Elevated Blood Pressure & Elevated Work

From the moment I toured the 160/90 office back in December of 2022 I knew I wanted to work in this space one day. The open concept office, the gorgeous city views, and the lively office community entranced me from the minute I walked through the door. Little did I know, I would have the opportunity to work there sooner than I thought.

When I found out that 160/90 was offering an account management position for the summer of 2023, I jumped at it immediately. The company culture I had experienced in one day was enough for me to know that this was an internship I wanted to fight for.

At my tour back in December, I learned what mission drives the 160/90 team. 160/90 actually stands for an elevated blood pressure that is a reaction to something exciting or unexpected. This team strives to make elevated work that elicits real human reaction from audiences. The ultimate end goal of 160/90 is to form stronger human connections. These are all goals and purposes that I try and champion in my day to day life, so joining a team that already works with this purpose in mind felt like an easy fit.

The Philadelphia office of 160/90 primarily works with higher education institutions. Helping them market their schools to students, alumni, donors, staff, and a whole other sea of audiences. I was a bit tentative about working in the higher ed space as I don’t have a lot of traditional schooling on institutional marketing. Also, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be interested in it. Luckily after two weeks at my internship I have found it to be a pretty unique book of business to hold.

Colleges in a sense are their own little bubble of a world. They have their own campuses, restaurants, stores, communities, and brand. When you step on a college campus you’ll notice the striking switch between the regular world and the amount of space branded by the college. From flags, to buildings, to clothing items, to even the tiniest things you would never notice.

160/90 helps colleges create a strong brand and message for universities to incorporate across the various schools and campuses to help bring their bubble of a world together. They do this by first visiting the campus to get to the heart of what makes each school truly unique. They interview, research, and tour the school to then distill down one strategic insight that can help inspire our creative team. That is the step of the process I have joined 160/90 at for one of our clients.

There have been multiple revisions as 160/90 tries to pinpoint the insight that captures the essence of the school we are working with. It’s crazy to see how even the smallest words can completely alter how the insight can change and be perceived. I am excited because we are about to bring the entire team together to kick off the creative work that will be inspired by that insight.

As for tasks I have been doing on the day to day, I have been organizing gantt charts, which detail the timeline and progress of all the projects for one account. Additionally, I review the insights and creative briefs to make sure client feedback is being taken into consideration. I have also built some presentation decks that help showcase all the information my team has digested in a way that the rest of our team can quickly understand as the project begins to move forward.

It’s been a great first two weeks at 160/90, and I look forward to moving further along in the process with the schools in my book of business and starting my own capstone project with the rest of the interns.


  1. Hey Matthew, I really enjoyed reading about how your internship is going at 160/90. It was really insightful to learn about the clients they have and the work you do.

    I was also on the field trip for Advertising Club and I remember seeing how beautiful and welcoming the office is. You certainly are going to have an incredible experience and take away a lot of knowledge from your coworkers and clients.

    I am also interning at an advertising agency but it’s really cool to read about just how different our experiences are. The agency I am working at does not have any university/college clients that I have had the chance to work on. What you were saying, and I agree, is how impactful advertising is for these institutions. It truly can make or break someones decision to apply. With that much power obviously comes a lot of responsibility and it sounds like you’re learning a lot about how to navigate that.

    Something I also think you should include is how these clients can be so beneficial to people. These colleges educated people and in turn lead them to get better jobs and opportunities. No university could survive without any advertising because no one would know about it. It is also a way for these schools to advertise their scholarships to make college more financially achievable. While it is great to work on fun products, these clients can really change peoples lives.

    My question for you is how do different locations of these universities alter the advertising you all do for them? Obviously like a school in California would be different from a school in Philadelphia so how do you navigate that?

  2. Hey Matthew,

    It was so fascinating to read about your insights into working in institutional advertising and marketing. I definitely related to your concerns about working with such clients as many of the clients my firm works with are institutions (a handful of them also being education institutions). I certainly worried that I lacked the background necessary to work on these clients too as I felt much of my experience so far in classes and elsewhere was more focused on either product or service-based advertising. I do think it’s extremely beneficial for us to be able to work with clients like these to expand our experience and knowledge to their greatest potential. Another thing I’ve gathered throughout the last several weeks at my internship is that not every client I work on is going to be the most exciting, material-wise or creatively. I think that’s another great thing to learn due to how diverse an agency’s clientele can be.

    Best of luck with the remainder of your internship!

  3. Hi Matthew! I am so happy to hear that your internship at 160/90 is going well! I remember visiting the office with Temple Advertising Club and feeling the same way- the skyline, the activities, the energy was all amazing. It’s great that you were able to gain an additional level of experience in institutional marketing. I think that it’s so beneficial that you are going to have knowledge in multiple industries before graduating. Wishing you all the best!

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