Yangnan ‘Paul’ Liu ’12 – Sitting in my own cube, which is actually bigger than my bedroom, I still cannot believe that I am working at one of the top advertising agencies in the world. The sexy, stylized and dramatic stories only seen in the TV show Mad Men are now happening in front of my eyes every day.

As a Wabash junior, who is dreaming to break in to Madison Avenue, I am lucky to take one semester off in New York City to experience the art of this dynamic city and to learn this energetic advertising industry through New York Arts Program. In addition to the three months’ internship at DDB Worldwide on Madison Avenue in daytime, New York Arts Program also offers mandatory seminars, independent studies and artists’ lectures in the evening. Students coming from other colleges are gifted in different aspect of art. Some are dedicated to become actors and actresses and interning on Broadway; some are talent in sculpting so they work for famous artists’ studios; some students, like my roommate Chris, are good at writing, so they become sports news writers for New York’s large newspapers including New York Daily News. Everyone in this program lives together in one building at the heart of Manhattan, forming a new community and learning from each other.

My internship in the Brand Planning department essentially involves both creative and business sides of advertising. It connects my strategic thinking with my creative mind, reflecting lots of analytical skills from my economic classes while inspiring me to use an artistic perspective to review an ad. Although I have been working for only few days, I learned a lot through doing various entry level tasks and reading the background materials of the client and of the agency.

New York City is exiting (except the snow part these days). While I am busy with making many plans to museums, comedy shows and meeting new people, I will keep sharing my experience as a Wabash Mad Man.