During the seminar, we had the opportunity to visit different companies from various industries. We were able to hear directly from top executives of the global companies we visited. From their presentations, I was able to learn in a real-life setting as opposed to a traditional classroom setting which made everything more interesting. As a matter of fact, I had not heard of many of the companies we visited, yet I was still eager to get to know their business strategies. I was extremely impressed by ARUP, an engineering and design service company, and how they are involved in different industries around the globe. Although, I was familiarized with the projects they had been involved in such as the renovation of the Space Needle in Seattle. It was impressive to hear how ahead of the future they are and about their upcoming projects. Often times we are able to recognize a famous building, but we do not know the people or companies that are involved in the process of the structures.
Also, something that stuck with me was when the assistant made a comment to a groupmate and me. She mentioned how she was glad to see more girls in the IBS seminars as the years progressed. I was glad to hear that more females are pursuing these seminars to expand their careers.
On the other hand, while walking through the financial district I was surprised to see all the men in their suits and for a moment I thought I was on Wall Street. This is where the Lloyds of London office is located, and the building was unbelievable. The overall stainless-steel structure was unreal and the way everything was set up looked like a stock market trading room. In order to get to the conference room, we had to take several escalators. From on top of each floor, you could see how everyone worked in an open environment and there were no offices or cubicles. I originally thought that Lloyds of London was an insurance company, but I was wrong. I consider them to be a prestige brand that rents a workspace to different insurance brands while taking charge.
After, the presentation ended we were able to tour around the building and go up to the highest floor. Where we were able to see a great view of London. Then we went inside the Committee Room where there is a dining room, two chandeliers, several paintings, and several antiques. At the end of our tour we were able to see the Lutine Bell, which in the past was rung to ensure that all brokers and underwriters (someone who evaluates and assumes someone else’s risk) were immediately made aware of incoming news. Nowadays, it is just rung on a special occasion. I enjoyed hearing how the company began in a coffee house because as most of the leading companies, such as; Apple, Google, Amazon, and etc. They all began from nothing and were able to become extremely successful.
Yet, the company that I enjoyed the most was Leo Burnett, an advertising agency, because it is related to my emphasis of study. I had not heard of the company, but I was familiar with the characters they had created. Such as; Jolly Green Giant, Tony the Tiger, Morris the Cat, The Marlboro Man, and etc. Their clients include recognized brands such as Ariel, Kellogg’s, McDonalds, Proctor & Gamble, and etc. The presenter was great because he kept us engaged at all times and showed us several of the ads the company had done. He mentioned that their main objective was to understand people’s wants, needs, frustrations, and dreams. For example, through one of their ads, they were able to turn an insult into a global feminist movement. I liked that he was honest and stated that they had made mistakes. He shared how in one of their McDonald’s ads the message did not go as planned, but they were able to learn from their mistakes and act. This showed me how mistakes are prone to happen, but you learn by knowing how to approach the mistake. Also, three new hires spoke to us about a program called “The Foundry” (graduate micro agency operated by Leo Burnett) in where employees are able to work with recognized brands, talented personnel, and create campaigns from scratch. Visiting this company gave me a better idea of how an ad agency works.
Overall, the company visits were interesting, and it was nice hearing from various industries. You should also, take in mind that sometimes you may be visiting more than one company in a day and it can be somewhat exhausting. So, try to stay alert and engaged.