A Life Changing Trip

Late 2014 til early 2015 was one of the most interesting times of my life. I did things that I had never even dreamed that I would do. I was in college, completing projects for clients I chose, and clients I didn’t choose. It was a competitive environment where my classmates and I tried to create our best work in hopes that a client might choose it. Yes, to use for real, for real. 

On Labour Day weekend of 2014, I found myself in Toronto. Along with my friend and my sister, we were taking our once-in-a-lifetime chance (which surprisingly turned out to be the “first of many more”) to do something we had been waiting to do for a few years. We found ourselves beside the catwalk at the Rogers Centre watching one of our favourite bands, and later sleeping in a hotel that they had stayed in the year before.

Skipping forward to March 2015, I found myself and the rest of my program in New York City. Not being one for the city life, I found myself a bit miserable during the 4-day stay. But there were most definitely some highlights.

Each day, my professors had planned trips to multiple agencies. We visited large global agencies like DDB New York and BBDO New York, and smaller ones like BigBuzz. I took so much away from visiting and learning from these respectable agencies. Their offices were inspiring and designed to work well with their employees. And the employees – inspirational. Many of them were very young too. Seeing people that are not much older than me working in highly respectable and reputable agencies like the ones we visited was so interesting and motivating. They had mounds of information that they were willing to share with us. Coming from a small city like Ottawa, I guess you could say we didn’t really know what to expect from New York and agencies that had actually created some of our favourite ads. I can’t speak for my classmates, but they have given me an expectation for myself to work even harder and create great work. I can’t thank them enough for that.

There was one last agency that we visited that really stood out to me. They way they worked was so interesting and different from the other visits, that I can’t leave it out. sparks & honey is another agency we visited that not only gave us a tour, but they also let us sit in on one of their meetings, where they discuss things that are happening in the world as well as trends to watch.

And that’s what their agency thrives off of. Trends and culture. They have boards around their office, drowned in sticky notes with any trend that you could ever think of. They analyze these and use them to their advantage.

One of my professors told us about their app after we returned from the trip. It’s called now, next. Everyday, they analyze new trends and cultural shifts. And they assign different elements of culture to the trends. It’s an interesting and informative app that can really help with advertising and marketing, or any industry really that involves consumer behaviour. It really gives a great understanding of everything that is going on in the world.

New York was a wonderful and necessary experience that I’m glad I was able to be apart of. Even though I don’t like the hustle and bustle of big cities, and I’m not one for looking out my window to see yet another building, I had a great time visiting these insightful agencies. Oh, and watching a taping of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Maybe living in New York isn’t my cup of tea, but I’d certainly be open to remote job opportunities there for sure.

I finished off the rest of 2015 with more exciting memories that I would love to share in another post. But I will treasure the memories from these agency visits for a lifetime.

Do you know of any new and innovative agencies that are popping up in the world? Maybe you have a favourite? Thanks for reading, and let me know in the comments!

A Life Changing Trip