Job Shadow @ Alt Studios

This morning I got the opportunity to job shadow at Alt Studios, through some great connections I couldn’t have gotten outside of Drake.

After adding my marketing major this semester, I’ve been trying to take a look at the different routes marketers can take with their career path. I spoke with a market researcher, a brand manager, and a few different professors, and wanted to see what the creative side of marketing had to offer.

Alt Studios is an advertising agency in downtown Des Moines. They deal with integrated marketing solutions and plans for companies seeking to expand or redevelop their brands. I think that when I thought of ad agency, I thought of mostly designers. But today I got the chance to speak with a really cool marketing strategist about her role in the company.

Her career sounded like something I could definitely see myself doing. It involves a lot of communication- both with each individual client and with her creative team as well. It also involves a lot of strategy (hope this isn’t shocking to anyone) on how to make the brand better, by combining her own ideas and plans with that of the client and her creative director. Making a plan for a specific campaign would be so thrilling. You’re using PR and Marketing and Design and Interpersonal and Communication skills all at once.

I also got to speak with a designer and an art director about their roles. They mentioned that the design job in an ad agency wasn’t exactly what everyone thought. It was a lot of taking what the client gave you and reshaping it or editing that image, rather than creation from scratch. They also shared with me about the differences between corporate life and agency life, and which they preferred. In their opinions, corporate life was much more of 9-5 workdays, good benefits, job safety, set budgets, & set company roles. They then went on to say that while their jobs in an agency weren’t necessarily as steady (one week they could be swamped with projects and the next, nothing) and the benefits weren’t the same, they enjoyed the flexibility of this type of work environment.

Everything I gained from this job shadow will affect my future career choice. As of now, I still don’t know what I want. And from what I heard, not everyone has the same experience with corporate vs. agency. Who knows, maybe I actually love cubicle life and just haven’t figured that out yet! (it’s doubtful)

I also got some great advice on the importance of networking and how self-branding can help you stand out from the crowd when you go to apply for jobs.

I figured out that I need to figure out how I plan on combining my majors. I think I’ll look into how international companies do marketing, or maybe look into seeing if international ad agencies are a thing. Maybe I can work for a marketing firm somewhere in Latin America, or be the international marketing rep for a local company. I’ll figure it out eventually, probably.

It amazes me that it’s almost Christmas break. That means I have a little more than 3 semesters to figure out how I want to spend the rest of my life. That’s a little scary. But also kind of exciting.

Enjoy your Thanksgivings! xoxo

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