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A Reflection on my Summer in Advertising

Updated: Aug 1, 2019

It has been a wild two months on the Account Management team here at Swirl mcgarrybowen in San Francisco. The past two months have really flown by, and I'm very sad to be leaving my colleagues, and office that looks over the golden gate bridge – a quintessential "summer in SF" location!


I came to SF having never been to California before, and knowing almost nobody. Having grown up and gone to school on the east coast, I wanted to try something new for my last summer in college, and decided that northern California was the place to be! I convinced a few other friends to move out here with me (shoutout to them!) and we thankfully all managed to find great internships here. It seemed like the perfect way to get to know a new area!


I hit the ground running at Swirl mcgarrybowen in early June, and quickly learned the ways of advertising. Intel has had five campaigns happening simultaneously this summer, which has made things quite hectic and eventful. One of the biggest challenges of having Intel as a client is that they aren't trying to sell physical consumer products. We were tasked with marketing their computer software and processors, which aren't exactly the most exciting or sexy things to buy. "Everything Matters" was one of my favorite campaigns that succeeded in meeting this challenge. The campaign, built for social, highlighted use cases of manufacturers that rely on Intel intelligence for creating products. One of the story lines features a car tire. It reads, "This is just a defective tire, unless you consider that it cost the manufacturer $200 and that every factory makes 100 of them a day. Since there are 250 factories, this tire then becomes a $5 million tire. It's the smallest things that make the difference, and Intel helps manufacturers see it all. Everything matters." Our team has an incredible creative department, and I thought that their final work on this project was particularly great in that it allows the audience to recognize the importance of behind-the-scenes intelligence in a fun and unique way.


One of my other favorite campaigns, which is still pretty confidential, was Project Athena. This one was also a challenge since Intel had yet to decide how they wanted to brand the innovation computer program – hence why we called it "Project" Athena. The creative team came up with the concept of the "hustle class" to market the concept. This class, they showcased, is made up of the side-hustlers, those who have passion projects and complete them 5-9pm after their 9am-5pms. This project inspired me outside of the realm of advertising. It made me want to figure out my own side-hustle and passion project!


Being on the account management team allowed me to understand the start-to-finish process of advertising, which was perfect for a first-time internship in the field. Being client-facing, I also learned how to manage the needs and wants of a client, and understood that you always put them first.


I easily applied what I learned through Intel while working on my intern project, a pro-bono marketing campaign for a local non-profit, Support for Families. Support for Families serves the families of children with disabilities, and needed all of the help they could get with their social media channels. The five of us interns developed a social media playbook for the organization that featured brand guidelines, a new manifesto, best practices for social channels, and social channel inspiration. I was able to apply my previous non-profit internship experiences by highlighting the marketing strategies that I learned from them, and showcasing their social channels as examples to follow. As the final project for the summer, it served in being a great way to wrap-up and showcase my different areas of interest and expertise. It also deepened my passion for cause-marketing, which is a career that I hope to explore after college.


I can't thank the people at Swirl mcgarrybowen enough for this invaluable summer opportunity. I'm so grateful for my time here, and know that my agency experience will take me far as I go forward in my career. I will miss overlooking the Golden Gate bridge everyday, but hope to be back soon! As much as I love the west coast and the amazing places that I explored out here – Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Stinson Beach, Point Reyes, Carmel/Monterey/Big Sur, and Sonoma. However, I've realized that no matter how cool the place is, the people are what make the place. The fact of the matter is that my people are all on the east coast! Maybe an Intel core processor can help me invent a way to relocate everyone out west :)

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