When Kirsten Flanik, president and CEO of BBDO New York, spoke during an Overby Center presentation last year, she mentioned that the company was interested in interviewing more University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media students.
Flanik brought Oliva Dames, vice president and director of agency marketing for BBDO New York, who is a 2017 UM graduate. Dames earned a degree in business/commerce with minors in marketing and French.
Gulfport native Thomas Lee was in that audience, and his story proves that putting yourself out there sometimes pays off.
“Following the conclusion of the event, I walked up to thank both of them and handed both of them my resume,” said Lee, a UM graduate student. He said, “I really enjoyed your presentation and would love to intern with you all if you have any positions available.’
“We stayed in touch after the event. I sent a lot of emails throughout the fall and spring to both of them just trying to keep myself at the top of their minds. Kirsten encouraged me to apply for the internship program. I applied and landed the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Flanik and Dames spoke about the global presence of BBDO Worldwide. BBDO (short for Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborn, a merger between two companies) is one of the largest advertising agency networks in the world with more than 15,000 people in 289 agencies across 81 countries.
Flanik said she’s had to bring in new voices, like Dames, to keep up with changing times. But she’s not the only UM grad working for the company.
Other UM School of Journalism and New Media grads who have worked for BBDO, according to LinkedIn, include Samantha Rippon, Abbie DeLozier, Jasmine Meredith, Mallary Goad, Micah Crick and Lee.
Lee, a UM grad who earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with an emphasis in International Conflict and Cooperation and Arabic with a minor in Spanish, said he decided to shift to IMC for graduate studies because he has always had a passion for language, culture, and graphic design. He puts those skills to use at BBDO.
Greenwood native Micah Crick, 22, started working remotely as an account management intern at BBDO Atlanta before moving there to continue working for the company.
“I found the job by deciding I wanted to work for one of BBDO’s offices,” said Crick, who was originally assigned to an account management team working on competitive research and providing support before she was promoted to business affairs coordinator. Now, she assists business managers in the Business Affairs Department.
The recent UM graduate who studied integrated marketing communications with a specialization in visual design and a minor in general business said she has also learned that putting herself out there can be rewarding.
Crick felt like she wasn’t involved in campus activities until her senior year of college. Then, she decided to say “yes” to everything she could. That led to new opportunities, including work with BBDO.
Crick became the visuals editor for The Daily Mississippian her senior year, sold advertising for HottyToddy.com, was involved with the National Student Advertising Competition with Instructional Associate Professor Chris Sparks’ campaign class, and she interned for Parents of College Students/662 Marketing.
Lee, who spent the summer working with BBDO as an account intern in New York City, said his best advice to other journalism and IMC students is to “always have an open mind and apply, apply, apply.”
“I went on a massive LinkedIn internship hunt and got hundreds of rejection emails, but it’s important to not get discouraged,” he said. “ . . . I truly believe that I would not have been in this position if I did not put myself out there – you never know what can happen if you do.”
This story was written by LaReeca Rucker.