Unsuspecting Student Shadows at ADwërks

This past week Stuart Augustine, a Senior Advertising Major at the University of South Dakota (USD), chose to spend his spring break job-shadowing at ADwërks. What a weirdo! But seriously, we think that’s pretty cool. It shows a lot of ambition and passion for his future career. So here’s what Stuart had to say about his experience:

When Jim Mathis said that I could shadow at ADwërks for a few days, my first thought was, “If I get to sit in on a meeting with a client, it will be worth it!” My friend thought I was crazy for spending my spring break doing something educational. But considering the amount that I learned this past week, I almost feel like I ripped off ADwërks. (Besides, I jacked like four Dr. Pepper’s on the way out. Kidding!)

My first ten minutes were filled with mixed emotions such as, “I could be sleeping,” or “What if they hate me?” I started thinking that this could get bad, fast. After getting to meet the ADwërkers and seeing the chemistry between them, I learned more in a couple of meetings and conference calls then I did during my last two semesters. Right from the start I noticed my favorite thing about advertising – the blending of ideas between the needs of clients and the agency’s vision.

To compare this experience to school, day-to-day meetings were like class time, and the rest of the day was to handle business! Although I knew there were many things that had to be done by people who knew what was going, Andrew did a tremendous job of finding tasks for me to do that still contributed value to the projects and the team. Whether it was proofing a website or helping with a radio spot, I think there was a great balance between learning and real work experience. Here are a few things I’ll take with me…

  • If you don’t own a sweater vest, you don’t own your soul.
  • You think gold’s expensive? Try buying words on a page!
  • It’s not just in commercials; companies really do have people video conferencing in from China!
  • An ADwërks branded water bottle and coffee thermos. (I’m holding Jim to that.)

To any future employee or intern that is fortunate enough to work for ADwërks – if you can’t enjoy yourself while working with these fine people, I’m afraid you are not as cool as you think you are.

Thank you to Leigh, Carol, Natalie, Elizabeth, Andrew, Mike, Kara, and of course Sara and Heather- the two ADwërkers who I was only able to meet via Skype, since they work remotely in Chicago and Shanghai. I think I’m leaving someone out… Yes! Also, special thanks to Jim Mathis for giving me the time of day after he spoke to my class, and giving me this opportunity. I simply asked to shadow at the agency, but feel I’ve gained an irreplaceable experience that I can only build upon in the future.

– Stuart Augustine

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