Thursday, August 07, 2008

This Is It...

After eight weeks of exposure to agency life, it is time to say good-bye. Summers always fly by, and this summer is no different. What is different though is my firsthand experiences at a talented agency, the new faces I’ve met and the eight strangers I now consider friends.

This entire summer has been a challenge, and I have learned so much. Learning in a college setting is important, but being able to apply what I have learned in college courses to this job is invaluable. There are lessons I’ve learned here this summer that a book or a lecture simply cannot teach. This internship truly gave me a taste of the real world. From the mentoring program to field trips to radio and television stations, this LS internship program has taught me and the other interns immensely.

One major lesson I’ll be taking with me from this internship is that learning never stops. No matter when you graduate or when a project is completed, learning is in constant motion. People learn everyday and it helps them grow. You can never learn too much – especially in this business.

Thanks to everyone at LS for making this summer a blast and a great learning experience!

Kristen N.

Program Management Intern

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Expect Great Things

Now, more than ever, it is easy to stay in touch. How many social networks are out there that enable you to reach out to coworkers, friends, and family – even after moving away or taking a different career path? I bring this up because just yesterday, Sara Stashower was nice enough to have lunch with us lowly interns and share a little bit about her career path and advice she’s learned along the way. What was inspiring were the number of current Liggett employees whom she invited to stop by and say a few words. These were an example to all of us about the power of networking and the simple things that matter so much in the business world. Thank you notes, follow up emails, introductions, etc.

Marc’s link to his Linked In page and Ashley’s link to the article on Crain's about our social media session just go to show that these new networks can utilized for more than just to enhance friendships, more than just to sell a product or launch a campaign, and more than just to cultivate a business relationship. Times are a-changin, so it’s on each of us to take advantage of the opportunities we’ve had here at Liggett. People say some interesting things about our generation. Supposedly we’re the ones to expect a handout. We’re the ones who want our jobs to cater to us. We’re the ones to graduate from college and expect to become a CEO in just a few years. My impression is that our intern class must be a bit abnormal if those are the stereotypes we’re expected to fill.

You can expect us to cultivate the relationships we’ve formed with our mentors, the internship coordinators, and the coworkers that we met this summer. You can expect us to use this internship as a tool to help direct our career path – whether it helped convince us to embark down the advertising route or inspired us to try something new. You can expect us to take the feedback we’ve received and use it to develop our personal and communication skills. You should expect us to do all this, because if we do not, we would pass up an opportunity that lasts longer than a summer internship.

This summer was awesome. Thanks for the great times, great advice, and great experience.

>> Ben M.
Interactive Intern

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

As Bob Dylan once sang, "The times, they are a-changin'"

With a busy week ahead, it really doesn’t feel like we only have three days left. I have had a great time, and I can’t believe that come next Monday I won’t be sitting in on the Program Management Monday morning meeting at 8:30 a.m.

And make no mistake, just because we only have three days left doesn’t mean we get to slack off.

Today I sat in on parts of a media training session. One of our clients came to the agency to learn how to handle those tough reporters who ask the same question over and over again, trying to make you uncomfortable and to reveal a piece of information you didn’t intend to. We had a former reporter and a TV cameraman at the agency conducting the interviews and taping them. It was really fun to watch how the client responded when put under the hot light of the camera and asked the hard-hitting questions on the spot. At the same time, I learned how the public relations department would handle crisis communication plans, another aspect of the public relations field that I had yet to experience.

Tomorrow, I’m learning how to make a TV commercial. Thursday the interns are having lunch with the CEO and have our intern party after work to showcase our intern project to the rest of the agency and our parents. And on Friday the interns are having lunch with the President and Executive Creative Director of the company and hosting round two of our social networking seminar that we put together and presented a couple weeks ago. Our seminar even got picked up by local media!

The most valuable lesson that I have learned from this experience is more of a life lesson. You have to go with the flow. In classes you choose a major and study something really specific, expecting to graduate and get a job in that field and that’s that. But that’s not what happens. Everyday the world is changing, and you better be ready to pack your bags and move where the world takes you because if you try to fight it, you won’t enjoy life. And that’s really all that matters in the end.
Ashley H.
Program Management Intern

Bueno Adiós, Liggett Stashower

Like my time at college, my internship is coming to an end. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s hard to believe my eight weeks in program management is almost complete. My days weren’t filled with just research, media lists and press releases; I was able to interact and learn from some of the best public relations and advertising professionals I know. Not many of my peers can say that.

From the mentoring program to field trips, LS’s internship program is not a daily grind as is the typical stereotype for most internship sites. Being included on meetings, conference calls and the opportunity to contribute ideas and resources is all in a day’s work at LS.

I’d be the first to admit, I am not good at saying bye. It seemed just like yesterday when I was told making sand castles at the beach was no longer age appropriate for a 17-year-old. But, all joking aside, saying goodbye to one specific co-worker will be especially difficult. Out of fear of embarrassment, I will not name drop. Though not one to admit, I have crafted my public relations work ethic off this talented individual. My cube neighbor’s determination and insight made my time at LS especially memorable.

Throughout my days, I would often badger my neighbor to see if any help was needed, which was always greeted with excitement and spreadsheets. I have the highest aspirations for this young professional and I hope our paths cross in the future.

I would be remised if I did not thank my mentor. My mentor’s wisdom, attentiveness and genuine kindness are highly admirable character traits. I consider myself fortunate to be under my mentor’s tutelage for two months. I learned a lot.

I am no fortuneteller; I cannot look into the future. But I can say one thing; my experience at LS has prepared me for future professional endeavors.

To my fellow interns: Happy trails until we meet again. I wish everyone nothing but the best… I sincerely mean it.

As my favorite author F. Scott Fitzgerald eloquently put it, “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

Farewell and Bon Voyage Liggett Stashower.

Marc F.

Program Management Intern
Note: The blog title links to my LinkedIn page.

One more week

One week left, yet so much to do. On Tuesday we have lunch with Sara Stashower, on Thursday Mark Nylander, and on Friday David Moore.
For Wednesday, Steve set up a field trip for me to go to the law firm and accounting firm and shadow them for a day. I am really looking forward to it.

Ham Day was today. I tend to crash and burn when it comes to public speaking but I got a lot out of the other speeches. There were quite a few people in attendance and the food was awesome.

I have learned a lot this summer and I feel so much more prepared to venture into the real world next summer. I’ve learned more about myself and about the business world as well. I’ve always been interested in accounting but not so interesting in a dry, boring accounting firm. After working at Liggett this summer I now know that I can do something I love in a more vibrant environment. The agency atmosphere here is ideal for a more creative finance person like myself. This experience has helped me discover that working in the accounting field doesn’t have to be a tedious, monotonous career. It can be an adventurous, exciting career.
This internship was well organized and jam-packed with all sorts of experiences. When I am out with my friends I now notice all kinds of advertisements. Yesterday, my friend and I were downtown for dinner. I made her check out the Halle Building and I showed her where we eat lunch. I love the city of Cleveland, the agency feel, and the people at Liggett. I couldn’t imagine a better way to have spent my summer.
Angela B
Finance Intern

Monday, August 04, 2008

Getting Experience

Prior to starting this internship, I knew my time at Liggett would be very beneficial. I never imagined, however, that I would gain this much knowledge and experience.   

As the graphic design intern, I have been able to use and contribute my creative skills in many ways. Not only have I been able to design such things as posters and t-shirts, but I have also been able to assist with photo shoots and client presentations. As a result of working on each of these assignments, I have acquired new knowledge and skills that I can apply to my future work.   

I have also been able to learn more about the computer programs I use. Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator are the three most frequently used programs by designers. Coming into this internship, I had a great deal of experience with each program. I felt comfortable that I knew and understood the essential tools in each. By working in a professional environment, however, I have found that there is still so much information to learn. What I enjoy about Liggett is that everyone is willing to work with you and help you understand something that may be of confusion. These programs can be overwhelming at times and it is reassuring knowing there are people here to turn to.   

As our internship comes to an end next week, I look forward to taking the skills I have acquired here and using them in my last year of school. I also appreciate the experiences I have gotten
here at Liggett because I can always apply them to any future jobs that I may have.

Katie W.
Graphic Design Intern

Friday, August 01, 2008

And That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles...

Well even though we have only one week left, this will be my last time writing about my wonderful experiences here. It truly has been a great experience working for Liggett, and I feel I am taking away much more knowledge and skill than I had 7 weeks ago.

The great thing about my experience here is that it was unique, and I know this because I was able to compare it to other internships I know of. I have friends who have done internships in a variety of fields, and only a few seemed worthwhile. One of the best parts of my internship was the field trip aspect. Liggett really wants its interns to see other jobs and companies and understand how they work. My favorite trip was to Channel 3 where we got to see Chubby Checker perform. He may have been before my time, but I have been known to twist here and there.

When it comes to working, Liggett really does include the interns in all kinds of projects. I have experienced so many different aspects of so many different projects I feel I am well versed already in this job, but I know there is so much more to be learned. However, I can take the skills and knowledge I have accumulated, and apply it in my future endeavors, and that’s what I love most about my experience here. I know interns at other companies who just went to work for 10 weeks and didn’t get anything out of it. I’m proud to say that is not the case with me.

So I say goodbye to all the readers, and I hope you have enjoyed following my experience through this internship. I feel I am taking away new strengths and new friends. I am grateful to all the people at Liggett who have helped me in the past 7 weeks, and I look forward to my next step.

Scott A.
Program Management Intern

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Still Learning From Books

An ongoing process, learning is something no one can live without. Not only are the interns here at Liggett learning from employees, but we are also learning from our books. Yes, books. Something us college students are far too familiar with. At the beginning of the internship, each intern was assigned a book about the business - and yes, we all have to present a book report.

Right now I’m reading Buying In, a book by Rob Walker about why consumers buy what they buy. What’s great about reading this book is finding out how the author looks at the business. Reading about his take on the different campaigns of different products is informative and interesting. From Hello Kitty to Red Bull, Walker researched how each product’s campaign was and is executed. He gives his opinion and reasoning why certain products are more successful than others.

An assignment such as this one proves that reading can open your eyes to different opinions and perspectives. Some of the information Walker found shows how different campaigns go about delivering their messages. As times change, people change - and so does their wants. Advertising has to change with it. Everyday, advertising is evolving with the world. It can never be done in the same way over and over again.

The interns are presenting their book reports this Friday while we celebrate Ham Day. I’m curious to see what everyone has learned from his/her book. It should be interesting…

Kristen N.

Program Management Intern

Monday, July 28, 2008

Two Weeks to Go

It will be a sad day when this internship ends. We only have two weeks left, but the days are filling up fast. This week we’re doing a photoshoot for our internship poster, taking one of the executives to lunch, and having Ham Day to present the books we’ve been reading. And since next week is our last one, it’s sure to be jam-packed. If all goes well, we can squeeze in another lunch with an executive, a social networking seminar, oh, and finish our internship project.

This is the one thing I like about agency work – the variety. Perhaps its amplified by the fact we’re interns (and I know I know, other interns have written this spiel too) but it’s really great to get pulled into 5 or 6 different projects that you can work on all at the same time. Pitches get people pumped up and the creative juices flowing, and there’s always something else you can do for a client. Today, I’ve run computer reports, worked on two different clients' sites, and worked on our social networking presentation that’s coming up next week. The first one was such a success, so we’re doing it again and this time including more info about advertising opportunities.

Monday’s nearly over and I should probably decide whether or not to play softball tomorrow. Liggett’s team is on the up and up, this week we might actually win the game! (or at least get really really close.)

And while I remember, here’s a photo from our Christmas in July party last Friday – a swell time that got everyone energized a bit before the weekend.


>> Ben M.
Interactive Intern

Friday, July 25, 2008

Happy holiday(s)

Today we had our second, and final, fun Friday. Since it is July 25, we couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to celebrate Christmas in July. We outfitted the employee lounge with Christmas lights and trees. We brought in Christmas cookies the interns had baked the night before, served Chinese food (apparently that is a somewhat regular Christmas day tradition) and played holiday music. We even did a drawing to give away the presents under the tree. The hot gift this Christmas was the camo-colored do-rag.

But I could only be in a Christmas cheer for a little bit, as I had to skip back in time and attend the Halloween party going on in another conference room simultaneously. There I filled pumpkin buckets with goodies to send out to various publications. Needless to say, the agency was sporting quite the holiday(s) spirit.

There was also a new business pitch today. It was exciting for the interns because we all did some type of work for this project and it was cool to see it finally come to fruition. While we haven’t heard if we got the business, it was still fun to be a part of a project from the very beginning. I think doing pitches for new business can sometimes be the most fun because you really have to think creatively if you are going to beat out all your competitors and wow the potential clients.

With only two weeks to go, I feel like I have learned so many valuable skills while on the job. But I still want to know more. I’m planning on meeting with the two-person department in connection planning to learn more about what they do sometime before I leave. And, I’m sitting in on a presentation to learn how TV commercials are made. Hey, you never know, the girl who started in PR may someday just want to make a commercial. Something I have learned since I started here is that you never know where your career will take you, and you should never plan it all out because you just may be surprised where you end up.

That’s why I’m soaking up as much information as I can from all aspects of the agency business. You never know when knowing where to find the population of Women 24-65 in Buffalo may just save the day (at the very least, some time).

Till next time,

Ashley H.

Program Management Intern

You Learn Something New Everyday

The beauty of my internship experience thus far is the fact that I learn something new everyday. I am a follower of the old saying, “keep your ears open and your mouth closed.” Well, the whole “mouth closed” part is kind of a stretch, as the entire staff loves questions ranging from how to use a new computer program to how their careers got started. Just the other day, I learned some new graphic design techniques. I will be the first to admit that I have the art capabilities of a third grader, but with every skill learned, you increase your marketability a little bit. If you go into any internship, from engineering to public relations, with a thirst for knowledge you will always leave with a pleasant and insightful experience.

I would also like to stress that keeping up on industry literature is crucial to guiding your internship. I read various publications from Brandweek to PR Week to supplement my experience at Liggett Stashower. Keeping up-to-date on the latest trends has helped me prepare and implement new ideas to various internal publicity projects.

I also believe books are a cornerstone to developing new ideas and to learn from industry leaders. One of my favorite books is “Managing Interactive Media Projects” by Tom Frick. This book is really a one-stop shop for operating various interactive media devices such as Flash and how to launch websites, among other topics. It was especially useful to me because I have a desire to learn about new technologies, particularly the ever-changing social media scene. I loved the book so much; I grabbed my mentor a copy.

Well, as the summer is coming to a halt, I just came to a revelation: it’s almost time to go back to college. I better soak up every last bit of information before I say farewell to the program management team at LS.

Marc F.
Program Management Intern

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Twist

Today we went on a field trip to WKYC, Channel 3 (Cleveland’s NBC affiliate). It was by far the most interesting field trip we’ve been on this summer. The studio was awesome. We sat in on the show Good Company Today. There are four hosts, Michael, Fred, Eileen and Andrea. There were quite a few guests as well. Bruce Drennan, a Cleveland sports show host, was on the show discussing the future of the Indians and the Browns. Chubby Checker, famous for the song The Twist, was on the show and actually performed live. Chubby Checker was decked out in his jean attire and look surprisingly young for his age, 66. They actually did the Twist and everything right before our eyes.

Picture: Chubby Checker performing with the cast and their interns.

Just watching this whole thing take place was astonishing. The movement of the huge cameras and the complexity of the sets were thrilling to see in action. Seeing what goes into producing a simple television show was the highlight of my week. We also met with Joe in the graphics department and he showed us how they create the 3D intros for the Cleveland Indians and the Cleveland Browns games. The time and effort that goes into producing such a short clip is intense. I will definitely watch those intros with more appreciation.

We also met the man famous for recording the lines, “Welcome”, “You’ve Got Mail”, “File Done”, and “Goodbye”, by far the coolest thing that has happened to me all summer. I can’t wait to tell everyone that I met him! All in all, it was an action packed day at the Channel 3 News Studio!

Angela B
Finance Intern

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Socially Awkward?

During lunch today the interns held an open discussion about a few of the social networks available today, and how they can be used. Ben gave a PowerPoint presentation with a few screen shots, but most of the time was taken up by stories and experiences from interns and employees.

As a college student, it is almost assumed I know the intricacies of Facebook I have not been the biggest fan of this social network since it was opened up to anyone with access to the Internet. However, I was surprised to learn about all the different aspects available on the site. There are many applications, groups, events, etc., which really put Facebook at the peak of social networks. What started out as a way for college kids to meet new friends is now looking like a prime market for any business.

I did learn about many other types of networks that were intriguing. For instance, Delicious is a social book marking website that allows you to tag websites and access them from any computer. You could also share your tags with friends, or see the websites your family members have tagged. Today was also my second orientation on Twitter. This is a social blog that seems to be for people who are too busy to sit down and write a long blog, or is just waiting a long time in-between blog posts. Twitter allows a person to write what they are currently doing in 140 characters so his/her friends and family can see what this person has been up to. Businesses can use it as well to inform customers what it is currently doing. Twitter could be the next generation of social networking.

I am realizing there are many other types of networks and websites besides Facebook that I could really get into.The discussion today really educated me more than I thought it would, and I am very interested to find what else is out there on this thing we call the World Wide Web.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Intern Project

As part of the Liggett Stashower internship program, all of the interns are assigned to work on a project. The purpose of this project is to bring the interns together to work on a themed project that somehow represents their class. This project is a great way for each of the interns to get to know one another and it also allows for a great experience with working in a team setting with others.

Our intern class was really excited to begin this project. Initially, we had some difficulty deciding on were to take our theme. To help us with some direction, we studied the projects done by past interns. After seeing how successful these projects were, we knew we had our work cut out for us.

For the next several weeks we brainstormed for a possible theme to use. We had a wide variety of potential ideas but we eventually narrowed them down to three. We continued to brainstorm with these ideas by doing research, producing sketches, and by getting feedback from sources outside our group.

The process it took to reach our final decision for a theme was not an easy one. There were several problems and disagreements that took place along the way. Though it may have been frustrating at times, the group was able to work through these difficulties and achieve a theme everyone could be proud of.

As our internship comes to an end in the next few weeks, we all have been busy working on our project to reveal to the agency. We all are very excited to see what everyone thinks!

Katie W.
Creative Intern

Friday, July 18, 2008

May I Ask You a Few Questions?

Whenever I’m walking down the street and see someone with a clipboard coming my way, I immediately bolt in the other direction or pull out my cell phone and call someone. I try to avoid researchers at all costs. That is, until I became the researcher.

A couple of days ago, Ashley and I were sent down to the East 4th District around lunchtime to interview people passing by. It’s very interesting to observe people – especially when they see you and try to get away. I saw everything – people scurrying to the other side of the street, people telling me that they are in a hurry but walking at a slow pace, people pulling out cell phones, people asking for any free compensation and people just ignoring me. When people did cooperate, I was so thankful. I couldn’t thank them enough. It’s tough trying to get people to answer a few questions for research!

The whole experience made me realize how important research is. Some research requires how ordinary, everyday people act and what their habits are. Learning what people do and don’t do and what people like and dislike can be vital to a project. Every campaign needs to have facts to go by, so research is essential.

So the next time I see a researcher with a clipboard heading my way, I might think twice before heading in the opposite direction. What he/she is asking may be worth something.

Kristen N.
Program Management Intern

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Future of Advertising

Next Tuesday, the interns are planning a social networking seminar for the agency. We figure while we’re here, we might as well serve as a sort of focus group for the agency in reference to Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and all of those good things. There are lots of strategies out there to target people on those sites, but how many of them actually work? Who better to ask than actual users of the site? We’re excited for the opportunity and feel like we can really help people understand the phenomenon of Facebook and the like.

This is similar to the books that we each received when we got here – each of us received our own book to read over and come up with a presentation. The entire office is invited to that too, but it’s a bit more specific than next week’s Social Networking Seminar. One of the program co-chairs even extended an invitation to a client who was just discussing this exact topic.

In other news, our t-shirts should be ordered by the end of the day today. We’re stoked about the design – we think it’s pretty creative. A video may or may not be on the plate as well – but we’re running low on time and everyone seems to have quite a bit of work to do. The radio show was pretty awesome yesterday, and I was invited to discuss one of our upcoming pitches yesterday, a good chance to see how the creative process works.

Time to get back to it!

Ben M
Interactive Intern

Press releases = 1/100th of my job

Since I have started my internship, most mildly interested family members, peers, and/or friends have asked me, “How is your internship going? What do you do?”

I find this somewhat difficult to answer simply, but then again, I’ve never been the master of conciseness. And besides, if I say I am a public relations intern, people will think, “Oh, she sits around and writes press releases all day long.” Common misconception, my friends. And I’m not one to let people run amok with these silly misconceptions floating around in their heads.

As you will see, I do much, much more. In the past week I have:

1. Sat in on a client meeting and brainstormed names to tag onto special PR events.
2. Researched everything from the faces and stories behind some of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders to what terms like VoIP mean in laymen’s terms. (In case you were wondering it stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and it is a hardware and software system that allows people to have telephone conversations over the Internet.) Just from this last project alone, I would have to say that my brain is being thoroughly exercised.
3. Looked into where you can buy 100 pumpkin-shaped buckets.
4. Wrote an article for a client that may by published in newsletters distributed around doctor’s offices.
5. Conducted market research by roaming the streets of Cleveland and asking lunch-goers for two minutes of their time. I now realize what it’s like to be a salesperson; I wasn’t even selling anything, but when people see strangers with clipboards they sure do whatever they can to steer clear.

And today, the intern class went on a field trip to a local sports radio station and sat in on an afternoon talk show. How cool is that? Not only do I get to experience life at an ad agency, but I get to see how advertising works in the different media outlets around town as well.

But I gotta run, I have 13 emails in my inbox and a message on my phone. Work calls.

Ashley H.
Program Management Intern

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hitting fairways and computer screens

Yesterday was certainly a day unlike any other at the office-perhaps because I was not in the office at all! I had the opportunity to work a hole at the AAF regional golf outing. This experience was actually much more intriguing than one would imagine. Sure, while there were a bunch of professionals elated to take a few hours out of their work week to get in a round of 18; it also was a great means of networking and chatting it up with some people from other agencies.

But even more important than the networking, was getting an overall sense of the character of the people who work in this industry. We all know that the employees at Liggett are extremely excited to walk out of the elevator and into their office five days a week, but its nice to see that this is something that seems to occur for the overwhelming majority of those I had the chance to speak with yesterday. Whether people were from the account side, the creative side, or somewhere in between, the general consensus was that these men and women really loved their jobs. I feel this is a very important attribute of this industry, and something very important for an intern such as myself to see. I do not want to go into an industry where the most of the people in it are miserable and just waiting for each day to end. I want to know that people love what they do. Different people were excited to talk about where they worked and how they got there. They were overjoyed to reflect on that fact that the path they have taken has gotten them somewhere they are proud to be.

But I’ve done a little more than sit on a golf course since my last post. Liggett has kept me busy thinking of ads for potential new business in terms of print ads, ambient ads, and even banner ads for the internet. For those of you out there who have always dreamed of making video games, advertising might be the place for you! On several occasions I have been asked to think of different web games for certain clients. While this might not be designing the next Grand Theft Auto, it is definitely an opportunity to do something that I never imagined doing before, and something that is somewhat of a dream for ever young man at some point. Whether it is a simple game that takes two minutes to complete, or creating a game that makes one want to sit in front of the computer for hours, clients want to get people hooked any way possible, and its great to know I am a part of that.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Working Together

My internship is sizzling, much like eating lunch outside in black dress pants. I am still focused on internal publicity projects, but I am also getting my feet wet in other areas of the firm.

One of the most intriguing aspects about agency life –besides job codes- is the variety of backgrounds and specializations that the creative and program management departments possess, respectively. No two people in a firm are alike; everyone has different backgrounds and experiences. Often times working with someone from a different department can be an insightful and invigorating occurrence. Just the other day, I was working on an internal PR project pitch that would need pictures of our 3D press kits (sent to news outlets) to help sell media success from the campaign. The project required me to make arrangements with a graphic designer (creative side) to take professional photos of said press kit. I like to think I am well versed in photography, but I am not. The graphic designer took studio quality shots that were an excellent and essential element for the pitch. The verdict is still out if the story idea will be picked up, but one thing is clear, we all have different talents that are utilized everyday.

Working with the graphic designer reminded me of my favorite quote: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller.

Marc F.
Program Management Intern

Friday, July 11, 2008

Liggett Stashower Country Club

Today the interns put on our first “Fun Friday” and it went extremely well. We turned the agency into a miniature golf course using all sorts of inventive props. I acted as chef for the day, grilling hot dogs. It was exciting to see the whole agency get into our event. People brought their own putters, gloves, hats, and other golf attire. Some of the male employees even tucked their pants into their argyle socks. At the end of the day we gave out prizes! The prizes were as follows:
Elizabeth won best dressed with her pink shirt matching her pink golf ball.
Vicki won pompoms for being the most enthusiastic; she really got into the tournament.
Adam had the worst score and got the Golf for Dummies book.
Jimmy had the best score and got the movie Caddy Shack.
Hopefully the interns of 2009 will host the 2nd Annual Miniature Golf Invitational.

Yesterday I shadowed Sean in Traffic and Estimating. He explained to me their position as the mediator between the Creative side and the Program Management side. They make sure deadlines are met and estimated budgets are maintained. It was quite an informative session and he really did a great job defining the role of Traffic and Estimating.
I also got to dabble in a bit of creative work for about two minutes. I was unaware of this but there is an office that was turned into a make shift photo shooting area. Danielle needed a hand, literally, to hold this light fixture while she photographed it. That was an interesting break from the numbers. Next week I am shadowing Matt in the IT Department. I like how the employees at Liggett want the interns to see every facet of the business. Steve is setting up a day for me to shadow at the law firm and the auditing firm that work with Liggett.

Our internship project is starting to roll in a good direction. We all agree on a theme that is unique and delectable.

Angela B

Finance Intern

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Never a Dull Day

It may sound cliché when a company tells you that everyday is different at their office, but it rings true at Liggett. I never know what’s in store for me when I come into work, and when I leave I always try to predict what’s going to happen the following day. Of course, I’m always wrong.
The most exciting part of this job is anything could change at any moment. Many jobs will tell you something to do at 8:30 am, and you might have to do the same task all day. This can get pretty boring unless you’re passionate about that kind of work (which I’m not). When I come in, I might begin with no meetings all day, but by lunch I’ll have already attended 2 meetings, and two more scheduled for the afternoon. That’s what is great about this environment; everything is always changing. A client might want something done one way, but then change his/her mind 3 hours later. Being able to keep up with these changes is part of the challenge. Just yesterday a website went live and had some obvious problems which needed to be fixed right away. Working with others to keep up with these curveballs is part of the fun here.
I also love the comfortable environment here. While everyone works really hard and is dedicated to their work, people know how to keep the atmosphere fun and relaxed. Yesterday we all took a short break for an employees birthday and had some cake. We chatted for a few minutes and had some laughs, and then it was right back to work. Some people have a tough time transitioning quickly from work to fun, but everyone here seems to mix the two together to make the experience and the work being done that much more enjoyable.

It’s hard to believe we’re halfway to the end, but there still is much to be done and much to be learned.
Scott A.
Program Management Intern

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

2nd Field Trip

We recently took our second field trip to a Cleveland printing company called Watt Printers. Liggett Stashower has worked with this printing company for several of their projects. I was very anxious for this tour to see how everything was completed. Being a graphic design major, I deal with printing all the time and I am aware of the complicated process that can go into producing something. When we arrived at the company, we were all taken into a room where we were explained the basics of printing. We were shown different paper types, different binding techniques, and also examples of various printing methods. Not many of the interns have dealt with printing before which meant that much of the information we were given was new to them.

Everyone seemed very eager and interested to learn about the process. After our information session, we were taken on a tour to see the company. It was neat to see all the machines and how they operated. They explained how everything was so strategically run and how easy it could be to make a mistake on something. Even the smallest mistake could have major repercussions for a company. By the end of the tour everyone was impressed with the company and it seemed as though everyone had a newfound respect for printing. I was grateful that we were taken on this tour because I was able to gather new knowledge about printing that I can apply to my future experiences in my field. The interns have their next field trip soon and we are all looking forward to having another great experience.

Katie W.
Creative Intern

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Working Together

Variety is a great word to describe life at Liggett. Each day there is something different to do and someone new to help out. It’s exciting to learn from various Liggett employees because each one has his or her own way of getting the job done.

When we are not busily working in our cubicles on different jobs, we’re developing our intern project. The word variety definitely applies here as well. Throwing eight different college students together to work on a project isn’t exactly easy – but it is a lot of fun. There are eight different personalities, eight different opinions and one compromise. Everyone has his or her own great ideas, and combining them is the tricky part. It’s like a puzzle we all have to figure out piece by piece.

The eight of us working together is like our own agency. We have all of the departments of Liggett represented in our group. Each intern has his or her own job. I like how Liggett challenges us with this project. It’s giving us valuable experience on how each department works together as a team.

It’s hard to believe we are hitting the halfway mark of the internship! It is flying by for sure.

Kristen N.
Program Management Intern

Monday, July 07, 2008

Nearly Halfway There?

As our intern class embarks on Week Four of the internship program, it is hard to believe that we’re nearly halfway through. At the same time, it seems as though we’ve all hit our striding point and are immersed in projects that are occupying our time and thoughts, even out of the office. I love how marketing and advertising classes and experience make you think harder about everyday things. I randomly mutter in public “That’s a horrible ad” or “What a great campaign.” It’s awkward, people stare, but sometimes you just can’t help it.

This past week and what I’m working on now is helping to map the current workflow of the Interactive Group. Website design and microsites and flash and all that good stuff are pretty integral with most of the work Liggett Stashower is doing – so I’m keeping track of project deadlines and goal dates and stuff like that.

I’m also meeting with my mentor and a data programmer tomorrow to work on a new internal project, maintaining a status report for my department, and helping conduct research for new client proposals. And on top of all that, our intern class is this close to solidifying our t-shirt design and theme for our class.

Oh and on Friday, we’re converting the agency into a mini golf course during lunch for a creative stretch break. We have 9-holes where the agency can duke it out for eternal glory, hot dogs, chips, and prizes for multiple categories.

Told ya I was having fun.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Navigating Summer

Wow! It goes without saying that summer is flying by. So far, my internship has been more than I expected. I routinely work with true public relations professionals that are not only engaging me in a variety of projects ranging from internal publicity to creating media lists, but also offering a plethora of advice and guidance. I am most thankful for building an admirable relationship with my mentor. From offering me insightful career and public relations industry advice to allowing me to spearhead projects, my mentor has made my internship exciting and informative thus far. Working under my mentor’s counsel has been the biggest perk of the program to date.
The project I am most proud of, so far, is an internal publicity project that was picked up by an editor of a large trade publication. I drafted a release (essentially a case study) of a marketing campaign executed by LS that was pitched to PR Week. The editor was impressed and has since assigned a reporter to follow-up. For any firm, gaining trade publication recognition is pivotal to gain the interest of prospective clients and to position your firm as an industry leader.
Marc F.
Program Management Intern

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Lovin LS Life

I’m going to be honest with you. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life before this week. I applied for this internship for several reasons. Number one, I had just completed my first semester of reporting classes and I found out I despised it. Needless to say the reporting sequence of my journalism major flew out the window. I found myself in a dilemma. I love journalism, but I hated reporting. So, I reasoned that I would try a PR internship and see if I might enjoy it. Then, if I liked it, I could focus the rest of my classes on advertising and PR and have a better idea of what I will do when I graduate.

Number two, my dad wanted me to come home, plain and simple. Though he won’t admit it, he was trying his hardest to subtly guide me toward a really cool internship in Cleveland, Ohio as opposed to a regular internship in Denver, Colorado. I’m pretty glad I came home.

So, obviously, I got this internship, and I was actually really excited. I wasn’t sure what to expect because I had never taken a PR, advertising or marketing class before in my life. I read some books to make me feel better and more prepared. And I loved them. One of them, Lovemarks, by Kevin Roberts, is now one of my all-time favorites books. (Probably a good sign that I might be headed in the right career direction.)

But then, the other day at work, I got super excited. Like I said before, I didn’t really know exactly what I wanted to do, but I do have more than a few ideas, mostly unrelated, in mind. In the career planning session with Teri that Dan mentioned, I realized what I am really passionate about: media and culture. It was like a huge WABAM! right in the forehead. Knowing this will save me years of wasting my time at a job that I won’t like. Thank you, Teri.

Then, my day got even more exciting. I was told to introduce myself to the people that work over in connection planning because I had expressed interest in media research. So I sidled on over to the other side of the agency, introduced myself and offered to help with projects that the connection planning team works on. They were more than happy to give me work.

I absolutely love this internship because I can write press releases and I can research target audiences for a client’s new advertising campaign. I am not in any way pigeonholed to only doing what my title says I do. The people at Liggett Stashower want me to get the full experience; they want me to find what it is I really love to do.

Liggett Stashower employees are also passionate about their work and that passion is slowly seeping into my own veins. Who would have thought that each week I would get more and more excited to come to work? I must be on to something…

Ashley H.

Program Management Intern

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Finding it easy to stay occupied

We are nearly three weeks into our Liggett internship, and it has gone by faster than Usain Bolt during a 100 meter dash.

Yesterday we got a solid hour of nonstop advice about our careers from Teri, Liggett's HR consultant. One of the huge benefits of being a Liggett intern is that we get to utilize all the resources that are available to the regular staff. Basically, she wants to make sure people are happy with their job, and not dreading going to work daily. Luckily, I think she has it pretty easy here at Liggett because I have yet to see anyone dread coming into the office. She also gives guidance to the CEO on company directions for the future. Speaking with her was not only intriguing, but also very encouraging because she has enough optimism to make all those half empty glasses out there completely full. She is definitely a resource I will try to get as much out of as possible while here at Liggett.

Another thing I have quickly come to realize is that advertising is not some goofy little sign that you put up on your lemonade stand on the corner of an intersection, but is very serious stuff. This past week I had the opportunity to sit in on a meeting discussing a client that was “top secret.” I could not discuss it with other employees, my friends, or even my parents. At first glance, this might seem somewhat strange, because what does it matter if I mention to my parents what I did at work today, but after sitting through the meeting, I knew it definitely mattered. This client developed a piece of technology that could revolutionize its industry, and the last thing it needs is for someone to leak what it is before it has the chance to hit the shelves. After all, the hardest part of a revolutionary idea is coming up with one, so if another company has the idea fall in their lap, it wouldn’t take a whole lot to make their own version. That’s just one way that advertising is always on the cutting edge of any industry that it participates in.

Perhaps the most exciting part of this “top secret” client project for me is the need to come up with a name for the product. Sure, you might think naming a product is something you can do with ease by throwing darts at a page of a dictionary, but in fact it is incredibly important. The name of the product could be the difference between being a household name, or being a name no one recognizes. I look forward to participating in naming brainstorming sessions in the coming weeks.

This past week, I also had the chance to do some writing for the Liggett quarterly magazine, the POV. The POV’s latest issue is on the obsession with “new”, so I was able to contribute to two articles written about why “new” is all the rage, and why retro styles are as popular now as they were when they were new thirty years ago.

As you can tell, I’ve been kept very busy at Liggett and continue to be excited about what new tasks and challenges will be presented to me in the coming weeks.

Dan F.

Copywriting Intern

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

“Take an Executive to lunch day”

Today we had our first “take an executive to lunch day”. We asked Brian, the Vice President and Management Supervisor, and he accepted our invitation. He had very insightful information to help prepare us for our futures. He told us about his experiences and gave us advice for our journeys toward becoming professionals. I thoroughly enjoyed our lunch even though I was soaking wet from walking to Dave’s Cosmic Subs in the pouring rain.

Over the last two weeks, I was in charge of collecting the insurance information for the entire agency. That process has been slightly stressful for everyone. I wrote my first email to the entire agency and submitted my first reminder into the Grapevine. I have mastered scheduling meetings and reserving the Round Room for our intern meetings.

I love this internship because I don’t just copy, scan, and file, I get to see and help take part in the real work here. I get to watch the process of doing payroll, transferring money, and billing clients. I’ve only been here eleven days and I’ve already had the opportunity to dabble in a little bit of everything in the financial department. Tomorrow I’m going to the bank with Jackie. I can’t wait.

Angela B.

Finance Intern

Monday, June 30, 2008

Getting Involved

One of the most important things I’m beginning to learn here is the importance of the process of how things work. This is really my first job in an office setting, and I was pretty clueless on how things actually work around here. I understood there were multiple departments working together to accomplish the same goals, but how this was all done efficiently was something I was having trouble understanding.

That’s when I was able to get involved with a few different projects. I was brought in the circle of one project just to see how things were decided upon, and how these decisions were relayed to everyone working on the project. If changes needed to be made, I was there watching how these changes came about. It was really interesting to see how a project could go from its beginning stages to its final component. The best part was shortly after this experience, I was able to participate in a few other projects. The participation was at a beginners’ level, but it was great to actually jump in and get my hands dirty right away instead of just watching other people do it.

This is one aspect that really makes this internship stand out. I’m not just watching other people work, but I’m learning how to do what they are doing, and then attempting to complete projects on my own. I feel this is the best way to go about learning, and I’m excited to see what skills I’ll be able to develop in the next few weeks.

Scott A.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Our First Field Trip!

I am pleasantly surprised to find the Liggett Stashower internship program to be unique from most other intern programs. Liggett Stashower believes it is very important to expose us to various companies in order to experience what different environments are like. To achieve this, they take us on several field trips around the Cleveland area. Yesterday, we went on our first field trip to the Plain Dealer.   

As the afternoon rolled around, we were all very excited about going on our trip. With our luck it started to rain just as we were leaving to walk over to the building.  Some of us were prepared with umbrellas but others were not as lucky and got quite wet. When we got to the Plain Dealer we met Ted who is the reader representative for the paper. Ted gave us a tour of the building explaining the basics of the company and how things are operated.   

He took us into a large room filled with people working at their cubicles. This room was called the newsroom and is where the editors and writers work. We continued our tour by sitting in on an editorial meeting where several editors joined to discuss the news that would be presented in the paper. It was neat to be behind the scenes and see how articles are created.  

The day went fast and before I knew it our field trip was over. I enjoyed myself very much but was anxious to get back to the office and continue working on my projects. The trip added a new excitement to our day and I am looking forward to the next one we take together!

Katie W.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

So Far, So Good

After completing my first week as a Liggett intern, I must say I still feel welcomed by all of the friendly faces I come across daily. Everyone seems happy to be here. I’m thrilled to work and learn in an environment where people are amicable and enjoy what they do.

Everything about this place is exciting. Each morning feels like a new adventure waiting to unfold. As soon as I walk through the elevator doors, I know today will be unlike yesterday and different from tomorrow. Whether it’s attending a meeting, researching blogs or simply being taught how to do something new, each day here is anything but monotonous – and I love that.

Being apart of a team of interns is exciting as well. We have a great group full of different characteristics and personalities. It’s amazing how we were thrown together and get along so well (so far at least!). We’ve all become fast friends. Keeping up on each other throughout the day, we are all curious to see what everyone is working on. Through each other, we interns can get a taste of each department of Liggett.

I’m looking forward to the rest of my summer here at such an accomplished agency. I feel my “real world” experiences will be anything but boring. Privileged to be here, I am eager to find out what lies ahead of me this summer at Liggett.

Kristen N.
Program Management Intern

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hobbies Come in Handy

Week numero dos at Liggett Stashower has been exciting so far! I am literally astounded how much client work I’ve actually been able to contribute too and hope it continues for the rest of the summer. I have yet to be asked to go get coffee or to make some copies and have gotten to work on some great projects. To recap my week briefly….

Monday was my first Client Review from the Agency side. I have sat in on client reviews, but I had only ever been on the client side and this was a whole new experience. The review went great! The client loved it and we headed back to the office to make some changes, but not before stopping at Red Robin for a Guacamole Burger. Yes, it was phenomenal.

Last week I had the opportunity to tag along for a video shoot for a client and this week I was actually involved in the editing process a great deal. We headed back over to meet with the client for a reshoot of a couple lines (I got to use the fancy camera, lapel mic, light boxes, etc.) before I dumped it into FinalCut and spent the rest of the day fixing it up.

The funny thing is, I never imagined I’d be working with video as part of my career or internship – or anything like Flash or Photoshop. I always imagined myself more on the project management side, those programs were just hobbies. Guess I was in the right place at the right time for the video project. It goes to show you that your experiences outside of the classroom can come in handy: your hobbies, your involvement on campus, etc.

I’d love to write more, but downtime is at a minimum – they’re keeping most of us plenty busy. Oh, and tomorrow we tour the Plain Dealer headquarters and sit in on an editorial meeting. Should be a swell time!

Ben M

Monday, June 23, 2008

If I said “JK, LOL” to your face, would you look at me like I was crazy?

This past week I did a little of this and a little of that, some filing, organizing, writing, editing, talking, meeting. I also did some learning (imagine that!).

One lesson in particular stands out. It is a lesson that encompasses both advertising and life. It is nothing new but just needs to be relearned from time to time in this Internet age.

As the interns were talking after work the other day, some of us mentioned that we probably would never have been friends if we went to the same school. We all have different interests and different personalities, but put together as a group of Liggett interns, we get along great. We laugh and joke and have a good time, and we all work hard. When we advertise ourselves as “intern” we all realize that we have the same fears of the future, and the same sense of indecisiveness regarding what we really want to spend the rest of our lives doing. Heck, some of us are worried about marriage, and one of us is already engaged!

Yet, at school we wouldn’t necessarily be friends. Why? Because our effectiveness at advertising ourselves the way we want to be perceived gets somewhat jumbled in college. It is interesting to me that by taking away Facebook and parties, and adding personal communication and Liggett Stashower, we all are forced to evaluate the way our peers advertise themselves in ways that are foreign to us in the Facebook generation. No longer can we look at pictures of our fellow interns in Halloween costumes, peruse lists of our peers’ interests and favorites, and pass judgment based on something that could or could not be true. At least, we haven’t yet…

While Facebook can be an effective way of advertising yourself and/or a product, nothing is trustworthier than a good old face-to-face conversation when trying to foster a relationship. Here at Liggett, new avenues of cutting-edge advertising are constantly being explored, as they rightfully should. However, sometimes we need to forgo the distanced communication methods of email, and even telephone, and just sit down with a person and have a face-to-face conversation. So much more can be accomplished when you can see a person’s mannerisms and expressions. Maybe I’m an old timer, yet I just can’t help but notice that nothing beats a good personal relationship, be it an agency-client relationship or an intern-intern relationship.

In which case, I have re-stumbled upon a very important lesson of life…and advertising.


Ashley H.

Getting the Ball Rollin'

After my first full week at Liggett, I can honestly say I have already learned more about new developments in the tool and office supply industry than I have in my entire life. Liggett threw me right into work as a copywriter, making headlines for a construction client’s new product on the very first day. It was refreshing to get started right away and to have my opinion valued right off the bat.

Another thing I am realizing is just how much blogging is affecting the advertising world. It seems like instead of wasting time sending out surveys and asking peoples opinions around the office, you can do really high quality product and industry research by just looking through some of the millions of blogs that are out there. It gives a quick and relatively accurate representation of what the world thinks about every topic you can think of.

As nice as blog research is, nothing is like the real thing- and that is just what I got the chance to do this past Friday. My mentor, Mark, who is the director of Brand Voice at Liggett, Katie, the graphic design intern, and I went to do some top secret research for a potential new client. We walked around noticing what would be needed to make our client’s product the one that would jump off the shelves and into peoples’ carts. After the research, Mark took Katie and me to an authentic Polish restaurant to see the side of Cleveland you wouldn’t see if you weren’t a local. Being from Connecticut, I know about as much about Cleveland as I do quantum physics, so it was nice to see a little tour of some of the areas I had never seen before. Clearly Cleveland has a lot more to offer than one particular northeasterner would imagine. The Polish restaurant was fantastic, but Katie, who is at least 50% Polish chickened out, or should I say turkeyed out, and got a turkey sandwich instead of the authentic pierogies and other Polish delights. Sorry Katie, I told you this would show up in the blog.

But moving on, the first week at Liggett was exciting, with every day bringing something new to the table, and I look forward to the remainder of the internship. Already, it feels as though the seven weeks we have left will be over far too fast.

Dan F.
Copywriting Intern

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I would be remised to skip a formal introduction before I discuss my first day as a public relations intern at Liggett Stashower. My name is Marc Feher and I will be a senior this fall at The Ohio State University. I am a double major in journalism and political science with a minor in philosophy. I have interned at various nonprofits and news stations. I also write features for Uweekly (, a Columbus independent newspaper, on a free-lance basis.

Coming to a mid-sized firm seemed daunting, initially. But it’s the equivalent of going to a large university, the bigger the firm, the more opportunities to learn and network. I applied for an internship at LS because I was impressed with its case studies and the intern program structure. How many interns go on field trips? Not many. Also, the mentoring program shows just how serious LS takes developing interns into future professionals. Working one-on-one with a public relations expert allows me to hone my skills while increasing my knowledge of the industry.

On my first day, I jumped into action by creating client clip binders, making press kits and researching biotechnology conferences. Grabbing coffee was not on the agenda. Getting use to time sheets and the firm’s sheer size are the most difficult tasks that lay ahead. With that said, I am looking forward to a productive and challenging summer.

Marc F.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Two workdays down, thirty-seven left to look forward to. I already love this place. The Listerine in the bathroom was pretty exciting and the LS block of post-it notes is definitely going home with me on August 8th. After the first day, I bragged to my friends about the pool table, the Zen Room, and the location. Progressive field and Panini’s are just down the street. I also called my mother, gloating about how excited I am to be working at such an interesting agency with seven other college students.

We’ve gotten all of our training done now. Soon I can start entering real job codes into my timesheet as opposed to the 7.5 hours of “intrain” I've been acquiring daily. I’ve gotten familiar with Lotus Notes, the intranet, and the fancy phones. Every minute has offered something new, from corporate genie games to alphabetizing hundreds of papers. I got to update the monthly reports and use the financial software. I look forward to driving downtown and dodging the maze of poles in the parking garage to be here.

I work in the finance department. My mentor just had a baby and I have yet to meet her. However, Monica and Steve have kept me quite busy. I’ve learned so much already and I can’t wait to learn even more. I enjoy finance at Liggett because I can play with numbers all day, but there's a wildly creative side just down the hall. I actually have an “arts and craft box” at my apartment. My friends and I make t-shirts and picture frames for every occasion. So I do get a little jealous of the creative interns. They always seem to be doing something adventurous.

The general vibe in the office at Liggett is youthful, fresh, and involved. The employees are happy to be here. It’s a very welcoming environment. The other interns are awesome. We had our first intern meeting today and we pretty much figured out what we will be doing for our t-shirts and “fun-day Fridays.” However, that information is very confidential. I’m eager to spend my summer here.

Angela B.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Here we go....

Well I’m through my first day, and I can say it was a success because I was invited back to work on Tuesday. After about 8 hours on the second floor of the Halle Building, I can finally find my way to the bathroom and back without having to ask for directions.

I must admit I had no idea what to expect while I wandered around downtown at 7:30 in the morning since I arrived a little too early. However, I was relieved after meeting my fellow interns, and even more relieved when I began meeting the people here. Everyone I met was so nice and welcoming, which made it so easy to transition into the work environment. It’s always a nervous experience when entering into a new job because you don’t know what to expect, or more importantly, what’s expected of you. This nervousness disappeared throughout the day as I met more people and become more comfortable with my surroundings.

After a great lunch at the Lizard, I got straight to work. I was very pleased to find out my mentor played as much golf as I do, and this common thread made it easy to talk with him. My first job of the summer was to bind a marketing plan using a machine that seemed to be here since the 1970’s. Despite the age of the machine, I was able to complete the small task and still have time to spare to hear Tiger Woods won the U.S. Open … again.

I enjoyed my first day, and I think this is going to be a challenging but equally fun experience for myself and the other interns as well. I'm looking forward to the upcoming 8 weeks.

Scott A.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The 2008 Interns start on Monday

So we should have some new posts coming next week.