What I Learned Working at an Advertising Agency This Summer

With 1 hour left of my summer internship at BBR I thought it would be most appropriate to let some creative juices flow and write about what I’ve learned this past summer.

BBR employs some of the wittiest people I’ve met all of whom excel in their given discipline. My desk was situated in a space known as Space Command where our in-house new dad could be seen navigating the ins and outs of our advertising performance via social media and our two copywriters were hard at work providing edits and creating stellar content.

I was first motivated to apply at BBR because of this blog. After seeing how fun it was to write content and share a message with an audience it seemed like the perfect direction. In addition, after spending the year abroad in Europe where a huge portion of my classes dealt with marketing and management, I knew I needed to learn more about this side of business!

To my surprise, my first week at the internship I quickly learned that there is quite a large difference between marketing and advertising. Marketing is a huge umbrella with several categories that fall beneath it, for example, if you’re familiar with the marketing mix: product, price, place, and promotion, you could imagine how broad of a term marketing can become. Advertising is just one of the many aspects of marketing which falls within the promotion category.

Naturally, I’m a pretty talkative person and prior to my experience I expected an ad agency to just be a bunch of people sitting on bean bags in a circle throwing around ideas….(they actually have a bean bag room). Despite my expectations of how it would be working at an agency, I found my experience to be a good balance of work and play.

Concerning the services that an advertising agency provides, I got to see the behind the scenes of all the spam mail in your inbox, the minds behind your favorite commercials, and the geniuses behind some of the best brands. Mostly, I became aware of how much brands invest to know about their consumers and how to best communicate and serve them. It’s crazy how much work and effort that goes behind the facebook post in your newsfeed, or that beautiful full-page ad you see as you flip through magazines.

Not all products and services are the same, but almost all follow the same marketing and sales patterns. And for those businesses that take the time to build their brand, customers are far more likely to trend from simple awareness to outright advocacy. Follow each step to understand the different stages of the sales cycle.


On an operations perspective, I got to see different ways of internal communication and data sharing at work. I learned about great online resources to assist with research. I observed the importance of sticking to a budget when working on projects and how time literally is money.

As for what I did during my internship, I got to spend a majority of my time doing research and assisting the insights team.

Working on assigned research tasks allowed me to learn something new everyday and I had some of the best mentors and resources at my disposable.

I learned a lot of new methods and concepts that I could directly apply to my foundation of business knowledge, and not to mention how much I was able to broaden my marketing and advertising vocabulary.

Landing Page: the section of a website accessed by clicking a hyperlink on another web page, typically the website’s home page.

SEO : is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results. Think keywords and backlinks, relevant search content.

Bounce Rate : the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.

Click-Through-Rate : is the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page, email, or advertisement. It is commonly used to measure the success of an online advertising campaign for a particular website as well as the effectiveness of email campaigns.

CPM : Cost per thousand impressions for the price of advertising

Impressions: refers to the point in which an ad is viewed once by a visitor, or displayed once on a web page

Klout: social media influence, derived from the name of a website that could provide you with a score of how much of an influence your profiles were

Content Marketing : a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services (AKA: “Download Our FREE Guide”)

Finally, I’d say that one of my biggest challenges was that because my tasks were usually big ideas that I had to narrow down into a summary or main points, instead of relying so much on other people to tell me what to do I had to learn how to operate on my own and use my judgement to answer my own questions at times when people were busy. It was great practice and built lots of confidence.

If anything, working at BBR, exposed me to all the things I want to learn more about and gave me a better perspective of where I’d like to go career wise and what my strengths and weaknesses are. As I enter my final year of my undergraduate studies I’ve had a chance to see and experience how intertwined all the different areas of business are, specifically, I’ve gotten to see how symbiotic the relationship is between marketing and economics, and the overlapses just keep blurring the line. I’m excited for the future!

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