Monday, July 13, 2009
Mars Advertising Interview
I had an amazing opportunity to ‘talk shop’ with Stanley Stevens, an account executive at Mars Advertising. He manages many projects, but primarily works on the Campbell’s soup account. This was an awesomely amazing experience! Stanley was a down-to-earth, insightful guy with a lot of ‘real world’ information.
Some info on the Agency
Mars Advertising is a collaborative, team-based agency that focuses on “shopper marketing." Shopper marketing is an approach that works with brands, retails and shoppers with the end goal of understanding how the customer behaves in different forms and channels. Mars is focused on big picture thinking and works to truly understand a consumer's motivation. I was extremely surprised on how forward-thinking and insight-generated the shopper marketing approach is! I’ve enclosed a link that will offer more information on the Mars Advertising Company: http://www.hubmagazine.com/content/hub-top-12-0. Take a look, it's pretty neat!
I’ve taken a bunch of pictures of the office that can be accessed at this flikr link. ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/40389809@N07/?saved=1 ) Mr. Stevens was also awesome enough to provide pictures that he has taken. They can be accessed here. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/alfieyork/sets/72157612530566997/ )865523wedyhjbhli’upo\
The first thing I asked Stanley was how he specifically broke into the advertising field. Mr. Stevens found his position through a friend and has been a 'big fan' of the industry ever since. This is an excellent example of how opportunity can happen anywhere and when you least expect it. So those of you ‘killing yourself’, becoming depressed and crying over the lack of job-finding success, take that into consideration.
I also wanted to know how he felt Detroit’s job market differed from other cities. Stanley told me that there weren't as many opportunities here and most are related to the automobile industry. However, Detroit, much like Pittsburgh with the end of the steel industry, is working to find other outlets to build the city. The green movement is one that is catching on within the city and will work to offer new opportunities.
When I asked how he felt about the down economy he was very positive. It will filter out all of the 'bad' companies, leaving the most effective and best standing. An interesting fact: some of the most successful companies were built during recessions.
On finding a job, Stanly stressed the importance of selling yourself more than you feel you need to. It is also important to sell yourself differently to each person. Don’t forget to do your research and alter your resume accordingly. Find out what you have in common with the employer and stick it on your resume. On a more industry specific note, self promotional materials will help you stand out.
Be bold and take risks is another excellent piece of advice Stanley offered. Risks may not always work out, but when they do, it will be worth it.
Don’t be afraid to call the agency up and have a chat. This shows that you really want the specific position, and will do what it takes to get it.
Little things can make or break you... things like spelling and grammatical errors on resumes, thank-you notes and showing up on time. It's often the little mistakes that can detract from a great piece of work.
On the Resume
Put time into it! A resume is not something you can just slap together; Stanley and I both put over 40 hours into writing ours. A resume should only be one page and it is only supposed to show that you are capable for a position. Keep it fairly basic, straightforward and to the point; it’s the interview where you can really set yourself apart.
It may be a good idea to include a section that conveys your passions to the employer. This could be anything from your love of traveling to your life as an eagle scout. This will help you make personal connections with the employer.
Be optimistic! Your chances my be low but they will not improve by being negative. Be positive, persistent and never give up! “Have a healthy disregard for the impossible” is one of Stanley’s favorite quotes.
Don’t turn down any opportunities and remember that there are opportunities in any situation. As an entry level, you need to go above and beyond to impress whoever gave you the initial chance.
Finally, always keep you BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) in sight.
Thanks Stanley for your time and help! You are awesome!