Monday, August 07, 2006

So you're a Brand Contact intern, eh?

What surprised me most about LS was the Brand Contact Department. The reason it surprised me is because 1) I’d never heard of such a department title, and 2) I was unaware I was going to be a part of it! Throughout the interview process I was always told that I possibly had the qualifications for an account services intern, so naturally that’s the position I would interview for. I ended up receiving the internship (YAY!) and when the topic came up with fellow friends and family I would always say, “I am going to be an account services intern” and then smile. When they asked what that encompassed, I would explain, and then smile. Well, I got to LS and quickly noticed my title: Account Service/ Brand Contact Intern. Hmm? I thought, what does this mean? Sort of puzzled and kind of nervous, I went with the flow and by the second day or so I was completely filled in. Simply put, the Brand Contact Department is another name for a Media Department! Here at LS we call it Brand Contact because it fuses Research, Account Planning and Media all in one. Cool, huh? I was extremely excited and smiling bigger than before. It has turned out to be a perfect fit for me; I do not think I could have picked a better position for myself. Topics of media such as “the latest trends in media” and “alternative media” just fascinate me. I love anything that has to do with consumer behavior and research in general. I’m constantly learning new things because of the broad range of assignments I’ve been given. I can honestly say I did not think this internship was going to be as beneficial as it has already turned out to be. You never know what’s going to happen next, here at LS.

~ Lucia B.

Is "funny-ness" a word?

Hmm… something that surprised me at LS… Well, I’m surprised I get so nervous writing this blog. I don't want to write something that's not reflective of me and I mean, I’m the copywriting intern. I work in the Creative department and decorate my office with ads that I’ve done that would never get approved because of my humor. So now people have certain expectations of my level of "funny-ness," if you will. Which brings me to this blog: I feel as if the other interns are standing behind me saying “make me laugh, clown, it's your job” - which is why I’ve been working on this for almost an hour.

Oh, and if this didn't make you laugh, I'll spend two hours on this next time. My mentor would love that.

~ Samantha A.

Expect the unexpected

Before the start of the summer internship at Liggett Stashower, I had a lot of expectations about what the internship might entail, the employees and the other interns. There have been a lot of things that have surprised me. One pleasant surprise has been the amount of quality work that I’ve been assigned. Hearing about some of my friends’ internship experiences, they always talk about how they spend their afternoons aimlessly playing on the computer or getting extremely excited to see a new E-mail in their inbox. At Liggett, they really put their interns to use. I have learned to multi-task and get organized because sometimes many tasks are given to me at once. The hours in the day really fly by, and I feel like my work is appreciated by the agency.

On another note, I have gained an arch nemesis during my time here; it is something that I never expected. We never seem to get along when I ask it to do things, and it always has a problem with everything I do. When I need it to perform a simple task it has to be difficult - we are officially not friends anymore. So, I am thoroughly surprised that the seemingly simple copy machine is not so simple.

~ Lauren S.

Surprise surprise!

So maybe the name Kenny Crumpton doesn’t mean much to you, but as a personal fan of this fun-loving news reporter since my days in high school, I was shocked when I recently got the chance to meet him! As PR interns, Lauren and I have been afforded many opportunities to participate in everything from media training sessions and new business meetings to tagging along with account coordinators to meet with local reporters. Overall, (aside from meeting Kenny and a few other local stars) I never expected to be a part of so many important agency functions.

I mean call me sentimental, but these unexpected opportunities have really put my Liggett internship experience in perspective and helped me realize the value of my long hours and hard work. Most importantly, I’ve gained boasting rights among my group of friends, who unfortunately call it a “good day” at their internships when they’re asked to make a power point slide.

~ Brittany Y.

Exceeding expectations

What did I not expect coming into the internship? I didn't expect to be working on as much client work as I have been. I thought I would be working on intern projects most of the time, but actually, its been hard to find time to work on them. Its great to see work you’ve assisted with being sent to clients for approval. I've also learned what it is like to work as a team in a creative environment. In school, I've done most of my projects all myself. Here, I get to work with writers and art directors to get work done.

~ Matt S.

Coursework only paints half the picture...

One thing that surprised me when I started working at Liggett Stashower was how tightly all the other departments were tied to the finance department. Since getting jobs done for our clients often involves using other vendors, the finance department is crucial in making sure that the payments for every vendor (which are substantial in number) get out on time to the right place. It is a much different environment than what my accounting classes have lead me to believe.

Accounting classes prepare you by talking about journal entries, general ledgers, and financial statements. This is only a small part of what actually happens in finance. Computer systems help to automatically post journal entries and take care of the ledgers without the need to prepare the entries one by one. They are a necessity, since vendors and clients often get in contact with us over various issues with the billing, and preparing journal entries while interacting with the vendors and clients would be a difficult task. In short, accounting classes help you understand the basics, but until you become part of a company, it is impossible to see the whole picture.
Bob M.

Positive team experience

In my experience, when eight very unique, ambitious and talented people come together to form a group, there’s bound to be drama. No one is used to taking a back seat and allowing others to lead them, and the group spends more time “storming” than “performing” (borrowed from one of our executive lunches).

I was pleasantly surprised to find that this scenario wasn’t at all applicable to our 2006 intern class. Granted, we’ve had a few disagreements amongst ourselves and struggled to find our place within the group, but overall, every day is more fun and enjoyable as a direct result of our group. There’s such an amazing mix of personalities within the group of interns, and you never know who’s going to say what next and catch the group off guard. Whether it’s playing pool during lunch or just chatting at a meeting, the harmonious blend of our ideas and personalities is a constant surprise.

~ Jessica H.

They mean it when they say creative agency

With Liggett being an ad agency, I expected the office to have a creative flavor, but did not know to what degree. Being at Liggett for nearly a month now, the office “decorations" and atmosphere continue to release a surprising amount of creativity. Both the interns and employees have grown accustomed to the new wall colors throughout the office. The wall behind me has taken on a green shade while the wall to my front has been transformed to teal. Our intern meeting room has gone from having a white ring around it to a shade of blue, and the nearby wall with Liggett ads has also gone from an off-white to a chocolate brown. In addition, I had never before seen an employee lounge with a pool table, nerf guns, and a karaoke microphone. As if bright-colored walls and the employee lounge haven’t hinted enough at the creative environment here at Liggett, themed rooms such as the Sushi and Zen rooms also provide outlets for creative thought.

~ Ben F.

Friday, July 21, 2006

From Career Fair to Creative Services

I first heard about Liggett Stashower during a career fair at my school and I, needless to say, was intrigued by the 20-minute wait to talk to someone. I’d had no previous experience in advertising so I was excited to hear about the industry from an insider's perspective. So far, working on the creative side of the agency has been a lot of fun (and work). Everyone’s offices are all reflective of their personalities, covered in posters and toys (which are used on a daily basis). I never thought I’d be working on actual material, too. I’ve been working on several different projects including some copywriting for clients and sitting in on brainstorming sessions. On my third day I even participated in pitching new company names for a client. In addition, my mentor keeps me busy with "secret projects" as he calls them, and one of the first of those required some craftiness with X-Acto knives. I haven’t had any studio experience yet and it showed (ouch). I hope to learn more in that area as well as all of the other divisions of LS.

~ Samantha A.

An Ad Agency Exceeding Expectations?

“Lucia, an ad agency is not all it is cracked up to be. It isn’t as cool as it looks on TV so don’t get your hopes up too high, okay?” This is what I heard from a friend not more than 24 hours before my start with Liggett Stashower.

The next morning, I woke up (at the crack of dawn), completed my usual morning routine, jumped in my car and headed off to work, anxious for Liggett to prove Miss Rational, wrong. Eventually the elevator doors slid open and there I was, standing in the LS lobby. It was breathtaking. A modern mix of wood floors, black leather couches, and high ceilings captivated me. It was like the movies. I was taken to my very own cubicle fully equipped with a laptop, E-mail account, phone, direct phone line, fun supplies and even a nametag outside my office. I observed a Zen room, lounge area with a pool table, decked out offices and flat screen televisions in presentation rooms with the latest technology. Even the “characters” were interesting. I stumbled upon a twin, a guy who has had brain surgery, a baton-twirler, a skydiver, a Harley-Davidson owner, a college student who does not like Chipotle nor Starbucks (!), a 21 year old who went to high school with only 14 other people, a guy who swam with sharks and the list goes on... The welcoming people of all backgrounds, ages, skills and interests is what formed my great first impression of LS. After all, the agency would not be what it is today without the collaborative personalities each individual, of each department, brings to the table - or the idea board for that matter.

~ Lucia B.

What to Expect from LS

Aside from the knowledge I’ll gain through work on client projects, I expect to learn more about both the agency lifestyle and myself. I’m looking forward to intern “field trips” where I hope to gain a greater perspective on the everyday processes and outside services that take place to keep the agency going. Additionally, I expect to learn about the people that comprise the Liggett Stashower work staff, either through everyday interactions or through the intern “take an executive to lunch” program. The summer intern project that takes place over the duration of my internship will highlight what it takes for us to be a productive and effective team. It will also be a good lesson in identifying my strengths, my weaknesses and my niche interests.

~ Ben F.

Nothing Average Here!

My first two weeks at LS have gone by quickly! I've been keeping busy since day one and between client work and intern projects there hasn't been much down time. One of the big projects I've worked on was a logo for one of our client's annual sales meeting. Working closely with my mentor, we came up with many variations and narrowed it down to a few good ones to send to the client. Their first impressions of it were good, and now we're waiting for a final decision. I’ve also been given many little quick jobs such as mounting and designing divider pages for binders.

Last week we were given details about all of our intern projects and have already started to come up with ideas as a group. Our first "take an executive to lunch" was today. We decided to make personal business cards to give to each executive, and last week, I designed them and put them together in a small enclosure. They took some time to assemble as they are not your average business card.

~ Matt S.

Welcome to Liggett Stashower...

As soon as I found out that I got the job at Liggett Stashower, I was absolutely psyched! Just by looking at the company Web site, I knew that Liggett was a place for me. My first day was really exciting... so many new things at once. My first impression of LS was that it seemed like a really fun place to work. Not only did I love the design of the Halle Building and the second floor office, but the people here are really friendly. After my first day, I couldn’t wait to start working on projects with the people in my department.

It has already been more than two weeks at Liggett, and I really can't believe time has gone by this fast. I (honestly) enjoy coming to work, because it is not like other internships your friends have complained about (ya know, the ones where you sit around, dying of boredom, where getting a new E-mail in your mailbox tops the excitement of your day.) The hours completely fly by and before you know it you are already headed out the door getting ready to drive on the freeway at 30 miles per hour through rush hour traffic. I’ve already had such a great experience, but I'm hoping to learn more about LS in general, our clients, and myself as a person during my stay. So far, this has been the best internship I've ever had.

~ Lauren S.

First Impression

First impressions are a crucial element in the game of life and the road to success – at least that’s what I’ve been led to believe. Thankfully, I thought nothing but the best of Liggett Stashower the moment I stepped off the elevator and was greeted by my new mentor. After a warm welcome, the eight of us were thrust into the swing of things, training on company equipment and media software while getting the low down on Liggett life. I was also introduced to my own cubicle! (It takes so little to make me happy). But in all seriousness, I was down to real PR business by the second day when I was handed my first writing assignment. I was pretty confident, considering the experience I’d had from my university’s student-run PR firm and other internships, but I always find a new challenge in adapting to “company style.” Nevertheless, I did a great job on my first client news release and received plenty of feedback from my mentor and others on the account team.

And that was just the start of things. The past two weeks have been busy and exciting. I gained further insight into the event-planning process by helping out with an annual festival for one of our biggest clients. I’ve also sat in on a few department meetings, created pitch letters and assembled media kits. Most importantly, I’ve been able to bond with the other amazing interns. I’m hoping that our different personalities and backgrounds will produce some seriously creative results for the few group projects we’ve been assigned. After having coffee with my mentor the other morning, she said I can also look forward to participating on many more accounts as everyone will be getting incredibly busy with client events and new business pitches. I already have a good sense of LS and feel pretty comfortable with the people around me – I can’t wait to see what else agency life has to offer!

~ Brittany Y.

Fresh View on Finance

When I first got to Liggett Stashower, I was concerned that it was going to be the stereotypical financial-type job...boring and tedious. However, I soon saw that it was certainly more interesting than that. Everyone here is friendly, willing to help out with any problems and open to suggestions. I'm happy to say that even if my jobs tend to lean on the boring and tedious side, it is never stressful.

As an accounting major and a financial intern, I want to gain an understanding of the overall accounting process for a creative agency. I hope to be able to follow the invoices from start to finish to see how involved the accounting process truly is in business. I also wish to learn various accounting systems to broaden my experience for the future. After my first week here, it looks like I will be able to do all these and more.

~ Bob M.


My first week of interning here at Liggett Stashower has flown by. Once I finally figured out the bus schedule so I wasn’t arriving to work 45 minutes early (“better early than late!” my mother said that night), found the coffee maker (caffeine addictions are no joking matter), and learned my way around the office so I wasn’t getting lost on an hourly basis, I felt at ease and comfortable in my new environment. After shaking off my initial “first week at a new job” jitters, I found myself jumping headfirst into the projects assigned to me by my mentor. Instead of fetching coffee and making copies like I envisioned myself doing, I was given real projects to work on right off the bat. Well okay, maybe I did make a few copies here and there, but far less than I anticipated…

Thus far, I have enjoyed my assignments, admittedly some more than others, and am slowly starting to understand some of LS’s clients and the role LS plays in their business operations. In the account services department, I feel like I’m beginning to find my niche with project assignments. I’m asking fewer questions on how to perform tasks and spending more time actually doing things. Everything moves very quickly around here, and I’m finally starting to feel like I’m keeping up with the pace!

~ Jessica H.