Halfway to a Master’s From Newhouse: How Far We’ve Come

Halfway to a Master’s From Newhouse: How Far We’ve Come

Well I, believe, it all, is coming to an end
Oh well, I guess, we’re gonna pretend,
Let’s see how far we’ve come
Let’s see how far we’ve come

How Far We’ve Come – Matchbox Twenty

This song was played during my senior prom, to accompany a slideshow of photos taken throughout the year. I remember thinking about how cheesy the slideshow was but how appropriate this song was. It’s been popping up on my Spotify shuffle with increasing frequency and I think it’s the music gods trying to tell me something. This semester has been a blur, but looking back, we’ve accomplished so much and come so far.

As an advertising major, our biggest project of the semester was developing a media plan for Shock Top Belgian White Beer, and presenting it to representatives from their agency, MediaCom. A media plan essentially tells clients where to put their money to reach the best possible audience for a brand or product. It requires a lot of fancy software and a lot of in-depth research to make some cool graphs and charts. We crammed six weeks of intense work into a fifty page plan book, a twenty slide deck and a ten minute presentation to the clients. We came in to the semester knowing absolutely nothing about media or media buying, and soon we found ourselves arguing at 1 a.m. about impressions and reach. My classmates impress me every day, but I also impressed myself every now and then with how much I knew.

I love working on real brands; they don’t always go to client, but it’s still much more interesting than hypotheticals. We worked on repositioning L.L. Bean to appeal to a younger consumer, and even turned around a struggling advertising agency. We delved into primary research for the first time, conducting in-depth interviews to learn how people feel about food, cooking and trustworthiness of recipes for Campbell’s Kitchen — a recipe resource ecosystem utilizing the Campbell’s family of products. Even though all that work gets boiled down to just a few slides, it’s so satisfying to see what you’ve been working on come to life. After presenting our Campbell’s Kitchen research to representatives from their agency, we felt so proud of what we had done. Not only did we think our work was high caliber, we felt it was useful and relevant to the client. If there’s a greater compliment out there than the clients admitting they want to use your ideas, let me know.

Just updating my resume is making this semester feel real — I get to add all the skills I’ve gained, technical knowledge I’ve acquired and work samples to my online portfolio. And those lists are only getting longer. Like all the master’s students I’m excited for winter break so I can make up for lost hours of sleep, but cheers to being halfway done!

-Laurie Silverstein is a graduate student studying advertising

Laurie Silverstein

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