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Learning just how much goes into even simple television marketing campaigns was an eye-opener for David Platt ’07 (Langhorne, Pa.) and Sarah Thompson ’07 (New Canaan, Conn.) during an externship at the WB Television Network.

Claudine Lilien ’90, vice president for sales of the network in New York City, made the two-day experience possible for the English majors, who were among more than 275 Lafayette students who gained first-hand knowledge of the professional world during January’s interim session by serving externships with alumni and other experienced professionals in business, the arts, education, healthcare, law, engineering, science, government, non-profits, and other fields. The students observed work practices, learned about careers they may consider entering after college, and developed professional networking contacts.

Thompson and Platt toured the network’s offices, sat in on meetings, and learned first-hand how much work goes into TV advertising.

“Many things surprised me. I had never thought about how much work goes into even a 30-second advertisement,” Thompson says. “There are so many people working on it, and so many decisions that have to be made. And seeing how the TV advertising executives worked with a soda company about a product placement in a television show was actually very exciting.”

Platt says the negotiations excited him the most. For example, he cited a meeting he attended where America Online was working with the WB to get mentioned in an upcoming episode of one of the network’s programs.

“The two sides were working together and helping each other out,” he says. “It was interesting to see just how much thought went into it, such as AOL asking where the mention of the company would be in the program and when it would air and then talking about how the script may need to be modified” because of the product placement.

Lilien says she participated in the externship program when she was a student and is pleased to host externs now because she knows how valuable the experience can be.

“The program gives students an in-depth look at a career field,” she says. “There is a lot that goes into advertising that people may never even notice or think of. Both David and Sarah took a genuine interest and were eager to learn about the industry. I think sitting in on meetings and watching the process is something they wouldn’t be able to learn in a classroom.”

Thompson is a member of French Club and a member of the staff of The Marquis literary magazine.A DJ on the campus radio station, WJRH-FM, she plays club lacrosse and is a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

Both Platt and Thompson say the experience has served to further their desires to work in the advertising field.

“I’ve always known I’d like to work in advertising, and the externship program – working with someone like Claudine, who answered all of our questions and showed us so much – has solidified that for me,” says Platt, who is Student Government’s Campus Student Services chair, plays club soccer, and is a member of Kappa Delta Rho fraternity.

Categorized in: Academic News