Working Across the Pond: Tips on working with an International Brand

Hi! My name is Kamilah Bryant and I am currently a rising senior interning at Ogilvy Health remotely, as an account management intern for the summer of 2021.

Hi! My name is Kamilah Bryant and I am currently a rising senior interning at Ogilvy Health remotely, as an account management intern for the summer of 2021. This summer I was lucky enough to be able to intern on an international brand. Ogilvy Health has many locations around the world.  For this specific project the US team and UK team partnered together to work on a breast cancer medicine.

I was very excited and surprised when I found out I was going to be working on an international brand. On my first day, at my first meeting, I thought I might be in the wrong place. When everyone was introducing themselves they all had accents. I quickly found out that the brand was doing a global launch at the end of the year and partnering with Ogilvy offices around the world. Half of my coworkers were from the US including NY/NJ and California, half were from the UK and the client was in Spain.

Deadlines are always important, but they’re even more essential when you have someone else waiting to complete the work that you started for the day. The UK workday ends at 12 noon US EST so work is broken up by who can finish it in their time zone. For example, every evening I would make a hot sheet of items that needed to be completed the following day. A hot sheet is a list of items that need to be finished within the next few days, rather than a status sheet which is the full list of deliverables for a project. In the morning the UK team would go through the list and everything they were able to complete would be crossed off the list and then the US team would finish the list for the remainder of the day. A good tip is to try to make sure to schedule meetings when the time works out for both teams. The best frame is from 9 am – 11 am EST when it is 2 pm- 4 pm BST. That way it is the start of the day for the US team and not too late for the UK team. There are language differences between the two countries, especially in pharma. A way we combatted this in our team is to create a document of words with American English and British English so we had an understanding of both concepts. Also, we wrote all deliverables in British English to make sure it was consistent for the client.

Now that my internship is coming to an end, I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to work on an international brand and see how advertising agencies work around the world. I would not have traded this experience for anything. Hope those tips help and you get the chance to experience an international brand partnership! 

One comment

  1. Hi Kamilah, I absolutely loved reading about your time working with an international team! Before starting my internship, I never really thought about how companies work together even though they are across different time zones. Working with a company in the UK sounds like a little bit of a learning curve! Was learning to write in British English difficult? I’m sure it is a ton of slight changes you have to look out for. It sounds like a wonderful experience though, thanks for sharing!

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