Business Strategy, Creativity, and One Exciting Future

November 04 2016
Category: Academics

This week's #‎SoaringToSuccess features Elizabeth Paolucci '17, who combined her business major and art minor for a perfect union during an internship at a full-service marketing agency.

Paolucci    Business Strategy, Creativity, and One Exciting Future

Let’s learn more from Elizabeth…

I spent my entire summer in a church, and I think I know what I want to do with my life now.  And no, it has nothing to do with religious services. 

I recently completed an internship at Overit, a full-service marketing agency in Albany, uniquely housed in a traditional gothic church.  I worked in account management, alongside amazing account managers who function as critical liaisons between clients and internal teams.  It only took a few weeks with them for my interest in building and maintaining client relationships to grow exponentially.  But, as I began working on accounts with diverse marketing needs, I became incredibly interested in what other departments were up to, too. In fact, one of the motion designers called me her “biggest fan” because I rarely passed her monitor without stopping for a second to obsess over the animated characters coming to life on her screen.

After meeting with every department head, I had the opportunity to shadow search-engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), public relations (PR), content, and development teams for a day each. It was interesting to see what a day looks like in some of Overit’s different departments, and I quickly learned how much one department’s work could inform another department’s next steps. Each week, I also attended multiple client and internal meetings, during which I really got a feel for how marketers work together to conceptualize ideas and problem solve. 

To help track project progress, I worked on several spreadsheets, even helping to assign budget hours.  However, the majority of my assignments were research-based, which taught me how important it is to know the history and current state of clients and their relevant industries.  I also learned how crucial it is to keep up with trends in the broader marketing world, as they change constantly.  Some other assignments I worked on included penning a strategic client brief, loading images and copy into content management systems for websites, brainstorming tagline ideas, and writing call-to-action statements.  I really enjoyed writing content because I could experiment with strategic and creative thinking to convey a particular brand voice.  I am more interested in branding now than I ever was before.

When I introduce myself as a business major and art minor, I am frequently met with looks of confusion, or a casual “interesting.” I suspect these responses originate from an assumption that business and art are completely different.  But with marketing, it takes a marriage of both strategic and creative substance, as well as plenty of creative problem solving, to make any campaign successful. I am grateful that my internship familiarized me with both the business and art aspects of marketing. The experience truly confirmed my desire to pursue a future in marketing and advertising.