Over Spring Break, I had the opportunity to intern with HAVAS Metro for two days. As an undecided freshman, I took this opportunity to learn more about pharmaceutical advertising: what it is, who works in the industry, what they do, and how they got there.
I, along with two other Princeton students, spent two days with HAVAS metro, receiving a comprehensive overview of the agency. We first met with Lorraine Forster, the VP of Human Resources to sit in on a new hire orientation. We learned about the different components under the umbrella company of HAVAS as well as the agency’s goals, mission, and organization.
We then met our Princeton alumnus connection and host, Jessica Wey ‘07, the VP and Associate Creative Director. Jess took the time to tell us about her Princeton background in biology and neuroscience and how she ended up at HAVAS even though she had to catch a flight right after. She then put us in contact with two copywriters which was a great look into how people find their careers after they receive their degree. Kat, like Jess, also had a background in health and health policy, while her coworker, Alex, majored in English. Together they focused on the copy, or the text, in the information pamphlets and campaigns pharmaceutical companies give to healthcare providers to advertise their product.
Lorraine had a packed schedule for us, and the various people we met with helped me gain a comprehensive understanding of what it was like to work in pharmaceutical advertising. We were able to sit in on a new project meeting led by Account Group Supervisor, Amy Germann. Representatives from each team that contributes to the project were present. The meeting showed me the collaborative side of the agency, not only with its clients, but also between the agency’s divisions.
Along with Copy and Account, we met with people from the Account Planning, Art, Medical, and Editorial divisions of the agency. Our last meeting was with Christine D’Appolinia, Managing Director of HAVAS Metro, and before we left, Lorraine checked in with us. Everyone we met with briefly outlined their job and their role in the agency as a whole. What was most insightful for me was learning about how each professional found his or her career path. We were encouraged to continue exploring our interests and not to worry if we did not have a cemented plan. Talking with various people with varying levels of structure in their vocational plans showed me how everything falls into place in the end.
The agency definitely had a collaborative, open, creative atmosphere, which was reflected in its open, loft-style office space. The relaxed dress code gave a more congenial atmosphere to the company and even though everyone works on a deadline, I could not feel any stress or tension in the office spaces. Everyone was extremely approachable and seemed like they not only wanted to be there but also enjoyed what they did.
Thanks to Jess and all the people that helped make my experience with HAVAS so informative, welcoming, and positive. I had a great experience as a Princetern with HAVAS and cannot wait for another opportunity like this one.