Fae Central College, tae Central Park!

by Julian Westaby.

Louise Brown is our super-slick student placement from Central College in Glasgow. When she told us that her tutor had arranged a trip for her and her classmates to visit some of USA’s finest Advertising and Communications firms, in ‘The Big Apple’ we were MORE than a bit inquisitive to find out more. Louise kindly wrote us a nice blog on her ‘Mad Men’ experience. What an opportunity for a teenager!

If you’re in the least bit interested in Advertising and Marketing, prepare to be very jealous!

“For a change I felt excitement on a Monday morning, waking up to head to the Airport for New York City!  First day I arrive  I head  straight for the typical hot dog stand and order  my Dog with ‘Ketchup’. On the way to the Ferry trip to Staten Island I catch a glimpse of my first of many noisy, honking yellow cabs in the City. On the Ferry going by ‘The Statue of Liberty’ I managed to encounter a  typically ‘Scottish’ moment, where an angry seagull tries to home-in on me on the Ferry – nice.

First Agency visit on the schedule was BBH – Bartle Bogle Hegarty.  This was a great agency to visit first, they really made a statement.  It gave me a real insight into the real world and I especially enjoyed all the different individuals we got to meet from BBH. The one thing I took from BBH was their theory on ‘Planning’.  Instead of the general focus groups, questionnaires and standard methods, they go out and talk to people and find out what is going on and exactly what people want.

Visit two – TBWA, introduced us to some of their creative team who were all fantastic.  I enjoyed hearing what they get up to on their typical working day and also each of their journeys before joining TBWA.

I would like to thank them for our gifts, Skittles & Starburst  (the way to my heart) and the book ‘The art of the idea’ by John Hunt.

Next on the itinerary was Ogilvy PR who laid-on an amazing breakfast for us hungry Scots.  They gave us a great insight into the PR industry & use of media. My favourite quote from Ogilvy PR: “The more you ask someone to do something, the more they won’t do it”. The view from the rooftop at Ogilvy PR was incredible – must be great fun, celebrating with clients in the summer.

Visit 4: JWT, the space and layout of the building was just phenomenal. Now I know why there’s ‘security’ before even entering the office! The Trendspotting team were interesting with their creative approach to research, separating trends from fads. A highlight was getting to meet Greg – Ex video producer who had produced a music video for Eminem!

DDB visit number 5, had to be my favourite. I just loved the overall vibe in this place.  Here we got to meet with some of the designers, who showed us the manipulation that is advertising, and how certain images are made. Carlos & Aron, the creative team made my trip. What inspired me was the fact, that they are old friends who always wanted to work together in the industry. They were so ‘real’ and gave us a proper insight into the advertising industry. They gave us great tips for our portfolios and creative ways of progressing ‘outwith the office’.

Visit 6: AAAA, located in the iconic ‘Chrysler building’. My favourite part of their chat was on ’Project management’ side of agencies and the line “Know what you don’t know”. Although it was a more academic visit, it actually turned out to be extremely intriguing and is bound to be helpful for the future.

Last but most certainly not the least was a visit to The Green Team. The energy the minute you walked into the agency was just so relaxing and homely, I loved it.  The Scottish Flag on arrival Guys– nice touch!  I like their ethos and how they stick to what they stand for.

My non educational moments in NY were amazing, from getting my picture taken with a real Oscar to watching the lovely men playing football in Central Park and following strangers to comedy clubs in basements – probably not my smartest choice in life!  I’ve taken things from New York that I will definitely use in the future.  These are:

  • Be relentless
  • Be up to date with changing technology – Twitter, FB, know it all.
  • Make myself known with Foursquare
  • Remember that ‘Good is the enemy of great’
  • Be passionate and be yourself.
Louise with her Oscar

Louise with her Oscar

This trip for me was not about shopping and the buildings, it was a place that opened up my mind and reassured me that the communications industry is where I see myself in the future. I definitely think that if anyone can make it in New York then they will indeed, make it anywhere! It was a trip that truly inspired me and one I will never forget. I’d just like to thank John Heuston for organising it for the students at Central College!”