Company: AMP Agency
Interviewers: Brianna Ballard and Camille Bock-Roy
Interviewee: Katelyn Stokes
Brianna/Camille: What’s the company culture like at AMP?
There’s an entrepreneurial spirit about the company. We are a small agency and we’re all close to each other. Everyone is a jack-of-all-trades because at some point or another we have exposure to all different types of tasks. The people who work here really dig into what they’re working on. They are driven by their passion for the industry and the clients they are working for. Honestly, I dislike the slogan “work hard, play hard” but I think it fits the culture of AMP, in that everyone is serious about the work they’re doing but we also have a good time together in and out of the office. In fact, I’ve made some of my best friends here at AMP.
Brianna/Camille: Can you describe your position and what a typical day is like?
I’m the voice of AMP. I help create AMP’s brand story. Some of my jobs include recruiting, pitching stories to the press and managing social media channels. I actually write up the articles regarding AMP that appear under the news section of AMP’s website. Basically, AMP is my client and it’s my job to market AMP externally.
Brianna/Camille: What were you involved in at BU?
I was in the BU student alumni association. It focused on student engagement with alumni. We put on events during alumni weekend, for example Connect for Success was one of our bigger events. It involved bringing in alumni from a variety of industries. We held a networking portion and a keynote speech. We worked with the alumni department a lot so any time they needed student volunteers we provided them. I also did FYSOP for all three years. I was also involved in Ad Lab for 3 years because I interned for the executive board. The professors for Ad Lab are still professors I keep in touch with on a weekly basis. They helped me get my first job! I went on the New York Spring Break Trip through COM where we had a networking event with 6 different agencies. It really helped get my name out there in the industry. I also helped start a class at BU, known as the AMP Insights Lab Incubator. It’s a credited course, and this will be the third semester it’s offered.
Brianna/Camille: What was your favorite class at BU?
I loved SMG’s Organizational Behavior class. So many of the principles taught in the class apply to the real world. I think SMG does a really good job at exposing people to the team environment. It teaches you how to work and communicate with different types of people. You really have to figure out how a team setting works. You learn your own leadership and communication styles through the team setting in SMG. As for COM, Ad-Lab was the most valuable class that I took. You get placed on teams and get assigned a client who you do real life work for. The writing classes in COM also helped prepare me. I thought that the mix of writing, business, and communications was the key to preparing me for the workforce.
Brianna/Camille: Do you think you learned most of your valuable skills on the job or at BU or was it a mix of both?
I loved the mix of COM, SMG and internships. I’ve interned at all different types of places. Every summer I went home to Atlanta. For freshman year, I interned at a small interactive agency in the project management department. That was my first exposure to digital marketing. I would just read all the different content that they gave me and sit in meetings and listen. My second summer at home, I interned at The Weather Channel in their consumer insights group. It was a change of pace and definitely had more of a corporate environment. My internship at The Weather Channel involved reading through lots of numbers and making sense of the data and then telling a story with it.
After the Weather Channel, I studied abroad in Australia. There, I interned at Euro, which is now Havas, in account management. I got a feel for how australian marketing worked and got a more global sense of the industry. Then I interned at Digitas Atlanta in their account management department. That was my first exposure to a big agency. I got to see how it operated as opposed to a small agency. Finally, in my senior year I interned at AMP. All in all, I interned at a mix of small and big agencies just to see all the different facets and also to understand what kind of work environment that I wanted to work in. I think the mix of the real world experience and the things you’re learning in class and applying that to principles in the workplace is important.
What was the transition like from college to working full-time?
I think it’s a lot. Like I said I took a bus to New York the day after I graduated, then moved to New York. It was a lot of change at once. You just graduated, you’re searching for a job, you got your first job, you start your first job, your friends are moving different places, so it takes a while to find the perfect mix between professional and personal. That’s one of the reasons I liked to working at Grey; they hired a lot of people from BU, so I was working with people in the same boat as me. At AMP it’s nice too because it’s a young agency. The work was challenging, but then also I was personally making lots of friends here and was back in a city I was more comfortable with, here in Boston. Overall, I think it’s a 6-month adjustment out of college, but I think BU prepares you well for the job component. You enter the workforce well educated, well versed within the industry, and very buttoned up, professional, and ready to take on challenges.
What advice would you give students who want to find a marketing or advertising internship?
Even having conversations like this, so that potential employers can put a name to a face is definitely better than just submitting a resume to the HR department. I actually wrote myself a creative brief, as if I was a product, and submitted that with my resume. Another class i took at BU was called New Media & PR, which was about the changing role of PR in the new media landscape. One of the assignments was to create our own blog about anything we wanted. I focused my blog on marketing. Then, I tweeted my blog posts out to companies and ended up getting interviews that way. Basically anything you can do to get your name out there and distinguish yourself. I think personal branding is a big thing because if once you get your foot in the door for the first interview, someone is probably going to look you up and see what’s on your public social profiles. So make sure your LinkedIn is up to date, and consider what you put on Twitter and Instagram. Overall, a public profile is good way to stand out; be creative with your actual submissions. But definitely the best way to get a job or internship is to find someone within the agency that you know that’s willing to meet with you.