During my four years at SMU, I majored in Strategic Brand Management through the Temerlin Advertising Institute and minored in business and international studies. I have had several internships and my most recent position, before securing a job in Dallas, was with M&C Saatchi PR Worldwide in London.
My studies at Temerlin helped me obtain this internship position. I learned how to market myself for professional opportunities – an invaluable skill that all students should master as early as possible. Temerlin also taught me how to behave in a professional environment and how to respond to real world, real life, and real job situations.
My responsibilities at M&C Saatchi PR in London encompassed a wide range of activities. I wrote press releases, attended influencer events, and initiated one of the biggest energy drink activations in Europe. I worked with multi-national multi-billion-dollar companies including Red Bull and Foot Locker.
Currently, I am employed at another globally leading PR firm, Weber Shandwick, which is located in the Dallas American Airlines Center.
Temerlin not only prepared me to know the acronyms people use in meetings and to meet deadlines, but also how to position myself professionally, how to be successfully interact with clients and colleagues, and how to market myself in this industry.
This is my advice for current Temerlin students: don’t wait for the job hunt. I encourage you to secure an internship as soon as possible because all experience is good experience. I had five internships in college and I believe that I now work at Weber Shandwick because of this extensive experience. Oh, and also listen to your professors. One day, you might need to know what they taught you.
By: TAI Professor Cheryl Mendenhall
I ran into a former student, who had just received her masters degree, at the bookstore after graduation this past May. She was telling me how much she was using the skills learned in one of my graphic design classes at her job – which she hadn’t expected but found that the skills came in handy in her somewhat unrelated field.
Awhile back another former student told me how excited she was to be able to use her graphic design skills at her copy writing internship. Being able to pitch in on projects in a different capacity than was expected made her an even more valuable asset to the team.
Why am I telling you this? Well, while you may know that TAI offers an interdisciplinary minor in graphic design, you may not realize how many fields of study can benefit from these skills. You might be interested in pursuing graphic design as a career but even if you aren’t, learning to become a better visual communicator can enhance a variety of career paths.
It’s so much more than learning the software used in the industry. It is about cultivating your ideas; using design principles of composition and layout; learning about typography, imagery and color choices along with a little psychology to best present your ideas. We discuss and practice all of these skills to build a powerful toolbox to help create messages that inspire, inform, tell stories or engage your audience.
You might want to consider how these skills can enhance your interests and career path. You can learn more about the graphic design minor here.
Images Courtesy of:
Currency Redesign, Cho Kim, Intro to Graphic Design
Event Poster, Tanner Thompson, Intro to Graphic Design
Type Specimen Poster, Alexa Acosta, Typography
Logo, Dani Kubitz, Logo and Trademark
Magazine, Traci Penn, Publication Design
This year SMU will be competing again in the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC). Students were selected by Ad Team manager Professor Amber Benson to be a part of SMU’s award-winning Ad Team. The Ad Team will be working together to create a full campaign applying the scrum methodology. This year’s client is Ocean Spray and the challenge is to drive relevancy of the brand for millennials across both food and beverages.
Hayley Banas is an Advertising major on the Strategic Brand Management track with a minor in Psychology.
Myla Borden is an Advertising major on the Strategic Brand Management track with a minor in Graphic Design.
Mary Charles Byers is an Advertising major on the Digital Media Strategy track with a minor in Graphic Design.
Amy Cooley is an Advertising (Strategic Brand Management) and Spanish double major.
Rita de Obarrio is an Advertising (Digital Media Strategy) and Psychology double major with a minor in Business.
Harrison Fiveash is a pre-major in Advertising interested on the Strategic Brand Management track with minors in Communications and Arts Entrepreneurship .
Anne-Marie Geisler is an Advertising major on the Digital Media Strategy track with a minor in Fashion Media.
Conrad Li is an Advertising major on the Digital Media Strategy track.
Alissa Llort is an Advertising major on the Strategic Brand Management track with a minor in Psychology.
Alex MacKillop is an Advertising major on the Strategic Brand Management track with minors in Business and International Studies.
London Mercer is an Advertising major on the Digital Media Strategy track with a minor in Graphic Design.
Shelby Pointer is an Advertising major on the Digital Media Strategy track with a minor in Graphic Design.
Juan Reyes is a Corporate Communications and Public Affairs major with a minor in Advertising.
Sara Jane Stephens is an Advertising major on the Strategic Brand Management track with a minor in Spanish.
Sara Ann Whiteley is a Journalism major with a minor in Advertising.
Frank Zhang is an Advertising (Digital Media Strategy) and Mathematics double major.
Four team members will be selected to present the team’s work in a 20-minute long presentation to a panel of judges made up of industry experts at each level of competition – first at the District level in Corpus Christi, TX in April, then (if they advance) at the National level in Chicago, IL in June.
TAI’s advertising students are encouraged to take advantage of as many internship opportunities as possible. Creative track student Jolie Guz has followed that advice, which has allowed her to gain valuable experience in different industries as well as help shape her career goals for the future.
This semester, Guz is a copywriting intern for stationery company Read Between The Lines®.
“As a copywriting intern, I help write copy of all kinds!” Guz said. “From email newsletters to blog posts to Instagram captions, I help carry the voice of the Read Between The Lines® brand. Primarily, I focus on Instagram captions for our daily posts which are viewed by over sixteen thousand followers as well as product descriptions for the online portion of our business – we add new products from our favorite makers each week!”
Guz has been fascinated with Read Between The Lines® for a while. She actually won one of their Instagram giveaways when she was in high school. Since starting her internship she has learned even more about the brand.
“I have learned an incredible amount about SEO and how to write copy in our brand voice while still being able to add my own style,” Guz said. “I have also learned the value of gift giving! Each person that comes into the shop has a different story or experience that drives the way they make a purchase. I love hearing customers make comments on certain cards or phrases they find relatable.”
Her priority is writing Instagram captions for daily posts. She also works with the graphic design intern and creative manager to create newsletter emails for the week. Outside of her regular responsibilities she also gets to work with new makers and products and attend maker events.
“When we add new makers and products to the shop, I get to help write the descriptive copy that introduces our customers to the new maker!” Guz said. “I was [also] able to travel to Silo-Bration, which is a huge independent maker shopping event at the Silos in Waco, TX. It was awesome to be able to interact with people who are so passionate about the products we create and to meet all of our Instagram followers in real life!”
Many of her creative courses and professors helped prepare her for a copywriting position, as she’s been able to get lots of practice and feedback.
“The copywriting practice I gained in [Professor Allen] and [Professor Baronet] Portfolio classes has been insanely helpful when it comes to writing captions and newsletters,” Guz said. “The guidance I’ve received from [Professor] Jason Shipp in his classes has also been influential in the process of writing and re-writing copy of all kinds.”
Prior to this semester, Guz has had several other internship and freelancing positions where she gained experience in several different industries.
“[As a] Branding Intern [for] Page Architecture, I was able to gain experience working within very strict branding guidelines and on architectural photoshoots,” Guz said. “Plus I learned a lot about great architecture! [As a] Design Intern [for] Texas Legends NBA Developmental League Team, I was able to work in the crazy world of sports. I was able to help create stadium signage, jersey designs and merchandise for the team. [As a] Graphic Designer [for] Spirit of America Productions, [a company that] takes high school dance teams to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade each year, I design postcards and merchandise for the event as well as help walk in the parade in NYC each year!”
With preparation from her courses, previous internship opportunities, and now her position at Read Between The Lines®, Guz has a good idea of the culture she wants in future positions.
“I’ve absolutely loved my time in Temerlin and at SMU,” Guz said. “The people are absolutely priceless in this program, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world! I [also] absolutely love our Read Between The Lines® Team! I know that I want to be surrounded by creative gems of human beings just like them throughout my career.”
TAI digital media strategy student Austin Inglett turned his summer internship with Davis Lenz Media into a permanent Assistant Media Buyer position, where he has conducted media buys for various clients including music festivals and political campaigns.
“During [the] spring semester, I honestly just applied everywhere I could for internships that aligned with what I am studying here at SMU, Advertising and Markets & Culture,” Inglett said. “Haley Beth Davis, my boss and also my ‘work mom,’ liked my résumé and cover letter I sent in, and invited me to her office for an interview. The rest is history! Ironically enough, I was hired even before I was formally accepted into the Temerlin Advertising Institute, though I was fortunately formally accepted a couple weeks later in April 2017.”
A typical day for Inglett is almost entirely task-based. With some tasks taking longer than others, Inglett has learned that the reward is worth the time and effort.
“Getting rewarded for your hard work is one of the best feelings you can have,” Inglett said. “During the summer, I was working on a very complex Excel document for one of our clients, Voodoo Music Festival – one in which I had to call numerous stations and continuously update the statistics and information – and it was incredibly exhausting. After spending a ton of time on it and sending it to the client, I was thrilled to hear that Voodoo loved my work, and to celebrate, my boss took me out to get some sushi! It was super satisfying!”
Juggling school and work has also been a challenging yet rewarding experience for Inglett, who has learned the value of time management while trying to balance assignments for both.
“I have had to complete some assignments over a couple weeks in advance so I wouldn’t overload myself during the times where work was busy,” Inglett said. “Keeping a planner or a to-do list is definitely the best way to juggle work and school! Furthermore, in my experience, I feel that the education I am receiving at SMU is excellent; however, more recently, I have found that the true learning comes from the combination of work experience and the classes you take. Gaining a thorough understanding of the operations of agencies, as well as client-side organizations, and getting lots of hands-on experience using the tools you read about in your textbooks is absolutely crucial to setting yourself up for success.”
During his time at Davis Lenz Media, Inglett has learned irreplaceable lessons about working in advertising, and working in the “real world” in general.
“Be friendly and form positive relationships with those you work with,” Inglett said. “This will help you to complete tasks at an even faster rate! To go along with [that], a little bit of trust goes a long way, especially with those whom you work with. Don’t simply double-check your work before you send it to a client – quadruple-check it at the very least! Accuracy is vital in media buying & planning! Cherish the quiet times – life can be rather stressful when everything gets busy. This sounds super generic, but practice does indeed make perfect. Once you get into a rhythm with all the software and tools you need to use, everything gets easier and more refined.”
All of these experiences have helped solidify Inglett’s desire to work in the advertising industry as well as his love of advertising.
“Since I took my first advertising class, I really felt ‘at home’ with it,” Inglett said. “I, of course, hope to continue working in advertising as a media buyer/planner, or another position I feel I can excel at. Agencies like The Richards Group and Leo Burnett have been tremendous inspirations for me, so I can certainly see myself working at a larger agency. I’ve had a wonderful experience working in the world of advertising so far, so why stop now?”
TAI student Amy Cooley is spending this fall as a social media intern with the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show. Far from an average internship, Cooley is active with the radio show, on-air and off.
“As the social media intern, my primary responsibilities include live-tweeting the show,” Cooley said, “so yes, I’m there at 6:00AM Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, also scheduling tweets with the content from that day’s show for the rest of the day, and writing posts with the content for the show’s affiliates – stations other than 106.1 that play the show around the state and country. Other tasks are keeping their followers engaged on Instagram and Snapchat stories.”
Cooley has had many unique opportunities throughout her internship so far, including meeting musicians and getting to go on the air.
“It’s been a really interesting opportunity,” Cooley said. “Because my daily tasks are so trivial – literally did the cliché coffee and breakfast run a couple of times – but at the same time I’ve had really cool opportunities to meet incredible artists that I am now a huge fan of their music, like Rita Ora and MAX. I’ve also started my own podcast with my co-intern. I even got to go on the radio to promote the podcast, which was probably the coolest moment of my entire life.”
The experience of working for a radio show is very different than working for an agency. Having done both, Cooley has learned how the culture varies at each workplace.
“Most of us that intern at agencies have the benefit of really feeling like a part of the team, being fully embraced and given real work on projects,” Cooley said. “Over the summer [interning at greenlight ad] I felt like I already worked at the agency full-time. Here, I’m getting a very different experience, which I need to take bigger advantage of, to learn more about radio. But it’s not as tight-knit because everyone is so busy doing their individual tasks. There isn’t as much time for mingling. It takes time to become closer to the people here because everything is happening in real-time.”
That being said, working at the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show has taught Cooley many lessons that she might not have learned at an agency.
“It’s been interesting to see how advertising ties into the actual medium,” Cooley said, “like knowing the specific requirements for a radio promotion, how the promotions affect the ratings of the show, and hearing the hosts of the show record their radio spots. As Temerlin students, we’re obviously so used to hearing it all from the theoretical perspective on the advertising side, but now I’m seeing it in action. I’m also learning, in case I ever wanted to go into radio, what makes for good content and how to keep a conversation going and make it interesting through doing the podcast.”
Like many students, Cooley is taking advantage of doing multiple internships to help decide what path she wants to take after graduation, completing an account service internship at an agency and now a social media internship for a radio show.
“I’ve got account service under my belt, now I want to see what something completely different is like!” Cooley said. “I’ve always loved performing, growing up doing theater, and maybe radio is a combination of this and advertising? But I’m always going to be interested in brand strategy. I’ve thought about exploring entertainment marketing, so this experience kind of ties into that. Social media plays such a big role in everything in general so this helps for that, too. Overall, I just thought this was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up, since this is such a well-known name, that the internship could only help me no matter what.”
This summer, TAI student Sara Jane Stephens worked as a Marketing and Merchandising Intern at the Trader Joe’s headquarters in Monrovia, California.
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.
“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.
“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.”
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.
“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.
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.
“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!”
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.”
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!”