iw Imagewest Spring 2009 Team
From where I left off from last time, things at Imagewest started to get a little crazy.

About a month into the semester, the account team receieved what would become our main group project...a digital marketing plan. We were assigned to create a comprehensive digital plan for a Louisville-based museum covering strategy from web widgets, website design and social media marketing. Since there really was no template for this type of project, we had to basically create all this from scratch. This involved a TON of research and writing throughout the entirety of the semester.

In the meantime, I also played double-duty, working on a variety of different agency self-promotional videos involving our new mascot "the Ninja Gnome" (I bet you were wondering where the title "Ninja Training" was coming from...). The agency interns were referred to as "ninjas" and had the ninja gnome mascot for a few years but didn't come to have a real live mascot until our spring semester. So when I wasn't researching for our digital marketing plan, I was traveling around campus with the ninja gnome serving as his publicist.

The main video promo I worked on (aside from the "IW Trailer" on the previous blog post) was for the agency's five year anniversary celebration. We were set to have an open house celebrating the five years and were using the video as part of a microsite promoting the event. After searching viral videos for inspiration, we found a high five montage on YouTube and decided that we would make a tribute to that video using the ninja gnome. We decided the theme of our open house would center around the video's "High Five to Five Years" theme and built a campaign around that. After doing most of the filming within the week prior to spring break, we created the viral video featured at the bottom of this post.

Despite the hype around the fun ninja gnome videos, the digital marketing plan was not forgotten. We spent a lot of overtime hours writing up and polishing what was to become a 150-ish page digital plan to present to the museum at the end of the semester. After a lot of blood, sweat and tears (and no I don't mean that metaphorically...I'm pretty sure I suffered a papercut at some point) we were ready to present our hard work to the museum during finals week via a conference call. The presentation ended up being time crunched and I unfortunately had a very rare blank out while it was my turn to present what I needed to (which was somewhat embarassing) but it all turned out well as a whole.

A less formal pic of the IW team A less formal pic of the IW team

So how did all of this help me in Chicago?

With the networking opportunities that IW provides, I was able to get in contact with WKU alums in Chicago like Ralph Carey that kept in touch and gave me a lot of advice to living in Chicago before I made the move up here. Also, through an e-mail chain, another alum (my now co-worker) Mandy Mullins alerted our agency manager Heather Garcia about an open position at her company here in Chicago. To my luck, I found out about this position about a week before moving day, applied, got an interview my first Monday in town and was hired a few days later. The job description called for an individual with a broad knowledge of digital marketing and social media. Coincidentally I had submerged half my last semester in college in the research of that very thing. So all that hard work and knowledge gain made through the digital marketing plan helped me in the interview process tremendously and ultimately helped me gain a job right out of school.

Outside of getting a job, working at IW helped me get prepared for balancing outside-of-work life here in Chicago. In addition to all my work for IW, I also had to balance a full class load, running track for WKU, continuing work for the College Heights Herald as their Online Advertising Manager, and finding time to have some sort of a social life in between. So life was very hectic (yet fun) my last semester. I was forced to become a master at time management and multi-tasking skills. As it turned out, living in a city of 3 million people requires the same sort of energy. With an hour commute each way to work, balancing work here, a side job on Saturdays working at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co (for fun) and having a social life and routine outside of work, I have to constantly be on a treadmill of some sort. Many days of the week it is not unusual for me to leave my apartment at 6:45 to get to work on time and not return home for dinner until 9:30 that night. It's an exhausting lifestyle but I'm 22, I can take it.

Plus, if I get too tired, there's always coffee :)