This summer, Sophia Chu '22, an international studies major, is working as an account management intern at Ogilvy NY as part of a 10-week immersive experience. She is currently working on the Citizens client and as part of the account team. Read more about her summer internship:
What She's Working On
This summer, I have been granted the opportunity to work alongside an amazing account team (other teams include strategy and creative). As account interns, we are the middlemen between Ogilvy and the client (Citizens). We help them create things like new brand strategies and social campaigns, including Instagram filters, commercial/radio shoots and rebranding through various logos, font styles, portraiture, colors etc. The main idea is that we are trying to showcase the best the brand has to offer. We use the help of our strategy and creative teams to pull together the aspects of the brand we are trying to highlight and create innovative ways to showcase them. Working at Ogilvy is a super collaborative effort, where everyone has to put their heads together and really think about the message they want the world to be aware of. A huge part of this effort also goes into looking at competitive businesses to see what work they are putting out and seeing how we can take a different approach than them.
There are 58 interns throughout the US this summer, and I am working remotely for the New York City office. However, I have gotten the chance to go in a couple of times this summer to interact with other interns and my client team in person, which was great! On a daily basis, I attend various internal and client meetings in which we talk about daily status and our goals for the day or week. Other meetings include briefing in new team members or influencers for social campaigns. We also have finance and budgeting meetings, which are just as important.
Outside of working with my client team on a daily basis, I have been given an intern project. As part of a group of 7 interns across the US, I work in various departments within Ogilvy, so it is really great to be exposed to other roles. The objective of the project is to pitch an idea to a company on how to expand their market share to Gen Z and Millennial consumers. This is a very interesting project because we fall within those generations so we have a unique perspective on what we and our peers would want from this brand and how is it going to reach more people like us.
When I am not working with my client or intern team, I enjoy joining the Global All Hands Meetings that Ogilvy hosts. They always have really interesting speakers—one time we had a chef join us on zoom and she taught us how to make some delicious food! Ogilvy really cares about people's wellbeing, and it is very obvious through the types of interactive meetings they offer. They make you realize that there is life beyond work and that sometimes you just need to take a break and relax!
Throughout my experience thus far, Ogilvy has taught me the power of marketing. It goes so far beyond just what you quickly see on a billboard or on a TV commercial. There is so much planning and strategizing that goes into every tiny little aspect. I've learned about the power that ads and media have over people all over the world. Ogilvy tries to make the uncomfortable comfortable and does not shy away from taking on new challenges. If a client is willing to take a risk on an ad, Ogilvy is right there behind them. I strongly believe that there are many taboo topics that need to be discussed and many agencies steer away from shining light on the hard stuff in life. Ogilvy recognizes the power that they have to make change in the world and expose the things that people do not talk about. It has been amazing to experience the world from a different perspective that you don't normally have as a consumer.
The Holy Cross Factor
In the beginning of the internship, I felt like I was at a disadvantage, competing with other interns who have marketing and advertising backgrounds through school. Coming in as an international studies major, I felt intimated not knowing the jargon or the basic terms of advertising. However, I realized that so much of what you learn happens when you are doing the job and it doesn’t matter the background you have. Holy Cross has taught me how to deal with challenges and not be afraid of them. Learning how to solve problems on my own and with others has been very helpful in my internship this summer. Thanks to Holy Cross, I am also no stranger to collaborative work and an inclusive community. Both Holy Cross and Ogilvy are really special places that have an extremely tight-knit workforce. They realize the potential that people have to change the world and give them the platforms to do so. I think that Holy Cross has provided me a great foundation to be successful, regardless of the industry, because I have learned vital life skills throughout my time at the College.
Making a Difference
Holy Cross' motto of "men and women for and with others" is something that I feel aligns strongly with Ogilvy's values. They put a lot of emphasis on supporting brands and therefore the people those brands serve. There is no time like the present to make your mark on this world and bring necessary change. I have felt assured in both the Holy Cross and Ogilvy communities that my voice matters and that with the collaboration of a great team of people, you can make great change in your community. I think that it is important to empower the younger generations because they will become the world's leaders one day.
The Citizens team has been working on campaigns dealing a lot with refinancing student loans. Student debt is a huge burden that affects so many people and often holds them back from enjoying their lives moving forward. On just a small scale, this is the type of work that Ogilvy creates. They expose the "not so pretty" topics of the world simply because they are important. They realize that not talking about these things will not make them go away. With Ogilvy, brands feel comfortable tackling these challenges and reaching people on a much deeper scale. The work that Ogilvy creates has a rippling effect throughout smaller communities and the world to positively contribute to growth.
This profile appears as part of the Holy Cross Student Summer series.