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M-School Spotlight: Sage Miller

Posted By Emily Hope, Thursday, November 2, 2017

Sage Miller is a recent graduate from LMU and took two classes at M-School during her senior year in college. She is currently the Community Marketing Manager at Wanderlust and uses her M-School learnings as a template for problem solving in her job. 

Listen to the full conversation with ThinkLA's Events and Communications Manager, Emily Hope.

Sage Miller // Don Lupo Photography
Sage Miller // (Photos by Don Lupo)

For an LMU M-School class exercise, Miller had to say out loud the name of her dream company and then do a semester-long deep dive. The goal of the project was to learn the ins and outs of a company, tackling a different business problem week that the company is currently or potentially facing, as well as highlight and discuss successful business strategies.

Since some of the obvious companies were taken (Nike, Apple, etc.), on a whim, Miller said: "Wanderlust!" It resonated with her, and she realized it would be a dream company to work for.

Once she graduated and was looking for her first job, Miller used her M-School project as her cover letter and entry point into Wanderlust, which she says made her "weirdly too knowledgeable" about the company. It obviously impressed Wanderlust, as she was hired, and is now Wanderlust's Community Manager.


How did you originally hear about M-School? "At LMU, there's a natural buzz about M-School,: it's marketed really well all around campus."

What's surprised you about working full-time since you've graduated? "College really stimulated me in the sense of variety: being in different classes every day, going to the gym, dinner on campus with different groups, or even spending time at the beach. Now, having a daily routine where I'm expected to show up at the same place, it can be challenging. I crave variety so I find myself bouncing from the office to the cafe, then even working remotely just to switch it up! "

What do you love about marketing? "Being able to market and share something that I'm passionate about. I'm constantly digging to create the message that I feel is going to resonate with people, because it's a product that I believe in. It's a dream for me."

Any advice for students? "Take your class projects seriously and squeeze every drop of learning our of your classes. Also, don't be afraid to cold call companies and ask for informational interviews. Most seasoned professionals feel honored to share their knowledge and wisdom. And you never know where you might make an impression."


M-School was born from the need to transform the way our students learn about and are immersed in the new world of advertising and branding. In doing so, we answered the call to action from the advertising and branding community, specifically our close partner ThinkLA. Learn more about M-School.

Tags:  LMU  Marketing  M-School  Recent Grad  Spotlight  Wanderlust  Young Professionals 

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Volunteer Spotlight: Leisha Bereson

Posted By Emily Hope, Thursday, October 5, 2017

Get to know Leisha Bereson, VP, Group Director at Canvas Worldwide and a member of ThinkLA's Young Professionals Council. 

How did you get started in advertising? What's been your career road-map?

Honestly, I had no idea what I was in for; my degree was “Integrated Media Communications” in college – what does that even mean?! My dad knew a guy at an agency and he basically begged him to give me an ‘informational interview’. From there, I spammed every agency I could on LinkedIn so I could be one of those young fun kids in an industrial warehouse with an Apple laptop working in Excel. I spammed a million agencies until I got in and climbed my way up from there: paid search to display to integrated media to platforms and technology to programmatic. All ladder climbing.


What excites you most about this industry? 
EVERYTHING IS MEASURABLE, learnable; everything is going to change, and it can change as long as you understand the numbers, mechanics, inventory, targeting, and data. People who don’t get digital, people who think this is someone else's job, people who don’t care to ask how it works, people who don’t care to ask "Why?" in general – they’ll all fall to the wayside. We’re working in an industry that is rapidly changing because of people who ask why, people getting their hands dirty – these are the people who are going to change up this industry because it's all becoming so completely transparent. How good is transparency without understanding and the willingness to look?

Why are you involved with ThinkLA? ThinkLA is an opportunity for community: a place to share, ideate, change. How good is an idea if it sits alone? The best ideas are shaped through the lenses of many conversations; ThinkLA is an opportunity for us to do something new and interesting. I am involved because I can’t shut up about media, and I’m seeking those who want to banter on forever over beers about it, too. 

What’s the best advice you’d give to someone interested in a career in advertising? Are there any written materials you suggest to read?Absorb everything – from podcasts (How I Built This, AdExchanger), webinars (IAB, MRC, Forrester, Digiday, ANA), articles on blogs/websites (Ad Age, Recode, Marketingland, Harvard Business Review), honestly I get most of my info from who I follow on Twitter (Chief Martec, The Drum, Augustine Frou) all the info is out there – you just need to seek it out!


Tags:  Canvas Worldwide  Leisha Bereson  Membe  Volunteer Spotlight  Young Professionals  YPC2017 

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30 Seconds with Eric Jorgensen

Posted By Web Admin, Thursday, August 31, 2017

Eric Jorgensen!

How did you get started in advertising? What's been your career road-map?

I was a journalist to start my career until I landed a creative role at a social media start up in San Francisco. That turned into a traditional agency creative.

What excites you most about this industry?

I appreciate that nothing is off the table, at least in the first round of creative. You can invent wild concepts, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll move on. Innovation and creativity is fun, and we’re fortunate we get to play with them.

Why are you involved with ThinkLA?

BarkLA was my first foray into ThinkLA, and I haven’t looked back since. I like working with people from other agencies and companies to help out furry kiddos like my own.

What’s the best advice you’d give to someone interested in a career in advertising? Are there any written materials you suggest to read?

Don’t take advertising personally.

In the times of horse warfare, some soldiers didn’t name their horses, because one day they would ride it into battle and the horse might die right under them. They thought if they named it they would become attached to it, and then lose their focus and mourn their friend when they should be looking out for the next spear or arrow. This is terrifyingly apt for advertising. Don’t become emotionally attached to your ideas or projects, because they could die under you for any number of reasons. Work hard, push your idea to be incredible and be proud when it’s built, but don’t beat yourself up if its scrapped.

The one book I recommend for anyone moving into advertising is Ogilvy on Advertising. A book I recommend to writers is Save the Cat! It’s a movie screenwriting book that’s notorious in the industry, but it has insights on organizing your concepts and scripts that are refreshing and very helpful.

Tags:  Eric Jorgensen  ThinkLA Board  Young Professionals  YPC2017 

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30 Seconds with Brook Hauge

Posted By Emily Hope, Monday, August 7, 2017

Dogs, black coffee, strategy at Canvas Worldwide. Get to know ThinkLA's Young Professionals Council Co-President, Brook Hauge!

How did you get started in advertising? What's been your career road-map?

I always wanted to be in advertising: I’ve loved commercials, billboards, digital, and content integrations/partnerships for as long as I can remember. I started in advertising at a small Minneapolis-based agency where I worked for a dear family friend. I wanted to do strategy work, and started in the Account Management department because they really were the ones that executed strategy for our respective accounts (and they had the opening). Small agency, so we had to wear a lot of hats. I did PM work, account management, media strategy, email marketing, web dev projects, app based launches, loyalty programs, DM-focused work, event marketing, and on-and-off day copywriting. I loved it!


I came out to Southern California five years ago without a plan, but full of dreams; I ended up working briefly as a headhunter in the creative space and then up to San Francisco to work for a digital platform that focused on programmatic buying and retargeting. My deep love for data, segmenting audiences, and messaging strategies was born here. I then came back to SoCal to work for a small agency in Orange County where my focus was mostly digital, but got to dig my hands into true content partnerships and into the world of print.

I then was recruited to work up in LA; I ran hard at the chance to create digital strategies that were data- and audience-driven for a global communications agency, working on auto accounts. My time there moved me to a strategy role that focused on a client dynamic that had very distinct B2B and B2C strategies and we were tasked with finding ways to tell that story to the right people in a noisy and high-pressure based industry. I got to spend my days mulling over the research and asking all the questions, comparing the category nuances for truths. For me, it was a great! As those projects wrapped up I found my way back to the world of autos and started straddling the offline and online worlds where we hope to create efficiencies in our communications and deeper understanding of our customers unique journey.

My path has covered a lot of ground, but what remains true is the desire to better the world of adverting so that I can find a way to talk to brand consumers in the way they want, at the times they are open to it, and in a way that will be received. This helps my clients' money go further, the user ad experience to be curated, and the whole ecosystem to work together.

What excites you most about this industry?

That it is never the same. There are tried and true strategies and human truths that do work, but the ability to now measure/communicate with consumers about their purchase path or brand sentiment is really incredible to me.

Why are you involved with ThinkLA?

I moved to LA in 2013; I knew NO ONE. I wanted to meet and network with my LA industry, which at the time seemed HUGE (I now know it’s incredibly small). ThinkLA was supposed to simply be a network connection, it quickly became a trusted resource for me. A place where I have met some of my now closest friends, provided me with an incredible mentor and has helped guide and shape some of my career moves. At record speed, I joined a committee and then another… and next thing you know I have the great honor of serving on the Young Professionals ThinkLA Board along with some of the greatest up and coming leaders I have ever met. This organization has helped inspire me and keeps me on my game – I feel like I am among giants sometimes.

What’s the best advice you’d give to someone interested in a career in advertising? Are there any written materials you suggest to read?

Never stop asking questions – NEVER. Part of this game is just showing up and being interested in what is going on. Be curious about everything. This business rewards those who tend to put in the hard work and who show grit in being able to apply knowledge that is learned from various places – it’s not for wallflowers. The hours are long, the clients are tough, the expectations are high… but the rewards of a campaign or strategy well done are priceless. What to read? EVERYTHING.

Read Wired, the trades (AdWeek, Ad Age, eMarketer, etc), The Atlantic, the News, Forbes, AdExchanger, Blogs, Huffington Post, Fast Company, Gizmoto, Inc., think with google, any and all syndicated research you can get your hands on (Mintel, Simmons, etc), blogs and listen to Podcasts/Ted Talks. Reading and talking about topics that matter is a big deal.

Tags:  Brook Hauge  ThinkLA Board  Young Professionals  YPC2017 

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YoungStars presented by Forbes

Posted By Emily Hope, Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The first of a quarterly series, YoungStars presented by Forbes: Social Entrepreneurs, took place on Thursday, February 4, 6:30pm, at Atom Factory and Smashd offices in Los Angeles. ThinkLA’s quarterly series showcases LA’s top professionals under the age of 35 across media, tech, agencies, and brands.  This event highlighted four entrepreneurs who are leading the charge and expanding the ways in which brands, influencers, and audiences connect within the social realm.


Speaking were two Forbes 30 Under 30 list members: Bing Chen, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Victorious, a mobile platform that powers influencers apps like Nash Grier and AwesomenessTV, and Jaclyn Johnson, CEO of (No Subject), a creatively-driven digital marketing, influencer and events agency in LA and Create + Cultivate, a creative conference & online platform for female entrepreneurs in the digital space. Also speaking was Joseph Matsushima, Co-Founder & Creative Director at Denizen Company, a content company that specializes in branded videos, most notably, the Tiny Hampster series and Joel Jensen, Co-Founder & Creative Director at Denizen Company and HelloDenizen, the content division of Denizen Company. The panel was moderated by Steven Bertoni, Senior Editor at Forbes magazine covering technology, entrepreneurs, billionaires, VC's and the Forbes 30 Under 30 franchise.


A social mixer at atom factory’s rooftop with entrepreneur-themed Hennessy Cognac cocktails followed the discussion. The event will be live-streamed on Universal Broadcast Network HEREFor more information about ThinkLA and YoungStars, click HERE

Tags:  #thinkStars  30 Under 30  Atom Factory  Entrepreneurs  Forbes  Hennessy  Millennials  Smashd  Under 30  Young Professionals  YoungStars 

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