Small agency, big responsibility

What’s the saying? “Finding a job is a full-time job.” Sorry to spit clichés, but it seems the same can be applied to internships. I worked my tail off just to get an internship, an UNPAID internship at that. It’s my future, so obviously a lot of thought went into the process. I began by deciding if I would prefer the rigid structure and program of a large advertising agency, or a loose apprenticeship like those oft found at smaller firms. Turned out the pickings were too slim for me to really be picky.

I got a small firm.

Which actually has turned out great. Working in a small agency is limiting in some ways, but MilkBoy Communications has really allowed me to explore myself. I’ve heard ad profs say that you’ve gotta be a multi-practitioner in today’s advertising industry. Now I know those academics actually know what they’re talking about (mostly).

Those academics taught me (oh yeah – I’m Brad, copywriting major, graduating Fall 2011, whoop!) how to write copy. They taught the old school fundamentals. They teach for big agencies. Once I snuggled into MilkBoy, I realized classical copywriting gigs were few and far between here. I wrote a radio spot here, worked on a billboard there. Social media work has been prominent, as expected. I’ve completed my fair share of blogs (ahem, this one included). While these outlets have allowed my writing to shine, it’s been my adaptability that has proven most valuable.

Adaptability is taking on web design work for the firm’s biggest client (when you have ZERO web experience). Adaptability is learning how to network yourself (while standing in the presence of a James Beard Award winning chef trying to initiate small talk). Adaptability is being presented a problem and finding a solution.

Yeah, sometimes it seemed like the problems were upper-level Calculus and I hardly knew Algebra (ha, I hardly do know algebra). The important thing is figuring it out, eventually. That’s the rewarding part too. That singular moment of realization is so incredibly addicting that I keep going back to the problems dealer — that’d be my creative director, Craig.

I’m Brad, and I’m a small agency addict.


  1. Hey Brad,
    It sounds like after all of your hard work you found an agency suited for your needs. You mentioned that you wrote a radio ad. How many drafts did you submit in order for your boss to approve? Was it used or at least some of your ides used? I am a Copywriting major at Temple too and am also graduatuating this Spring. However, my internship is in Account Management, because I was also interested in this side. I guess I want to know how often you are writing copy. I hear about the horror stories of submitting ideas after ideas and they are just turned down everytime; which I guess is just part of learning. What’s your experience like so far in regards to this?

  2. Well, I wrote a first draft that was really off-the-wall involving Ryan Madson speaking on-air with his mouth stuffed of hoagie. That got my creative director’s attention, but he did ask for a second draft that was straight-announcer copy so that the client would have options. The client went the “smart” way and picked the announcer copy, but either way I’m told it ran. So that was cool. Working on a billboard that’s on 76 West past 30th Street Station was awesome, just seeing your work out in public (actually haven’t seen that one yet, just went up on the 1st). Small agencies have more chance at contribution I guess.

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