Chicago Trip Highlights

By: Griffin Platto

On October 11th, GVSU’s Ad Club and PRSSA joined together to tour two Chicago agencies— Havas and Walker Sands. With a big city comes big agencies, and even bigger industry questions to be answered. Of the hours spent in Chicago, here are our takeaways that resonated with us from our wonderful “windy city” agencies.

Involved Departments

The departments within both agencies emphasized the importance of working closely with one another. From creative to programmatic departments, each plays off each other like teammates. A phrase that was commonly spoken at Havas was, “it takes a village.” The agencies work with international clients— they must collaborate closely to create cohesive campaigns. It’s an interdependent process— everyone is responsible for a piece and relies on one another to produce strategies and tactics of this caliber.

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Work Doesn’t Always Have to Be Work

With Havas specifically, their workspace isn’t always meant for business, but for fun. Their agency had ping pong tables, kegs of beer, and even a barbershop— yes, a real barbershop. It’s about finding a balance, and what better way to get the creative juices flowing than getting a fresh cut or beating your coworker in table tennis? Integrating work and play boosts morale and produces general comfortability with one another.

Big City = Big Clients

What can be learned from both agencies is that they have recognizable, international clients that we don’t always see on the westside of Michigan. Some of Havas’ clients include notable brands such as Mike’s Hard, AutoZone, Cracker Barrel and many more. Walker Sands, also, has its fair share of big clients such as GrubHub and Sprout Social.


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Moving Out of State

An often asked question amongst the groups was— is it hard to move away from home to a big city like Chicago. At Walker Sands, many people said it was hard to make the move, but if it feels right, make the leap! Our industry will take you to all kinds of places, it’s up to you if you are willing to commit.

As college students, waking up early and spending 7 hours round trip in a car isn’t always ideal, but given the opportunity to go to Chicago and learn from some global agencies— how could you pass it up? The insights and knowledge that both these incredible agencies provided will help give us a better understanding of what’s in store outside of Michigan’s borders. We want to thank Havas and WalkerSands for letting us pick their brains for a few hours, and being kind enough to give us a little taste of what the “windy city” can offer.



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