Finding a Home in Healthcare: The Journey of an Ogilvy Associate

Brittany Berman ThumbnailIn September of 2012, I began my journey through Ogilvy & Mather in the coveted position of Associate. I was one of 20 lucky recent college graduates who survived the demanding application process and would get to spend an entire year in Ogilvy & Mather’s renowned Associates Program.  In this year-long program, each Associate rotates through 4 different positions at O&M to experience different roles within the agency, and, upon completion, gets transitioned into a permanent placement.

So, for the past year at Ogilvy, I have been, for lack of a better word, a vagabond. I have been rotating from temporary placement to temporary placement to find my Ogilvy home.

My first stop was on an account team. I came into the Associates Program without any knowledge of how a large agency like Ogilvy worked, but I learned really fast. During this time, I learned the basics of account management, skills that have been instrumental to my time here, but I knew I had to keep looking for my home.

I continued on my gypsy journey around Ogilvy to my next stop in RedWorks. Being accustomed to a one-account role, this new position took me by surprise. I adopted a mentality of, “Why have one account when you can have seven?” which was fast-paced to say the least. My account skills developed from rudimentary to more advanced, and I started taking on true responsibility. I had great relationships with the people I worked with. RedWorks was truly like a small family within the big Ogilvy building and I enjoyed my rotation, but I knew it wasn’t the right fit for me long-term.

My next role as an Associate was with OgilvyRed. This was my first strategy role at Ogilvy and I was so excited to get a temporary stay. I was able to work with FUSION for the first time and do real planning work on major consumer and b2b brands. I was fascinated by the development of positioning and branding, and I really enjoyed doing the planning research. The late nights and weekends didn’t even bother me, as I found the work compelling. The people on the team were brilliant, and the learning was invaluable. It wasn’t until my in-depth research of farming that I felt this might not be precisely the right fit, and I had to continue my quest to find my home here at the Chocolate Factory.

Last stop: Planning in Ogilvy CommonHealth, aka Home. While I searched for the perfect fit here at Ogilvy, I felt a little like Goldilocks. Nothing until this point was “just right.” I knew I wanted to work on projects as thought-provoking as those in OgilvyRed, but in a subject that was always interesting to me. Enter healthcare. Growing up with a plastic surgeon for a father, I was exposed to healthcare at a very young age, and things like Botox and Restylane were frequent topics of conversation at family dinners. I knew healthcare would be a great fit for me, and when I spoke to the Associate a year above me about her experience in Ogilvy CommonHealth, I was sold.  As a planner, I get to learn about new patients, new drugs, and develop new insights every day. I love being able to take all of my research and come up with an insight that contributes to the brand’s success. I feel so lucky to be on a team with such intelligent, inviting people whom I learn so much from, and I get to contribute to work that is truly interesting and be part of a team where my opinion is valued and appreciated.  I am excited to finally have my home here at Ogilvy, and it doesn’t hurt that I get a window seat.

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