Meet This Year's Stickell Internship Program Recipients
Every year, junior students from across the country are nominated to be a part of the prestigious Vance and Betty Lee Stickell Student Internship Program. Established by the Los Angeles Times and the American Advertising Federation (AAF) in 1988, the Stickell Internship program strives to “raise awareness and understanding of the advertising processes and business ethics among future advertising professionals by providing real-world, hands-on experience at top firms in the integrated marketing communication industry,” according to their website.
“We have been nominating and successfully placing students in Stickell Fellowships for as far back as I can remember,” said Lisa Dobias, AFF sponsor and senior lecturer. “Because we so regularly have students chosen for this honor it can be easy to forget that being selected for this exclusive program from among all AAF student chapters across the country is truly one of the highest honors advertising and PR students can receive. Our students are simply that amazing, so much so that in some years, as is the case this year, we have two students selected for Stickell from among hundreds of applicants across the country.”
Continuing the UT legacy will be Natalie Myers and Sid Subramaniam, both third-year advertising majors in the TexasMedia sequence, as well as officers for the Texas Advertising Group (TAG). Natalie and Sid were two of twenty students selected to be a part of this year’s Stickell Internship class and will be spending their summers in San Francisco and New York City respectively. We recently met up with both of them and asked a few questions about their summers and what they are looking forward to most!
Q: Tell me more about the Vance and Betty Lee Stickell Student Internship Program.
“The Vance and Betty Lee Stickell Student Internship Program places outstanding juniors with a paid, 10-week summer internship in media organizations, advertising agencies and brands. At the beginning of January, your AFF sponsor nominates you (in this case, it was Lisa Dobias) and from there you submit an application packet with a variety of letters, essays and other requirements. Prior to being nominated, I had slightly heard of Stickell from me stalking Marisa Price’s career path to no end. When Lisa nominated me, I was unbelievably shocked and didn’t think it was real for the longest time. I immediately called my parents and started crying - I am quite the happy crier. From here, about a month and a half later, I got a confirmation email from Dr. John Murphy, solidifying my placement at BSSP. Once again, I called my parents immediately, only this time, happy balling.”
Q: Where are you going to be working this summer and what will you be doing?
“This summer I will work on the media team at Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners in San Francisco! Whoohoo! I will come back permeating West Coast vibes. I cannot express how excited and grateful I am for this opportunity.”
Q: What you most excited for living in San Francisco this summer?
“I am most excited to live in a different, amazing city. I have had it in my mind to get out of Texas this summer and it’s finally happening. (I have this pre-planned exact life timeline/expectations so according to that, I am right on schedule!) I am excited to learn and be a part of the culture of the city, meet new, interesting people and actually work on client projects and to make a difference at BSSP while I am there. I still have to navigate my ferry/light rail route across the bridge everyday. I’ll keep y’all posted!”
Q: Do you know what projects or clients you will be working on it?
“As of right now, I do not know. I have talked with previous BSSP Stickell interns and they couldn’t stop raving about their experience with the agency. They talked of ownership and responsibility of work, as well as the unmatched culture and people that make up the agency. I have a lot to look forward to!”
Q: What interests you most about advertising?
“At the absolute core of what we know as advertising is the human impact. At the core of all media and advertising decisions, a human decides which path to take. A human says yes or no to a big question. It is a gut response. That human connection and interaction is the center of our advertising world. The psychology behind human decisions and consumer purchase paths is relevant and beautiful. I am obsessed with this industry because of how real, relevant and true it is. We have helped shape today’s culture, connecting brands and consumers, establishing relationships that touch people at unique, smart contact points. So simply put, what interests me most about advertising is the way that it connects people to people, maintaining this presence of honesty, raw truth and openness.”
Lisa Dobias, senior lecturer and co-founder of TexasMedia, said:
“The best way to describe Natalie is fearless. She literally is among the first in classes or outside meetings to step up and take on tasks yet is professional beyond her years. Natalie always seems to show just the right combination of pushing the boundaries while maintaining control, and she is simply a pleasure to work with. It is easy to see why she is so well-respected among her peers and is such a great fit for Stickell.”
Q: Overall what are you looking forward to most?
“Overall, I am looking for another perspective. I am looking to see this world through another’s lens. I acknowledge that others have so much more experience than I do. I want to learn from their mistakes, making my own along the way. I am looking forward to a new city and having to be comfortable being uncomfortable, forcing myself out of my comfort zone. I want to continue to flesh out my media passion point. I have never been a ‘media planning’ intern before, so this will be an eye-opening and reconfirming experience for me. I am forever grateful.”
Q: Where are you going to be working at this summer?
“This summer I’ll be working at Giant Spoon LLC’s NYC location.”
Q: Do you know what you will be doing yet? Or what clients you will be working on?
“I’ll be working as a media intern, but have been told by Giant Spoon that we’ll be in the midst of activating some new brands in the summertime. Some of their clients include the NY Times, Google, LEGO City, GE, and NBC.”
Q: What are you most excited for living in New York City?
“In one word, culture. I’ll be living and working in East Village, Manhattan, which is known as the birthplace of punk rock and a haven for artists and poets. I’m hoping the environment can fuel some original and creative media executions on my part. Austin has a very strong culture itself, but I’m curious to observe and engage in something vastly different.”
Q: How did you find out about the Vance and Betty Lee Stickell Student Internship Program?
“When I was the membership & recruitment officer for the Texas Advertising Group, my President and Vice President, Blake Balser and Marisa Price, were both nominated and selected for the Stickell Student Internship. This was essentially how I found out about the program. It was after my election as TAG’s president, and my acceptance into the TexasMedia program, that both myself and my VP, Natalie Myers, were nominated for the internship by Lisa Dobias.”
Lisa Dobias, AAF sponsor, said:
“Sid is confident, eager, and modest, but more than anything he is the voice of reason regardless of the circumstances. No matter what the challenge, Sid remains both calm and proactive. From serving as TAG President, to taking 18 hours and being a Moody Mentor, all the while leading in his TexasMedia groups, Sid continuously seems to have so much on his plate, yet he does it all seamlessly and always with a huge smile on his face. I am thrilled Sid will represent us in Stickell this year.”
Q: Overall, what are you looking forward to most?
“I tend to do my best work when I’m amongst teams and crowds. NYC seems like the bustling environment where I want to begin my venture into the agency lifestyle. So far I’ve interned at both media channels and start-ups in the ATX area, but this will be my first agency-side internship. As it’s an independent shop with intriguing clients, I’m really looking forward to understand the more subtle parts of working at an agency; the things you can only learn on the job.”