Customer Relations team. Each day was completely different, which was exciting!”

Outside of her regular responsibilities, Stephens had the opportunity to participate in many different aspects of Trader Joe’s business, including a food and wine tasting, judging a photo competition on Instagram, and visiting suppliers.

Stephens and a co-worked on a supplier tour.

“There were so many fun and memorable moments,” Stephens said. “I was able to go on a tour of one of the Trader Joe’s snack suppliers in Southern California, which I would say was my favorite memory from the summer. The supplier that we toured makes tons of snacks for TJ’s and it was really fun to see the process of how everything is made and packaged before being sent off to all Trader Joe’s stores around the country. It was also fun to take an ‘off-campus’ field trip with the rest of the Marketing team. Another favorite memory of mine was participating in a food and wine tasting. There’s so much thought, time, and energy that goes into choosing and evaluating each and every product or bottle of wine that hits Trader Joe’s shelves, and I loved observing the process. After seeing the diligence in selecting food and wine for the stores, I can understand why everything at TJ’s is so delicious and well-priced!”

Being on the Strategic Brand Management track of TAI’s advertising program, Stephens has learned a lot about the importance of brand image and brand loyalty for a company’s success. And she was able to apply many of the principles learned in class during her internship.

“I would say that my internship at Trader Joe’s allowed me to see all of the work and collaboration that goes into portraying brand image and ensuring brand loyalty amongst consumers,” Stephens said. “The Trader Joe’s brand is their store, so the brand image of Trader Joe’s is not only demonstrated through their marketing communications such as the Fearless Flyer, social media, or radio advertisements, but also at store level through their friendly, knowledgeable crew members, delicious products, and the unique design and feel of each store, all of which lead to highly loyal Trader Joe’s customers. My internship at Trader Joe’s was a wonderful opportunity to observe the many facets of brand management that I have learned in my TAI advertising classes.”

Throughout the summer, Stephens learned all about the Trader Joe’s company culture, along with many other valuable lessons that she can apply to her future career in advertising and marketing.

Stephens and another Trader Joe’s intern, Taylor Camarena.

“I learned so much from my internship at TJ’s,” Stephens said. “I learned a lot about time management, brand management, and the importance of customer relations, but above all, I learned how good teamwork is essential to the success of a company. Throughout the summer, I was constantly in awe of how closely the marketing team worked with one another to not only ensure the success of their marketing communications, but also the success of one another. Furthermore, Trader Joe’s as a whole is a ‘no bureaucracy’ company and firmly believes that everyone in the company plays an important role in the brand’s success. This “no bureaucracy” mentality, which is a practiced value of all crew members including the CEO, makes Trader Joe’s the company that it is. I am really grateful to have observed and learned how strong teamwork ultimately leads to a strong brand at my internship this summer.”

One day, Stephens hopes to be a part of a marketing team for a big company like Trader Joe’s, and her internship helped to prepare her for that.

“I really like the idea of working for one brand and working to maintain and manage their brand through marketing communications and advertising promotions,” Stephens said. “I loved my internship at Trader Joe’s as much as I love their delicious food, and am very grateful to have had a summer working for such a wonderful company.”

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TAI Student Joanna Fennessy Interned with Havas Health & You

Fennessy at Havas Health & You office

This summer, TAI student Joanna Fennessy interned with Havas Health & You in New York City as a Strategy Intern. Working at a health and wellness agency, Fennessy worked on global and US pharmaceutical brands including Sanofi Genzyme’s Lemtrada and Aubagio, and Pfizer’s Crisaborole.

“I developed a global brand positioning recommendation for Pfizer,” Fennessy said. “I operationalized a cutting-edge Research Lab rolling out network-wide early Q4. I was also responsible for secondary research on primary targets and cultural trends.”

During her internship, Fennessy worked with the Strategy Planning and Innovation team, consisting of ten account planners across various levels.

“The agency was in the middle of 2018 brand planning brainstorming sessions for all three accounts,” Fennessy said. “This was exciting because I was able to participate in a lot of the sessions and given the opportunity to give my input. This also required me to really learn the ins-and-outs of the three drugs I was working on, so I could provide insightful and meaningful comments. While this was challenging, since pharmaceutical drugs are not second-nature to know about, it gave me a lot to do on my off time when I wasn’t tasked with something from my supervisor. It was rewarding and exciting to teach myself about a cutting-edge field of advertising that I had never been taught about in school!”

As an intern, she also had to work with the other interns on an Intern Project and present it in front of a large group of Havas employees.

Fennessy with other Havas Health & You interns and employees

“My favorite moment was creating a new cutting-edge Research Lab as part of our end of the program Intern Project,” Fennessy said, “and [then] presenting it in front of the Havas Health & You CEO, top-level executives, fellow interns, and employees at the end of the internship program. The presentation was a huge success and the Research Lab will be rolling out network-wide this year!”

With all of the hands-on experience she gained throughout the internship, Fennessy took away many valuable lessons that she can apply throughout her career.

“I learned that ‘squeaky wheel gets the grease,’” Fennessy said. “Being a curious and ambitious person goes a long way. Even when there are slow days at the office, asking not only your supervisor, but also other colleagues if there is anything you can help them with makes you stand out of the crowd. It shows you are eager to learn, willing to take initiative, and confident.”

Overall, her internship provided her with an amazing experience that confirmed her desire to work in an advertising agency setting and be in the account planning and strategy discipline.

“Working on Madison Ave in New York City, home of the Mad Men, has been a dream of mine!” Fennessy said. “I absolutely loved the corporate culture of Havas and would love to return to the agency, and if not the agency definitely the city, when I graduate.”

Temerlin Advertising Institute prepares its students to become future advertising leaders in all areas of the industry, including growing niches such as healthcare.

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TAI Student Anna Proctor Runs Successful Jewelry Company “Beads By Anna”

TAI student Anna Proctor started a jewelry business, Beads By Anna, during her freshman year at SMU. What first started as a small side project turned into a successful business with growth every year since it was founded 2014.

Proctor at SMU KKG’s Holiday Bazaar.

“During my freshman year, I loved browsing all the boutiques in Dallas and discovering the unique jewelry pieces,” Proctor said. “However, I thought the pieces were overpriced for such simply-crafted necklaces and bracelets. One weekend, my roommate and I ventured to a craft store and purchased some beads and strings. She never made the necklace she intended to for her grandmother – she actually ended up giving me the beads – but after one necklace, I was hooked. At first, I never intended to sell the necklaces I made, which were simple, just beads strung together with a pendant on the end. But, after interest from my friends, I thought I might have an interesting idea on my hands.”

Throughout these periods of growth, Proctor fine-tuned her business through a process of trial and error. In 2015-16 Proctor’s biggest sales ventures were through trunk shows. Then she established her first brick-and-mortar presence in Tennessee. Today, her business is larger than ever before.

“When I first began, all my pieces were made to order,” Proctor said. “I quickly learned that people wanted to buy what they could see, so I began designing pieces and posting them on Instagram. I got a lot more sales that way. 2017 has been my biggest year yet because of my partnership with Sarah Cannon Cancer Research Centers. I created sandalwood and lotus seed bracelets with rose quartz and amethyst stones. 20% of [the] proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society. The campaign with Sarah Cannon is called ‘Band Against Cancer,’ led by this year’s spokesperson Brad Paisley. The goal is to empower communities to fight cancer together. My bracelets have become a mechanism to share that message and band together. I spent my summer beading an average of 8 hours a day, in order to complete the order of 5,000 bracelets. It was like having a full-time job!”

Beads by Anna’s partnership with Band Against Cancer with Sarah Cannon

On top of honing her business skills, her courses at SMU helped prepare her for the advertising and promotional side. Double majoring in Advertising – Strategic Brand Management and PR, Proctor has learned how to brand her company, run social media campaigns, SEO, and more.

“My advertising courses have helped my business tremendously,” Proctor said. “A lot of what we talk about in class, like SEO, promotions, IMC, I use when I’m working on [my company]. My strategic brand management major has helped shape how I think about Beads by Anna. We read loads of case studies about different brands—their trajectories, brand equity, etc., and this is useful in running my own brand. I’m a PR major as well, and my PR classes have helped more with social media campaigns. Advanced Digital Communication with Steve Lee in the [SMU] CCPA department helped me in terms of social media campaigns.”

Along with business, advertising, and promotional skills, Proctor has learned the importance of patience from running her own business.

“I like to see results right away, but life doesn’t always work like that,” Proctor said. “Especially when working on bigger projects for Beads by Anna like I have been recently, it is important to work hard and trust the process.”

Beads by Anna products in retail store in Tennessee.

While unsure about her exact career trajectory, Proctor knows that she wants to work in a boutique PR or advertising firm as an account manager.

“I hope to always make jewelry, though I do not intend for it to ever be my full-time job,” Proctor said. “Part of the fun in beading is it sparks my creativity, and I think making it my full-time job would take a lot of the fun away. But, I hope to always keep beading as a ‘side hustle,’ and see where it goes!”

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TAI Students Work with Executives from Black Eye

Black Eye, a design and marketing communications agency, is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year. Founded in 1997 by SMU alumnus Chris Stewart (’95, ’97), the agency works for a wide range of clients–from national, blue-chip companies to small local businesses.

(Left to Right, Front Row): Morgan Martin, Black Eye, Black Eye founder Chris Stewart, Glen Gauthier, Black Eye Creative Director, Hank Benzenberg, Black Eye, TAI Advertising Professor Willie Baronet, (Far Left Corner) TAI Advertising Professor Mark Allen, shown with SMU Advertising Students at the Advanced Portfolio Critique and workshop held Monday, October 2, 2017.

To help mark their anniversary, the creative team from Black Eye took the afternoon and evening of October 2 to work with SMU advertising students. Coordinated through SMU Advertising Professors Mark Allen and Willie Baronet, they first assisted in an Advanced Portfolio Critique and later provided an in-depth look at their company and agency-life during a workshop.

“There is nothing like ‘real world’ experience and stories to get our students excited and motivated about their careers,” TAI Professor Willie Baronet said. “Black Eye did a fantastic job of sharing their work, creative approach, and how they got where they are. The students and faculty really enjoyed and appreciated their time and wisdom.”

Black Eye provided food and beverages at the event, which was attended by approximately 25 TAI students. Students were especially interested in advice from creative professionals how to set their portfolios apart, and the differences between working in larger agencies versus smaller studios.

“We’ve never had an entire firm close up shop so they could bring the whole creative team over,” TAI Professor Mark Allen said. “I know our students really appreciated it.”

“We wanted to take a break from our day-to-day, reflect on everything that’s transpired over the last 20 years and give back a little to the University where it all started,” Steward said. “We really enjoyed the experience of working with the students and think they will have bright opportunities.”

The students at Temerlin Advertising Institute greatly appreciated the opportunity to meet and work with creative professionals in the industry.

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TAI Creative Student Riley Frost Interns with Brass Tacks Collective

TAI creative advertising student Riley Frost has been working as an apprentice at Brass Tacks Collective since July. While her experience is considered an internship, it is far from the average agency internship.

“Brass Tacks Collective runs on a paid apprenticeship program,” Frost said. “My day-to-day job is working with a team lead that acts as a guide throughout the creative process for each project. I work with other apprentices in a collaborative rather than competitive manner, and one of these days will be given the responsibility to lead a project.”

Frost in the Brass Tacks Collective office.

Frost was encouraged to apply for the position by TAI creative advertising Professor Willie Baronet, and she has loved her time there since the beginning.

“Our days at Brass Tacks are full of jokes, sing-a-longs, and tons of fun,” Frost said. “We work for several non-profit organizations around the Dallas area, and those heart-warming experiences are some I will never forget. Our team goes into every meeting with confidence and of course a sense of humor. One thing is for sure; boring days at Brass Tacks do not exist.”

Brass Tacks brands themselves as a “teaching agency” that is made up of paid “apprentices” working on local clients. Since starting, Frost has gained valuable skills that she can apply to her future career.

“It has only been about three months since I started working at Brass Tacks, and I have learned so much,” Frost said. “I have learned how to use new programs such as Sketch and Invision, as well as deepened my understanding of the Adobe Programs. Production skills aside, I have learned how the real world of advertising works. Clients can be difficult, but you have to go into each situation poised and patient.”

Frost has also taken the skills she’s learned in her advertising courses and applied them to her work at Brass Tacks.

“Everything I have learned [in my advertising classes] has come into play in some way or another,” Frost said. “The main one though is the importance of having a concept behind any design or campaign.”

Working for such a unique agency has given Frost a perspective on what she wants for her future career in the advertising world.

“It has taught me that I want to work at a small agency rather than a huge machine of a company,” Frost said. “I want to do work for big clients, but also want to give back to the community. Brass Tacks has taught me how to balance both.”

One thing Frost wanted to make sure that everyone knows is that, “Brass Tacks rocks.”

The Temerlin Advertising Institute for Education and Research (TAI) trains students to search for unique solutions in advertising, preparing them for work in advertising agencies, media firms, corporate marketing departments, design studios and more.

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TAI Professor Dr. Hye Jin Yoon Visits Tokyo for AAA Global Conference

This July, TAI Professor Dr. Hye Jin Yoon travelled to Tokyo, Japan for the 2017 American Academy of Advertising Global Conference. With her co-author Dr. Hongmin Ahn, she presented a paper titled, “When Two Worlds Collide – The Dark Triad Personality and the Humor in Comedic Violence Ads.”

“AAA partnered with Waseda University and held sessions on its vibrant campus,” Yoon said. “The conference started with a keynote speech from Yoshito Maruoka, President and COO of Dentsu Digital Inc. and ended with a tour of Tokyo with a visit to Mt. Fuji. Many advertising and marketing scholars from the United States, Europe, and other Asian countries attended the conference.”

Dr. Yoon has been published in the Journal of AdvertisingJournal of Business ResearchInternational Journal of AdvertisingJournal of Health CommunicationHealth CommunicationJournal of Advertising Research, and Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising, among others. She teaches Advertising Media, International Advertising, and Quantitative and Qualitative Research at SMU.

Below are pictures from Dr. Yoon’s time in Tokyo.

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Meet New TAI Professor Dr. Yan Huang

Dr. Yan Huang

What made you want to become a professor?

I am curious. I always want to figure out a few things. I collect information to feed my curiosity. When I meet people with the same questions, I feel excited to share what I have learned with them. The whole process makes me happy. Luckily, these are exactly what professors do.

What class are you teaching this semester?

I am teaching ADV2301 Consumer Behavior this semester. In this class, we discuss theories and concepts of psychology and persuasion as they relate to how and why consumers make certain judgments and decisions. To me, the purpose of the class is two-fold. First, I hope to motivate students to think about the applications of these theories and concepts in advertising/marketing communications. Second, I hope students themselves can become better consumers and make informed decisions with knowledge gained from this class.

What is your area of expertise?

Broadly speaking, my background and expertise are in the area of strategic communication. My research gives special attention to the effects and mechanisms of strategic media messages and technologies in shaping consumer psychology, especially as they relate to health and socially responsible advertising. I am a quantitative researcher. I explore my research questions mostly by doing experiments, surveys, and meta-analyses.

What has been your favorite memory from teaching for TAI so far?

I’ve already had many good experiences with SMU students. Every week I gain something new. It is hard to choose…but if I have to…the favorite memory is when a group of five students came to my office on a Friday afternoon to talk about the different ways to approach their group project. I remember seeing the spark of curiosity and enthusiasm in their eyes.

What is your favorite part about being a professor?

My favorite part is that I get to meet different students every semester, know their stories, share what I’ve learned with them, and help them when they are in need. I hope I can make a valuable contribution to knowledge with my research and use the knowledge to cultivate young minds.

Have you taught before? 

I had taught at Penn State for two years before I came to SMU. I taught a research method class for advertising/public relations majors and also an online course on research analytics in strategic communication.

Are you currently doing any research? 

Yes, I have a few ongoing projects. One important theme is about the effectiveness of narrative advertising. While past research focuses on the immediate impact of stories, my research has revealed that messages telling stories are also more persuasive than argument-based messages in the long term. This is because narrative exposure can trigger more self-related thoughts on the advocated issue by engaging individuals experientially. Moreover, individuals who have read narrative messages will show greater resistance to counterarguments they encounter at a later time.

What is one interesting fact about you?

I used to play a video game named BombSquad with my husband. We had kept the doubles world record for quite a while.

To find out more about Dr. Huang, check out her page on the TAI website.

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TAI Student Laura Walsh Interns with Moroch

Walsh and other Moroch interns.

The summer of 2017 has been filled with many student accomplishments, as we’ve had several students interning at some of the top agencies locally and nationally. TAI Creative Advertising student Laura Walsh spent her summer interning with Moroch Partners at their Dallas office.

“Because Moroch is great at having creatives work on a variety of clients, the entire creative department was basically my team,” Walsh said. “I worked with a specific team depending on the client. There were times that I would concept with the Executive Creative Director and maybe two others for commercials and then there were times where we as a department concepted together. I also worked with other studio and production interns to create content for social posts.”

Walsh supported clients such as Vision Works, Taylor Hooton Foundation, Llano Wines, Teazzer’s Tea, and Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. Assisting with the conception and production of several McDonald’s commercials was especially exciting to Walsh.

Walsh covered in McDonald’s french fries for National French Fry Day.

“I learned more than I ever could have imagined,” Walsh said. “Even when there were slow days and I was working on more boring project I still felt like I was learning. I learned more about the creative process in an agency environment, that some clients are awesome and others you want to throw out the 11th floor window. As one of my Creative Directors said “Everything is a teachable moment. Even when you screw up and accidently insult the client’s eating habits during a presentation.”

One of Walsh’s favorite memories from her internship was getting covered in McDonald’s French fries for National French Fry Day. She emphasizes that one of the best things about Moroch was that there was no typical day.

“Some days were filled with kickoff meetings and brainstorm sessions and some days were slower in terms of work than others, but every day was great and something new,” Walsh said. “On any given day you could find me creating logos, ads, website content, branding collateral, content boards, presentation decks etc. I also participated in campaign concepting and brainstorm sessions as well as client photo shoots and video/commercial production.”

Moroch slide

Walsh on the Moroch slide.

A lot of the experience that Walsh has had from class and projects helped her be successful in the internship.

“I think honestly everything I’ve learned came into play at some point or another, especially with my creative core and graphic design classes,” Walsh said. “[The internship] definitely solidified a career in advertising.”

Temerlin Advertising Institute is lucky to be located in a top 5 media market, giving our students easy access to all kinds of agencies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

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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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TAI Hosts Annual Graduate Student Cookout for Graduate Program Members

Saturday August 27, TAI hosted a barbeque welcoming new students to the graduate program. Graduate Program Coordinator and Professor Peter Noble opened up his home to host invited faculty, staff, and students.

TAI graduate students and professors sharing a meal.

“TAI’s Annual Graduate Student Cookout was an opportunity to get our grad students and faculty/staff together for social, non-academic purposes,” Professor Noble said. “Getting to know more about each other outside of the classroom was an important goal. Great food, bright conversations, and shared discoveries of interests allowed everyone to feel a part of the TAI family.”

The event provided students with a wonderful chance to meet and bond with each other, as well as their professors and the head of their program. Graduate student Coral Pisek really valued the opportunity to get better acquainted with the program and its members.

“My experience at this year’s TAI Grad Student BBQ was very enjoyable and informative,” Pisek said. “Everywhere I go, I try to gain and learn as much as I can. Once I spotted the familiar faces from the first week of classes, I immediately began talking with them about how the past week went, how I thought I’d be the youngest one, and how the classes so far sounded interesting. I got to meet and discuss the future of advertising with Professor Edwards and meet Dalya, a really cool undergraduate student that’s combining her BA and MA in advertising. I had the opportunity to sit down and eat my juicy hamburger with Professors Kim and Edwards [and discuss] what got them interested in advertising in the first place. We also debated the ways advertising is not dead. I later discussed my future advertising aspirations with Professors La Ferle and Noble. It was very important to me to see how they can guide me to work on my passion in the future. The BBQ was an interesting opportunity to talk personally with many intellectuals in one house. I am very glad I went. I left the BBQ full, eager and hopeful for the future.”

Graduate students, faculty, and staff enjoying the Cookout.

TAI is always looking for opportunities to enhance our students’ experiences, and we can’t wait to host more events like this!

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