April 17, 2014 smz-blog

outdoor board

I’ve been at SMZ for exactly a month now, and while an intern’s two cents may be valued around the range of a half-penny, the opportunity was given and I felt obliged to take it. I graduated from college with a degree in English and no real desire to teach. I thought that graduate school was the only viable option, and one that would give me more time to figure out a career path. But after applying to schools, and taking a creative writing class, I came to the conclusion that advertising could be a more than viable option. When I was studying, the idea never crossed my mind except when it was immediately pushed back out by the thought that I had to have studied business, or advertising, or communications. I also didn’t want to walk into someone’s office thinking that I could work on the creative side of the business because I had watched four seasons of “Mad Men,” and liked words.

So I did my research, and I bugged people I didn’t know for answers about the ad world and what I could expect. I had a not-so-impressive idea list of potential ads on a word document, and went from there. People told me to pick brands, make actual ads, and read ad books. Heck, read literature, one of them told me. I took their advice and made a spec book which I sent around.

One of the places I sent it to was SMZ, an agency I was familiar with from earlier months when I was not even so much as a fledgling, and had asked about how to make it into the world of advertising. This time though, it worked out. I proved that I wasn’t infatuated with the idea of being Peggy Olsen, and working on the account for Heinz or Coca-Cola in New York. I just wanted to work in a place where creativity was necessary, and would keep my gray matter from slow decay. And while writing headlines can be a bit repetitious, and lines you think are great can fall by the wayside, there are always new avenues to be explored, and a different way to look at something. Advertising is a process. An imaginative, funny, frustrating, and demanding process. It’s different every day, while also being the same in more than a few ways.

It’s the creative aspect that keeps everything interesting. Like what Heraclitus said about not being able to step in the same river twice, the world is constantly moving and we have to keep up. So while I’ve only been here a month, I appreciate the lessons I’ve learned. The most important being, if at first you do succeed, get ready to try and try again, because the client probably hasn’t approved it.

– Katie Green, Creative Intern

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