Global Media & Communications Seminar: Proper Hamburgers, London’s film industry, and Behind the Scenes of Advertising

Today started with our last lecture from LSE faculty. As a strong finish to our lecture series at LSE, this morning we heard from Dr. Nick Anstead, Lecturer and Program Director of LSE’s MSc in Politics and Communication. He discussed modern changes and the emergence of technology in political communications. While I normally wouldn’t consider myself a politics nut, I was really drawn in to Dr. Anstead’s discussion about the internet’s role in re-shaping how elections are run in all parts of the world. I had never even thought about how campaigns ran before e-mail and internet polling, or how much those “mundane internet tools” (as Dr. Anstead called them) could impact a democratic election.

ByronAfter the lecture, we were off to lunch at Byron, a restaurant bearing the slogan “Proper Hamburgers.” While hamburgers are by no means British cuisine, it was cool to see London’s take on an American specialty. I was also really excited we were going to a burger joint since I hadn’t eaten a real hamburger in about seven years (I recently ended a very long stint as a vegetarian).

Upon properly devouring my burger, we left Byron for Universal Pictures. As someone aspiring to work in the film industry, it was eye-opening to learn about the marketing and promotions process that films go through from pre-production to theatrical release. By observing a number of case studies and promotional materials (the details of which are confidential…sorry!), our whole group learned about different aspects of film marketing, such as publicity, creative advertising, and research.

Once Universal’s presentation was finished, Ogilvy & Mather was up next on our itinerary. We took the tube (that’s London’s subway/metro) to Canary Wharf, a jaunt outside of the areas of London we’d previously seen. There we heard from Ogilvy’s many individuals in different departments, including Cheryl Giovannoni, CEO; Gerry Human, Chief Creative Officer; Gareth Ellis in the strategy department; Thea Slevin in production; and Kate Waugh in account management. We were able to learn the behind-the-scenes aspects of advertising and hear firsthand experiences from professionals within the creative industry. We also saw a number of Ogilvy’s award-winning spots and found out how changing technologies and media have affected advertising.

As a great end to our day, Working Title Films was able to provide our group with tickets to Billy Elliot, the award-winning West End musical. Billy ElliottI’m a huge musical theater fan, so I couldn’t have been more excited for this last-minute addition to our agenda. Billy Elliot was completely fantastic, and the dancing was phenomenal. I couldn’t believe that a pre-teen (the boy playing the title role of Billy) could be such a skilled dancer, as well as a great singer and actor. When I was his age, I was in the ensemble of Seussical…if only I’d taken dance lessons.


Aimee Hechler is a Junior majoring in Radio/TV/Film. She is one of 20 student participants in the SoC’s Global Media & Communication Seminar (GMCS).

SoConnect Weekly Round-up: 3/24-3/28

New Internships:

  • Leo Burnett- 2014 Summer Internships, Apply by 3/31!
  • Breckenridge Film Festival- Theater/Operations, Development/Marketing, Events, & Festival Interns
  • Carol Fox and Associates- Public Relations & Marketing Intern
  • Evanston Township High School- Digital Media Intern
  • Autism Home Support- Social Media & Video Intern
  • Chicago Fringe Festival- Stage Management & Technical Internships

New Freelance/Full-Time Postings:

  • Banner Collective- Motion Graphics Editor
  • The ABIS Group- Assistant News Editor (Visit them at the 2014 Career Fair on April 16th)
  • Spectrum Communications & Consulting, Inc- Internet Marketing Specialist (Visit them at the 2014 Career Fair on April 16th)

Current Highlights:

  • LA: Sony Music Entertainment- Columbia Big Red Summer Internship, Apply by 3/31
  • NYC: Sony Music Entertainment- Columbia Big Red Summer Internship, Apply by 3/31
  • Chicago: Leo Burnett- 2014 Summer Internships, Apply by 3/31!
  • Other Market: PlayPenn- Development/Playwriting Internship (Philadelphia, PA), Apply by 4/1

Log into SoConnect to apply for these internship, freelance, and full-time opportunities & more!

Global Media & Communications Seminar: The Cinema Takes Center Stage

After two days of focusing on subjects like digital advertising, branding, and consulting, Wednesday was built around one of the main generators of media content: the film industry!

LSE Lecture- Terhi RantanenOur day began with another seminar at the London School of Economics, where Professor Terhi Rantanen explained the key facets and consequences of cultural globalization.  Following the lecture, we were fortunate enough to be paid a visit by Northwestern’s very own Thomas Hoegh.  Mr. Hoegh is a spectacularly successful film and theatre director Thomas Hoegh based out of London, and the founder of Arts Alliance (no relation to our campus theater board), an entertainment investment company, as well as Arts Alliance Media, which deals with digital film distribution.  Hearing Mr. Hoegh’s professional origin story, and his innovative ideas for dealing with seemingly insurmountable media challenges like filling cinemas during their mostly empty daytimes to maximize their profits, was inspiring.  He was able to display a unique combination of artistic and entrepreneurial savvy that is key to advancing in media, and we learned a lot from him.

Our afternoon was mostly free, so we all made the most of our time in our own ways. My friend Vicki and I took the Tube to Notting Hill to stroll, shop, and eat.  The area was stunning, with a distinct mixture of bargain shops, high-end stores, cafes, and upscale family homes.  As great as checking off locations on the tourist bucket list is, I’ve realized that an equally important way to understand London is to just hit the streets and allow yourself to get lost in neighborhoods.  And that’s exactly what we did.

Working Title FilmsAt four o’clock, it was time for today’s site visit, this time to the famed Working Title Films.  The production company behind such iconic works as “Love, Actually,” “Billy Elliot,” “Fargo,” and a host of other smart, heartfelt comedies and dramas, the site was an incredibly impressive one.  We heard from a range of Working Title employees such as Eric Feller, Co-Chairman; Amelia Granger, Alison Carpenter, and Lucas Webb in development; James Grant in legal; Sarah Jane Wright and Michelle Wright in production; and Susan Butterly in marketing.  In talking with these individuals, were able to see how passionate and creative they all were.  They all had fantastic advice for breaking into their respective specialty fields, and it was amazing seeing how intricately involved they all are in bringing these huge films to screens and to a worldwide audience.

The evening concluded with a wonderful dinner at Thomas Hoegh’s home, where drinks and food were provided for us and for actual adults working in the film and media industries.  The party was very generous, and was a great opportunity to just relax and enjoy each others’ company after a long day of learning, sightseeing, and professional exploration.  The days in London just keep getting better, and I can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store!

Ryan Kearney is a Junior majoring in Communication Studies. He is one of 20 student participants in the SoC’s Global Media & Communication Seminar (GMCS).

Global Media & Communications Seminar: Reinforcing Our Passions for Communications

It’s day four of the GMCS in London and the agenda is getting more and more exciting!

LSE Lecture- Nick CouldryWe started with an interesting lecture from LSE faculty member Nick Couldry about the myths of media institutions. The lecture was very engaging and connected to current communication scenarios.

Following the lecture, we went to lunch.  As an international student participating in GMCS, this provides not only an opportunity to network with new people and to learn about relevant media & communications trends, but also to understand more about other cultures and to try new food. Today was no exception. The group enjoyed lunch at Zizzi, an Italian restaurant where the food was incredibly delicious. Over lunch, I had a great conversation with some senior students about the current legal and ethical issues in social media.

With a happy tummy and our hearts content, we moved to the next activity in the agenda; a site visit to Starcom MediaVest (SMG).Starcom Presentation SoC alum and Global Business Director at SMG, Kristen Kelly, hosted our group in their London office. In addition to providing an overview of SMG and the work they do, she coordinated and moderated a panel consisting of eight professionals across the organization. In addition to sharing information about the work they do at SMG and the trends for the marketing & communications fields, they also shared their personal experiences as ex-pats. The experience was amazing and really reinforced my passion for communication.Starcom panel

Next up was Deloitte Consulting. The visit started with Gillian Bishop from their PR division. After providing us with an overview of how an in-house PR team works, she broke is into small groups to take part in a 15-minute case exercise. We then met with Gaurav Bhatnagar from Deloitte’s Strategy, Technology, Media, and Telecomm team.  He provided us with a comprehensive overview of the UK television industry, walking us through a case involving the BBC.

The day included a great mix of education and real world experiences. It was especially interesting to see how different the organizational culture was between Deloitte and Starcom.

Thanks SoC for this great opportunity! Looking forward to participating in the rest of GMCS!

Deloitte PresentationDeloitte Case Study- Students working


















Alejandro Castaño is receiving his MS in Communication through the SoC’s MSC program. He is one of 20 student participants in the SoC’s Global Media & Communication Seminar (GMCS).


Global Media & Communications Seminar: The Digital Era of London

Monday of GMCS:

Lecture with Charlie BecketAlthough we’ve been in London since Saturday, today was the first day we had the opportunity to meet with industry professionals and scholars throughout the field of Global Media & Communications. Our day started off with a lecture from Professor Charlie Beckett. He serves as the Director of Polis and the Head of the LSE’s Department of Media & Communications. In his lecture, he spoke about London as a media city in the digital era.

We then had two employer site visits scheduled for the day – Native London and Google. Native London is a London-based agency, specializing in social brand communications, with clients in the UK, New York, Berlin, Stockholm, and Singapore. They provide a variety of services, ranging from strategic and creative services, evolved PR for digital, community engagement, and social events management. Unfortunately, we were unable to meet with the co-founder, as planned, due to an emergency on their end, however she was kind enough to share her presentation with the group, as well as make her and her team available for any questions via email and Google hangouts!

Speaking of Google, our next site visit was to Google’s UK office, my favorite part of the day. Group at Google The anticipation was extended as we were one by one given name tags and waited for the lift to carry us to Google’s floors. When the lift doors opened, we were immediately greeted by glass doors concealing a wall completely covered in large letters reading “Google.” Upon entering the Google offices we were escorted to one of the infamous snack stations, in which we were encouraged to hydrate with one of the many options presented in glass door fridges and wooden containers.

We then moved into one of Google’s conference rooms for a presentation. The most interesting part about the presentation was comparing descriptions of EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa offices) to that of tales I have been told concerning offices in the US. Google Presentation It was also cool to see video footage on employee testimonies from countries like Poland. It was very reassuring to see that the character of Googlers was similar despite the country. After answering all of our questions and handing out tons of cool prizes, we were broken into small groups and given a tour of the offices. We traveled through bird themed rooms and passed by telephone booth’s, labeled “Googleboxes.” We had the opportunity to manipulate a GPS with super tall screens and sit in a Google colored go cart! This visit was both interactive and informative, having the opportunity to visit a company in which changed the way we see the World Wide Web today. I don’t think it was only interesting to a tech enthusiast like me, especially because Google has such a large influence on our everyday life.

And I can’t forget to mention lunch! Today, the group visited Dishoom, an Indian restaurant in London. I had never had Indian food, but today, today I would be adventurous. I strategically sat next to friends who loved Indian food, hoping that they would teach me their ways. And so they did. The food was absolutely delicious! From naan to lamb and fried okra, I tried everything that was brought to our table. I dipped, spread, and cut food in ways I had never done before! Today was great, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week will hold for us!

Ashley at India Restaurant


Ashley Falcon is a Junior majoring in Communication Studies. She is one of 20 student participants in the SoC’s Global Media & Communication Seminar (GMCS).


Global Media & Communications Seminar: Great Start to the Week!

GMCS Reception

After almost three months of anticipating our trip to London for the 2014 Global Media and Communication Seminar (GMCS), we’re finally here! It’s my first time travelling outside of North America, so I’m very excited to be here with my classmates from the School of Communication. This past weekend was action-packed, and I’m looking forward to sharing some of my experiences with you in this blog post.

We arrived at Heathrow around 11:00am on Saturday morning, and the hotel a few hours later. After settling into our rooms, we all met for dinner at Browns  and then headed to the Wyndham Theatre to see The Weir. I had been looking forward to the play all day, as I had read excellent reviews while procrastinating during finals week, and was not disappointed. Set in an Irish bar, The Weir features Valerie, an out-of-towner, and four local men as they share the moments that shaped their lives. After a long day of traveling, it was tempting to close our eyes once the lights went down, but we persevered and in return saw an amazing play.


We had a free afternoon on Sunday, so four of us went on a walking street art tour in Shoreditch, a district in London’s East End. In addition to a few pieces by Banksy, our ridiculously knowledgeable guide, Daphne, gave us a brief history of the area, explained the difference between graffiti and street art, and elaborated on London’s street art “scene.” She pointed out works by Stik, C215, Swoon, Pure Evil, Eine, Shepard Fairey (who designed the Barack Obama “Hope” posters), Christiaan Nagel, and many others. The tour definitely gave me a new appreciation for the medium, and exposed us to a unique part of London. My favorite street artist was Ben Murphy, who creates gorgeous pieces with electrical tape.

street art tour- resized

After the tour, the four of us walked around the Brick Lane market for a bit and then returned to the hotel to get ready for the GMCS opening reception, hosted by the Director of the London School of Economics (LSE), Craig Calhoun. Also on-hand to welcome us from Northwestern University were President Schapiro and Dean O’Keefe. Afterwards, a group of us visited a localpub for dinner. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week has in store—this weekend flew by!

Brittany Waddell is a Senior majoring in Radio/TV/Film. She is one of 20 student participants in the SoC’s Global Media & Communication Seminar (GMCS).

SoConnect Weekly Round-up: 3/17-3/21

New Internships:

  • Sony Music Entertainment- Columbia Big Red Summer Internship, Apply by 3/31
  • Violet Media- Development and Production Internship
  • Partizan Entertainment- Development Internship

Current Highlights:

  • LA: MGM Studios- TV Development/Production Internship
  • NYC: Bret Adams, Ltd- Literary/Theatre Intern- Summer
  • Chicago: Mudlark Theater Organization- Education & Media Intern- Summer 2014
  • Other Market: ‘stache media (RED Distribution)- ‘stache media/SONY Music Internship

Log into SoConnect to apply for these internship, freelance, and full-time opportunities & more!

Adventures of an EPICS Intern: Finding a Path


One of the biggest fears I had coming into my junior year of college was figuring out my future career goals and path. I knew I was only one step away from having to face the real world and the impending job-search process. I always had a vague idea of wanting to work in marketing, because of its constantly-changing nature, need for creativity, and close tie to culture and trends. However, the biggest problem was that I wasn’t sure which of the different types of sectors within marketing that I would be most interested in, and I didn’t know what an actual job in the marketing industry would entail. Therefore, I had really hoped that my internship at Starcom would give me a better understanding of the industry and give me a sense of direction in terms of my career path.

I am finally wrapping up my last week at Starcom, and looking back, I have learned so much while being on the Microsoft team. If I felt like an outsider coming in to observe the first few weeks, now I feel like a part of the team. It is incredible how much inside knowledge I was able to gain about the industry and the type of work they do. It took me a while to get used to the company dynamics, and register all the acronyms and industry jargon in my brain, but now I feel comfortable with most of them, and also comfortable enough to ask anyone for help if I am lost. The whole process was like getting to learn a new language. At first, I understood nothing and everything in my mind was guesswork, but slowly over time I acquired more vocabulary and fluency in not only the industry jargon but also in the everyday routines, tasks, and activities at the company.

Starcom Office

During my internship at Starcom, I have gained a lot of insight and guidance on my future career goals. I realized that I really enjoy working on the digital side of marketing because of its constantly changing nature and because it relates to the academic studies I have been gaining at Northwestern. A lot of what we talk about in the classroom regarding the new media landscape and culture, how it affects social interactions, societal implications, and future of technology can be tied back to the idea of how the advertising agency is using the digital platform to push towards innovative ways to send out a brand’s message. I think this realm of marketing is a place where I can bridge the gap between academic learning and real world learning. In order to think critically about the changing media landscape, I have found that the theories and insights I have gained in the classroom have aided me a lot. I realized the importance of university education where we can delve deep into specific topics and are asked to think and assess the subject critically in the most forward thinking, and free point of view. And I think Starcom does a good job keeping people up to date and pushing their employees to think bigger and to be more innovative. Every once in a while the team holds workshops that range from understanding the target audience group, listening to the newest research in the field to brainstorm sessions. Apart from all the practical knowledge, I have also acquired a rich knowledge of the workplace environment and business manners. I think this experience has given me a little more confidence in my ability to adapt to a business environment for future opportunities.

Working for a media marketing agency instead of a creative agency or a specific company’s marketing division was the perfect place to start gaining industry knowledge. The agency connects all the different parties involved: the client, the creative agency, the ad-serving companies, and research and survey companies. Thus, I was able to see the backend action and how different players interact with each other. The agency side is also a little less biased since its main goal is to provide the company with the best suggestions and can point out things the company is not doing so well and push them towards change.

All in all, I am bring with me from my internship at Starcom this quarter with more knowledge about the industry than I was able to imagine. It has offered me a better understanding of the industry I wish to work in, and gave me a start in understanding how to crack into the industry.

Kristin Chung is a junior Communications Studies major at Northwestern, interning with Starcom MediaVest Group  this quarter.

SoConnect Weekly Round-up: 3/10-3/14

New Internships:

  • Sentinel Pictures- Creative Development Internship Summer & Spring Virtual
  • United Nations High Commissioner- Media and Communications Internship
  • MGM Studios- TV Development/Production Internship
  • Whitehouse Post- Post-Production Internship
  • Y.O.U- Inspire Fellowship
  • Family Matters- Development Intern
  • Northwestern University, IMPACT Program- Marketing & Communications Intern
  • TeamWorks Media- Media Production Internship

New Freelance/Full-Time Postings:

  • Motion Source Video Production- Part-time Video Specialist
  • Enterprise Social Media Manager

Current Highlights:

  • LA: MGM- TV Development/Production Internship
  • NYC: Bret Adams- Summer Literary/Theatre Intern
  • Chicago: Steppenwolf- Apprenticeship Program & Multicultural Fellowship & Whitehouse Post-
  • Other Market: Whitehouse Post- Post Production (Chicago, LA, NYC)

Log into SoConnect to apply for these internship, freelance, and full-time opportunities & more!