The InternView with Zach Walters


Zach Walters


St. Peters, Missouri

What college do you attend and what are you studying?

University of Pennsylvania; Major: Political Science, Minor: Consumer Psychology

Team you’re working on here at Ogilvy?

I work for the account management side of IBM Industry Solutions. My responsibilities on the team range from managing the creation of social tiles to summarizing weekly news on IBM, to advertising in general. Overall, I help where I can. 

How would you describe your morning routine?

I wake up at 6:45, look at the time and tell myself that I have more time for sleep even though the more sensible, awake version of myself set my alarm at that time for a reason. I wake up again at 6:50 and repeat that cycle one or two more times before the panic of getting to work on time finally gets me out of bed. After my hour and fifteen-minute commute, I head on up to the 8th floor, grab myself my morning coffee with one tea bag (because the caffeine from only coffee just isn’t cutting it anymore) and head over to my desk. I read and organize the ten or so emails I’ve been cc’d on, and spend the remainder of my morning opening at least fifty tabs of articles I plan to read before the end of the day and then finally head into our morning status meeting.

What’s your staple work outfit?

One of the eighteen combinations I can make with the six patterned button-down shirts and three colors of chinos that fit in my luggage, a light brown belt, boat shoes and my glasses if I will need to read anything further than ten feet away (or if I just want to feel a little smarter).

Where do you go for lunch?

I always get too distracted by what I’m doing to remember to eat lunch. On the rare occasion I remember that my body needs food, I treat myself to 7-Eleven roller food a few blocks over.

What’s your favorite spot in the office?

The entrance. The bright red paint and black script signature of the legend himself (David Ogilvy) that decorate the walls of the lobby give me a burst of energy when I start my day. Also, I haven’t grown out of the fascination-with-revolving-doors phase.

When you’re not in the office, what do you like to do around NYC?

I tend to just head back to the place I’m subletting in Crown Heights to doodle, watch Netflix, or wander the neighborhood. Sometimes, when I am feeling adventurous, I hop on the Subway and get off at whichever stop the most people are getting off at to explore.

How did you hear about Ogilvy and this internship?

When I first began considering a career in advertising, I searched for the “top books every advertiser must read” and Ogilvy on Advertising was #1. I ordered it from Amazon on an impulse, and when it arrived, I decided I would at least check out the first chapter. Eight hours later, I was in love with advertising and the incredible impact David Ogilvy had on the advertising industry. When the internship hunt began, the first place I checked was Ogilvy & Mather.

What do you think is special about this Ogilvy internship?

Everything. First, the work we are assigned is meaningful and tailored to our interests, rather than the coffee-fetching and photo-copying you see interns doing on TV. The Lunch & Learn series allows us to explore the breadth of careers we can choose within an agency, rather than force-fitting us into the positions we were assigned on our teams. Most importantly, Ogilvy cares. During the nine weeks I've been in the city, I’ve managed to get both my phone and wallet stolen (on two separate occasions) along with a number of other issues that put me under a lot of stress. When my team and the leaders of the internship program found out, they went above and beyond to try to help me address my situation. This internship is full of people that care about you as a person, not just an intern. Overall, the difference between the Ogilvy internship and all the other internships my friends are doing is that I can say I am genuinely happy to go into work every day.

What do you wish you knew about Ogilvy before you started your internship here?

I wish I knew how friendly and close-knit the Ogilvy culture was. I would have been much less stressed in the weeks leading up to the start of this internship.

What are you looking forward to in your senior year of college?

I’m looking forward to one last hoorah with my friends as we face the fast-approaching leap to real adulthood. I’m especially excited to finish out my last semester as my fraternity’s recruitment director this fall. Also, with most of my required classes under my belt, I can’t wait to spend most of the year learning about all those non-major classes I always wanted to take, like Intro to Hinduism, Drugs, Brain and Mind, and Intro to Graphic Design. Senior year is going to be bittersweet, but I am looking forward to making the most of it.