A double-major in international relations and French and Francophone studies, Elizabeth “Bess” Oliver ’18 has “always had a passion for the interactions of different cultures and the notion of global citizenship.” As a recipient of the 2018 Charles H. Salisbury Summer International Internship Stipend, Oliver is exploring those cultural crossroads as a partnerships intern IPG Mediabrands in Sydney, Australia this summer.
“I was initially attracted to the Salisbury Award because of its emphasis on international experience,” says Oliver, who studied abroad in Dakar, Senegal. While in Senegal, she interned with ASI Senegal, a communications group where she helped develop the online presence of a local nongovernmental organization, Jeunesse et Developpement.
During that internship, Oliver “was forced to adapt quickly to a workplace culture that was very different…The tools I learned to use to navigate this new world became highly transferrable,” she recalls, and helped prepare her for her work at IPG, a global media holding company of Interpublic Group, one of the world’s largest advertising networks.
Assigned to the IPG subsidiary Universal McCann, Oliver has been “working on a team that runs campaigns for the New South Wales Government. We do advertising for clients like the local zoo, a technical university called TAFE, and Tomorrow Sydney, which runs awareness campaigns alerting the public as to when and where construction will be taking place.”
Immersed in local institutions and daily life from this perspective, she says that “Sydney has been an incredibly welcoming environment and [offered] a wealth of information from which to learn.”
Founded in 2007, IPG 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 this summer’s internship progresses, Oliver hopes “to do more work with Identity, a department within IPG Mediabrands that works with multicultural campaigns. They are a small but rapidly growing team that tailors advertising to minority groups and languages.”
She also hopes to use her time at IPG to explore what talent acquisition and recruiting looks like at a large company. “Internal talent acquisition is what keeps the company operating at such a high level of service,” she explains. “I’d love to learn exactly how that process works.”
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.