To prepare for the trip:
Everyone is different. Some will be “just learning”. Others will be looking for a job or internship. Either way, here’s what you should be doing to prepare:
1. Research the firms you will visit and prepare questions that are important to you. You will get the most out of the trip if you have an understanding of where you are going. The professionals are very willing to answer your questions and show you things you want to see, but they don’t know what you want until you ask!
2. Arrange your absence with your professors. You are still responsible for all course requirements. An “excuse” memo is located here.
3. Dress professionally. Even if you are not networking, you are representing yourself and the university. Look good, but be comfortable. There will be a good amount of walking.
4. Have some questions ready to ask. Here are a few to get you started:
- What did you study in college?
- What has been the scariest part about working for an advertising agency?
- What has been the most fun part about working for an ad agency?
- Which department is the best to work for at an ad agency?
- If I have a (fill in the blank) major, which department would I most likely work in?
- Do you like your job? Why?
5. Update your resume and bring multiple copies. Not all of you are networking, but for those of you who are looking for an internship, or perhaps a job, this is an excellent opportunity to speak with firms that may be hiring.
During the trip:
- Smile and thank your company hosts and the lunch professionals.
- Ask questions.
- Ask for business cards and collect company information.
- Don’t “wing it”! This is always a dead giveaway that you are not prepared!
After the trip:
Send thank you notes to the people you met. This is an opportunity for you to put your name in front of professionals one more time! Also, they have taken time out of their schedules to help you, so it is a common, professional courtesy to thank them for their time.