Eighteen students from the LSU AdFed and one faculty advisor travelled to New York City to visit advertising agencies over Fall Break in 2015. Each agency tour provided students with the opportunity to tour the agency’s space, learn about the agency’s culture and philosophy, and hear from professionals first hand. Students also had Q&A sessions with professionals from every part of the ad agency, which helped them learn about the roles and functions of each position and about what it takes to make it in the industry.
LSU AdFed visited a wide variety of agencies to get a sense of the range of opportunities available. Students visited the New York office of two large, global agencies, Deutsch and Havas Worldwide. At Havas, students got to meet Strategy Director Dennis Gillespie, who is quoted in a book they all read in MC 3031, Hey Whipple: Squeeze This. The folks at Deutsch fed them pizza, and the students got to talk with LSU alumni and Deutsch copywriter, Randall Head.
LSU’s focus on Digital Advertising meant students were excited to visit Big Spaceship, a digital advertising agency in Brooklyn. Because the visit was just two days before Halloween, the team at Big Spaceship greeted them in full costumes. Students also visited a small agency with big name clients, DiMassimo and Goldstein, who fed them pizza and brought in people from every department in the agency to talk to students. The trip wrapped up with a visit to 72andSunny, an agency known for its creativity. Students learned about the Smirnoff account, enjoyed the many dogs visiting the agency, and talked to creatives, strategists, and brand managers about their roles in the agency.
The trip also included a group dinner at Carmine’s and a trip to “Top of the Rock” to for a view of the city at night. When not visiting agencies, students went to museums, visited popular coffee shops and restaurants, visited Central Park, and tried to see as much of the city as possible.
Students gained knowledge, insight and inspiration from the trip. New York might get a few more LSU graduates as residents.
A special thank you to Nichole Wierschem, the AdFed president, who planned this trip for the group. She set up a payment plan for students, she booked the hotel for everyone, she booked a dinner at Carmine’s and tickets for Top of the Rock. She booked most of the agencies. And she applied for and got funding from LSU Student Government to pay for ALL students’ hotel costs.
Thanks also to the Manship School for providing a per diem to offset all food costs for the students. Geaux Tigers!