One of seven recipients of a 2018 Charles H. Salisbury Summer International Internship Stipend, Tanner Poisson ’19 is working with the global media giant IPG Mediabrands, exploring “how a dynamic advertising and marketing agency functions from day to day, as well as seeing firsthand how an agency services notable clients like Coca Cola, Johnson & Johnson, and the Australian Government accounts.”
Based in Australia this summer as an intern at IPG’s subsidiary agency UM, Poisson has joined the partnerships team that interfaces with one of UM’s largest clients, Johnson & Johnson. Addressing a client brief — the industry term for “a task given to UM by a client,” Poisson explains — he will help develop “a solution with my fellow interns using advertising, marketing and communications strategies…and presenting that to the whole UM agency.”
Beyond client briefs, Poisson, a media and society and studio art double major, is exploring other facets of the creative process behind successful marketing campaigns, like “real idea/brainstorm sessions for clients like LEGO and Coca Cola,” where he has the chance “to contribute creative ideas to where their brand and products could have the most impact and be the most successful moving forward.” Meanwhile, he has participated in internal workshops and training sessions, attended presentations from industry leaders such as Facebook and BBC and traveled to Snapchat and Google headquarters in Sydney.
The breadth and depth of the internship program, Poisson says, reflects the company’s adaptive philosophy toward 21st century media. “IPG Mediabrands is dynamic by design,” he explains. “Media is constantly changing, and a dynamic environment like IPG fosters success. At UM they believe that better science, better art, equals better outcomes. Creative marketing driven by data and intelligent decisions is an environment I want to be a part of. After this internship I feel that I will be well prepared to enter the world of media, marketing and advertising.”
IPG is a global media holding company of Interpublic Group, one of the world’s largest advertising networks. Founded in 2007 to administer all of IPG’s global media related assets, the company now manages more than $37 million in marketing investments on behalf of its clients and employs more than 8,500 specialists in over 130 countries. HWS has built a relationship with the firm through Brian McMahon P’10, president and CEO of IPG’s holding Orion Worldwide.
As Poisson becomes acquainted with the culture of the company and the industry as a whole, he notes that “learning to be comfortable being uncomfortable in a foreign environment is only improving my skillset,” while working in the vibrant city of Sydney “also has its benefits. There are endless museums, beaches and wild habitats to visit — not to mention the rest of Australia! I am experiencing a new work environment and culture simultaneously.”
Created in 2007 by Honorary Trustee Charles H. Salisbury Jr. ’63, P’94, L.H.D.’08, the Salisbury Stipend is one of the most ambitious programs in the Colleges’ history. The program provides financial support for travel, lodging and expenses for students interested in pursuing an international internship experience in a location of the student’s choice. By supplementing classroom education with professional experience, students gain a practical understanding of the demands and rewards of future career opportunities as well as an opportunity to test their skills and realize their potential.