New York AWNY Trip Part I

There are many fabrications surrounding the name: New York City. Whether it be the glamour, the business opportunities or certain catch phrases such as “the city that never sleeps” or the “city of dreams”, a couple of us from the College of Business were lucky enough to experience this beautiful city this past weekend. We got to tour some agencies while also getting the opportunity to ask extremely successful professionals questions of our own in relation to advertising and getting started in the industry in general. While on this trip, we also got to attend the Advertising Women of New York Career Conference (AWNY) at the Fashion Institute of Technology. While being here with the main purpose being business and to learn, it provided some interesting insight into the city life, the tough skin you have to live here, and the melting pot of culture you experience on a daily basis.


Above is the entire group the morning we left, bright eyed and waiting at the train station in Rocky Mount for the arrival of the train. Did I mention the train was a 9 hour ride?!

9 hours and a few naps later we were finally here! After checking into the hotel, unpacking, and dinner, a couple other people from our group and myself decided to hit the city and do some exploring.


As you can see, you can see why they call this the “city that never sleeps”. The hustle and bustle of the city never seems to die down throughout the night, with lights from the buildings illuminating everywhere you turn.


We got to pose with some pretty cool Super Hero’s in Times Square but didn’t realize we had to tip them until after we took the picture….yes we are obviously tourists. (Oops!)

The next day we had our agenda filled with conferences and agency meetings so we were up and at it early. Our first stop was M80 agency.



Speaker: Joe Quattrone, Vice President of M80

At M80, we had a presentation by Joe Quattrone on M80 as an agency as a whole, and also on social media. He provided us with helpful insight which included being cautious of mixing personal and professional life, remember to be open-minded with career goals, work on brands people care about, and most importantly, be part of the reason for which people care about the brands.


Joe incorporated some interesting and engaging things in his presentation that really made him relatable and iconic. One cool thing he did for our group was he had Sup Dogs giftcards eligible for us to win if we got his couple of trivia questions correct. Thanks Joe! 🙂


Exploring the different parts of M80.

Our next stop for the day was Dentsu America. I was particularly excited for this agency because they are the topic for my group project in my Advertising class I have with Dr. Tuten. We had 3 speakers at Dentsu: Rahul Sabris [Group Creative Director], Katie Gray [Associate Account Director] and Doug Fidoten [President]. All three providing different insight into getting your foot into the door, and about working at Dentsu and advertising in general.


The first speaker, Rahul covered the topic of creativity in advertising. He talked about the ability to take existing elements and see new relationship, and also how naturally, great campaigns have enemies. His 5 steps for producing ideas are:
0: Plead Ignorance
1.) Gather Raw Materials
2.) Digestion
3.) A change of scenery
4.) Inspiration
5.) The “morning after”—which means look at what you’ve written down the next morning and check to see if you still think your idea(s) are good. You may realize they are absolutely ridiculous….and that is okay.

While being entertaining and comical, he provided one quote that stuck with me: “ The moment you think you’re the sh**, you are sh**”.

The next speaker, Doug Fidoten who is the president of Dentsu America, spoke to us about storytelling as an artform in advertising. Storytelling has definitely made social media and advertising interesting again in this new day and age. It’s important to be able to convey an engaging message while having an appropriate identity paired with it. I’m sure you’ve heard the quote “People will seldom remember what you said, but will remember how you made them feel”. Doug conveyed that stories carry an emotional and connecting impact when done right. Doug also shared a pretty entertaining campaign done by Oscar Mayer called “The Great American Bacon Barter” in relation to storytelling through advertising. The link is listed below if you want to take a view 🙂

The last speaker, Katie, had some good tidbits of information that definitely related to our group with the majority of us getting ready to gradute. These points included: How to get a job, Create a career path, and live happily ever after.
• Work your connections [to gain more connections]
• Research
• Create a positive social footprint
• Tell me more about YOU
How to get a job
• Research
• Know your strengths
• Know when to say “no”
• Be gracious—be an eager sponge for knowledge
Weighing your options
• Do you want to work for a big or small agency?
• Do you want to work in a service agency or specialized?
• Would you prefer formal training programs with mentor pairings vs. not?
• How would you get along with your potential direct supervisor?

Figuring out your Career Path
• Know what you want…but always remain flexible
• Share your goals with your boss
• Find a mentor that is not on your direct team
• Be a handraiser—get involved and figure out what you’re passionate about

All the clients at Dentsu America created a level of approachability, helpfulness, and energy that stuck in your minds (mine at least) and I definitely took away a great amount of knowledge from their presentations.

The view from the 16th floor of Dentsu America, 360i

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