After taking four marketing classes, Abby Rittenhouse found that her Advanced Advertising class took her learning to another level. Offering real-word insights, challenging projects and visits from local professionals, this Ad and Promo senior gained marketing skills that she began to use just weeks after the semester’s end.
This summer, Abby interns on the consumer marketing team for the National Geographic television network in Washington, D.C. She credits MKT 456 for getting her prepped and ready to work. During the semester, speakers regularly took over lectures and gave students a glimpse at the real world of marketing. Professionals from advertising agencies, businesses, radio stations and even school district public relations offices shared their experiences and advice acquired throughout their careers. One of Abby’s favorites was the young alumni panel where recent graduates answered questions and told their stories about post-graduate life.
At Nat Geo, Abby helps develop, manage and execute off-channel media campaigns. When National Geographic introduces a new TV show, her team creates a marketing strategy to promote the show by first identifying target markets and then by crafting a campaign to fit their findings. The plansbooks from Advanced Advertising proved to be very helpful in this. With these projects, students constructed an entire integrated marketing communication plan for a real Springfield client. Teams conducted research to launch the projects then followed through with strategy development and generating creative methods to accomplish planned tactics. Once campaigns were completed, clients could begin implementing ideas immediately. “With the plansbook, the main goal is to make sure all advertising aligns with your positioning statement. I have seen that first-hand with National Geographic,” says Abby.
Before her internship, Abby says she had never given much thought to marketing in the media industry, but after executing a marketing plan for a TV show first hand, she now understands the connection. Some of MKT 456’s material detailed best practices for various media outlets such as radio, print, social media and television. Abby claims learning about upfront and scatter buys and different television time segments gave her a clear advantage.
Within marketing, Abby’s strengths are strategy and research. She enjoys brainstorming concepts and ideas then guides the creative team to bring them to life. Catering advertising to specific target market preferences is where she most likes to contribute. “Marketing is a very collaborative world, so being able to work with others on projects is essential,” Abby says.
Abby’s office is located in the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C., which also serves as the headquarters for the company. They have 50 interns across the company in six different marketing departments. Abby is thrilled about having the opportunity to meet other college students both in similar and completely different industries. This is Abby’s first time in D.C. and she feels that exploring the city has been just as much of a learning experience as the internship. On her first day of work, she took the wrong train on the metro and ended up having to walk an extra mile. Since, she has learned the train system pretty well!
Advanced Advertising only opened Abby’s eyes to the potential of marketing and National Geographic has been able to show her a side of the business she didn’t realize existed. “I’m still not sure where I see myself in the marketing world. Between advertising agencies and companies themselves, there are so many possibilities and I’m still deciding what I like best.”