It’s a question I’ve heard once or twice before. After touring the agency in spring of my freshman year, I knew it was somewhere I wanted to be. And I didn’t hesitate to let people know.

I’m Rachael Silverstein, by the way—a word-loving ad major/English minor in her senior year. And I’m currently a copywriting intern at Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners. Landing the gig was somewhat of a crazy whirlwind. Despite being as obsessed with the agency as I was, it took three years and a semester abroad in Australia to really do anything about it.

My favorite Aussie professor required us for our last project of the semester to reach out to an agency and work on an actual brief. I told her all about my unrequited love for RTO+P, and she gave me a verbal kick in the butt and pushed me to get in touch with them. Out of the seven or eight creative directors I emailed, Steve O’Connell was the only one to respond.

I sent him this:

Email to Steve

And after a three-month email thread made up of forty-some messages, he sent me a brief for Planet Fitness. My art director and I poured our hearts and souls into the campaign we developed. It was alright. But I was so, so persistent that the poor guy brought me in for an interview (to make sure I wasn’t “an insane person”). Sure enough, he invited me to join the ranch.

It’s been over two months since I started at RTO+P, and it’s been one of the most valuable learning experiences I’ve been through. It was great dreaming about working there and brushing shoulders with their furry friends and eclectic lamp collection, but it’s even better being there—because it’s real. In these two months, I’ve worked on accounts including Under Armour, The Melting Pot, and Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation. Other notable achievements include being an extra in a client photo shoot and being asked to write a letter to Tom Hanks.

My time thus far at RTO+P has given me great experience, great confidence, and some pretty awesome stories.