Cream of Dallas Ad Agencies – Moving Brands Forward

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greenlight book club

Ah, summer. The perfect time for binge watching your favorite shows on Netflix and reading books for pleasure, since the school year doesn’t really allow for either. I shamefully finished the newest season of “Orange is the New Black” within one week of its release, so I’ve decided to hit the books, and it appears I’m not alone.

Lunchtime at greenlight has turned into reading hour for some. We each finish eating and take to one of the many comfortable corners of the office for some time to ourselves before getting back to work.

This sparked a conversation today: why don’t we have a greenlight book club?

A key skill in advertising, we’ve discussed in my account planning class, is the ability to see things through the perspective of another. (Aside from advertising, it’s just a good life skill, really.) Reading new books is another way opening our eyes to new perspectives, and the book club could be just another way to make the culture at greenlight even closer.

As far as greenlight clubs go, we’ve already got #glXL doing BBG, we’ve got the Beyoncé vs. Taylor Swift rivalries, so why not start a new group to crack open a cold one with the boys book with the agency.

Any suggestions?

-Amy

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Miscellaneous

This is the third summer that I’ve had an internship, and by now, I can state that “miscellaneous” is the name of the internship game.

Each summer, with this one being no exception, I regularly have people ask me what I do for my internship. It is always a loaded question, because the nature of internships is that there is a large array of things that I “do.” Whether it is brainstorming social media posts, planning an event, packaging deliveries, or running any given errand, there is no confining description for the job of an intern.

Prior to having any professional work experience, I think it is a common misconception that your future professional job will be fairly singular in its responsibilities. Throughout my time thus far at greenlight, I can see that not only are internships not singular in tasks, but the jobs of full-time employees are not singular either – regardless of position title. People help out in whatever tasks they can, and do whatever is needed for greenlight to produce the best work possible.

What I’ve come to learn is that there is great value behind the diverse assortment of intern tasks. It allows for exposure to an array of skillsets, and through this, it allows for learning about your own skillsets. At this stage of my pre-career life, that exposure is immensely beneficial.

In reality, “miscellaneous” is fun. It keeps things interesting, and prevents things from feeling stale. I’m grateful for the “miscellaneous.”

Until next time!

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Working Outside the Box

One of my favorite things about greenlight is that you are not confined to your job description. In fact, you are welcome (encouraged, even) to step outside of your box. If you have an idea, say it! Good ideas can come from anywhere. At greenlight, collaboration is essential. As long as you are willing to put in the effort, you can try anything; all you need to do is ask.

This week, our brand strategist, Claire, sent out an agency-wide email inviting us all to join the social media team and each take over posting for a period of time.

As the account services intern, I mostly help with projects for greenlight's current clients. But I also study brand management in school, and I know that keeping up with social media is essential in our ever-changing, digital world. (And let's be honest - it's kinda fun.)

Now, greenlight is not only giving me the experience in account services that I signed up for, but also a chance to try my hand at something that I've always enjoyed. After all, life's too short to do the same thing everyday.

-Amy

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Belong

Sitting across from a strip of dull commercial buildings, there’s a small field next to greenlight where the only color besides green is brought on by a lonely pair of sunflowers. As I pass by every morning, I wonder if those flowers ever feel out of place.

Belonging is a peculiar word. Definition: “be the property of; be a member or part of; be rightly placed in a specified position.”

To most, the idea is to conform – fitting in with the rest of your surrounding. I like to think that “to belong” is to know why you are where you are – to exist with purpose.

Seemingly out of place in a cluster of industrial buildings, there is an ad agency on Memphis Street. Somewhere between Stemmons Freeway and the Trinity River, greenlight has found its home – a flower in a dry field. It doesn’t conform, nor does it fit. It belongs.

I wholeheartedly believe that greenlight will shape this area. Maybe in a few years, life will bring me back to this part of Dallas. By then, I hope to see Memphis Street filled with life, character, passion, art and vision.

For now, it’s pretty dull.

Still, I know I’m exactly where I want to belong:

4827 Memphis Street, Dallas, TX 75207.

-Robin

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Warning or Welcome? A surprise from the greenlight family.

An interesting start to my second week at greenlight, I arrived Monday morning to a surprise on my desk (which I instantly put on my snapchat story, of course): a Nerf gun. I mentioned last week that I’m trying to learn how to #adult, but I think someone here is trying to bring out my inner child. When I said I was battling adulthood, I didn’t mean it this literally.

My logical side tells me that this was just an accident, but I still can’t help but wonder, as I look around every corner while working on the creative brief for our intern project, if I’m about to be a part of a spontaneous, agency-wide Nerf gun war. It may sound crazy, and it would be if this were any other company, but something about greenlight’s culture leads me to believe that this could actually happen.

Not that everyone spends their days goofing off, because I’ve already learned so much about how ad agencies work in my short time here. I only mean to say that the people at greenlight know the perfect balance of work and fun. They are a family (and what family hasn’t had a good, old-fashioned Nerf gun battle?) and it’s something you instantly feel when you enter the office.

This is what I was most looking for in my summer internship: a job that was challenging, but surrounded by fun and supportive people, and I know that I’ve found that here at greenlight.

Wish me luck in case this battle actually happens. In the meantime, back to work.

-Amy

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Go Big

A week ago, if you gave me a map and asked me to locate Dallas, I wouldn’t have the slightest clue. Somewhere in Texas, right? I wanted to go big; a big agency with a big name that could keep up with my big dreams of making it in the world of advertising. Yet, somehow I ended up at greenlight.

I walked past the small cacti decorating the small parking lot, up the small steps and in front of a small building. From outside, everything about this place seemed so small.

One introduction after another, it was more than evident that the people at greenlight were everything but small. Never have I stepped into a building overflowing with such expertise, drive and heart. More importantly for me, they are guiding me in the same path. Every day, I’m encouraged to be curious, to be ambitious, and to be humble – to be always learning.

A week into my internship and I can say for certain: the people at this agency are going to make a big impact in my life.

I can only hope that my work, passion and attitude leave a big dent in theirs.

Go big, or go home.

-Robin

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Amy vs. Adulthood

As a rising senior at SMU, I’ve been avoiding facing adulthood for as long as possible. Refusing to fight the battle, I spent my last two college summers either babysitting or gallivanting around Spain in a “study” abroad trip. My time has come, however, to suit up and join the real world and gain some much needed experience in advertising.

So here’s what we’re gonna do. I’m going to tell you where I’m at now, and then you’re going to check back in on August 10 to see the level of “adult” I have reached.

It’s not like I don’t have a fighting chance, since I’ve been through two years of training in SMU’s Temerlin Advertising Institute (for which I’m one of the biggest advocates), but this summer at greenlight will be the ultimate test.

Although I’ve done countless exercises of case studies and projects on rebranding, creating and promoting my own event and helping on real accounts in a real Dallas ad agency are some bigger challenges I’ve yet to face. Luckily, I’m surrounded by some pretty cool people to help me in this fight. (I mean, thank God I’ve chosen advertising as my career path, because the agency life that greenlight has shown me so far makes adulthood way less scary than it could be.)

I’m ready. Let’s go.

-Amy

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Week 1 Retrospect

Today marks the end of my first week as an intern here at greenlight. When I reflect on my short time at greenlight thus far, what has impacted me the most is the agency’s character. It’s a synergy of everything greenlight is, from the employees, to the office space, to the mere vibe of the agency.

As someone who has only been immersed in greenlight for a short amount of time, I can already state that greenlight’s culture is an invaluable asset, and is something that distinguishes greenlight from other agencies. After all, the essence of greenlight’s character is what attracted me to pursue an internship here, and it has made my first week better than I could have ever hoped for.

It is not hard to see that the values that encompass greenlight, including passion, creativity, and inclusiveness, manifest into the exceptional work that the agency creates.

I’m so grateful and excited to experience, and hopefully, add to the culture at greenlight this summer.

Join me on my adventure!

-Tristan

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Final Farewell

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Final Farewell

For most, change invokes, however minute or grand, a feeling of anxiousness. When I walked into greenlight’s office on my last day, the anxiousness was nowhere in sight. Of course, it could have been that greenlight is heading into a weeklong holiday break, but I think it’s more the fact that when a place begins to feel like home, that feeling doesn’t ever really go away.

But if there is one thing to thank greenlight for, it’s for reinforcing my desire to take the creative route.

It seems from the moment we learn to speak, we are asked to figure out what we want to do with our lives. It better be practical and it better put food on the table. Even though I’ve been writing since kindergarten, I pushed that passion to the back of my priority list. After all, as many teachers told me, “you’ll never find a good job as a writer.”

I tried to incorporate writing into my education as best as I could. I jumped from journalism, to public relations, and finally found a home in advertising. Even in advertising, though, the unpredictability of a creative career path weighed on me. I told myself I would stick to the business side of the industry, like any practical girl should.

Then came greenlight. While I came to greenlight focused on account service, here and there, I was given creative projects. When I’d go home at the end of those days of writing, they were the days I felt the happiest.

After years of trying to push writing out of my life, greenlight reinstated my passion. And while I’m only as certain about my future career as any 24-year-old can be, I am certain of one thing: I am a writer, down to my bones. And for that, greenlight, I am forever grateful.

While it is strange to know I’ll take all of my belongings with me when I leave greenlight for the last time, it is calming to know that I’ve found a place I will always be welcome. No matter what hurdles I face or where my career leads me, I always hold onto the fact that there is an agency of people in Dallas that I can call on for advice.

Until we meet again, GL!

-Ashley

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2017: The Year of Green

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2017: The Year of Green

As the final days of my internship with greenlight approach, it seems only fitting that Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year is Greenery. For me, 2017 will, in fact, be something of a green year for me as I hit the ground running with the tools and insights into creative advertising and branding. My experience in the industry may still be green and just growing, but it will simply continue to grow as I make my mark throughout 2017.

“A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings…A life-affirming shade, Greenery is also emblematic of the pursuit of personal passions and vitality.”

Call me crazy, but it sounds a little bit like Pantone created this color just for me. When I started this journey with greenlight in September, I only just moved to Dallas. Transitioning to life in a state that is the polar opposite of my home state of Pennsylvania was less than glamorous and more than intimidating. Fresh out of college, eager to enter an ad agency and start changing the world, I quickly learned life’s big moments happen a little slower than you imagine they will.

Nevertheless, no matter how slowly life is moving you must keep going. When I was welcomed into the greenlight family, I absorbed so much, not just about agency life, but also about what I truly want for my own professional future. greenlight has been my refreshing and revitalizing introduction to Dallas life, leaving me more than prepared to set off on my pursuit of personal passions and vitality.

I’m certain that for the rest of my career, I won’t be able to see green without being reminded of these few months. In an agency, and in life, no matter what clients (or life) throw at you, it is so crucial that you just keep going – Every red light is followed by a green one, and as sad as I am to see the red light come up on my time at greenlight, I will continue my pursuit of an advertising career. Such is the life of an intern. But if there’s one thing I take with me everywhere I go, it’s the greenlight mantra: go go go.

Here’s to staying green in 2017!

-Ashley

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A Goodbye to greenlight

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A Goodbye to greenlight

I'd be naive to think I understand everything in the agency world that greenlight exists in, yet in the short amount of time I've been able to work with this company I feel as though I have firmly grasped a much deeper understanding of how this industry truly works, and I owe it all to gl.

So here's an intern's take on the industry must-knows before entering it full time:

1. Know What A Press Check Is. I'd never really been a part of the printing process before. As a student, I've gotten to tour printing facilities but I was unaware of the relationship between the printer and designer that underlies everything. With greenlight, I've been able to attend various press checks and see the struggles of color matching, "slitter dust", and the successes of a perfect print. Being exposed to this aspect has been incredibly valuable. I’ve learned what you can and cannot do when it comes to beginning the creative process. I've observed first-hand how important communication and precision is in this aspect. When the proof gets sent to the client and they sign off on it, nothing can be compromised or looked over. Press check after press check will happen until the product looks as promised. Which leads us to number two...

2. Relationships Are Key. The relationship a company has outside and within the office is so important. Knowing your clients and printers on a personal level lends itself to a smooth path to completion. When the two parties involved mutually respect each other, it makes the communication process much easier and the work much more enjoyable. I've been able to witness the attention greenlight gives not only to its client’s projects, but also to the individual. Being able to sit in on meetings and press checks without knowing the prior relationship formed with clients and see the kind of knowledge they have of each other within and outside of the workplace speaks volumes about the kind of time and attention that is required to have successful relationships with those in your industry.

3. Propose A Solution Outside Of The Box. Because of the in depth relationships an agency can have with a client, it's important to give the client what they ask for and make sure they know that they're being listened to. But as a creative, sometimes we have a vision that we want to execute and propose to the client as well. Working with Hotel Derek's business card redesign, I was able to complete what they'd asked for but was also encouraged by coworkers to push alternative executions. When it came down to the presentation, the client was drawn more towards the alternative than what she had originally proposed. As long as you can stick with the brand standards and guidelines, I've learned that you show creative conception and execution through going above and beyond what the ask is as long as you can give them a well-executed version of what they originally wanted.

4. Never Assume That You Know Everything. Internships are similar to school in that they are both a learning experience. Both have an end date and when you’re done with either, you assume that you’ll know all there is to know. But this industry is ever changing. There is only so much you can learn in school based on your curriculum, but having access to the industry teaches you the intangible aspect of the real world. There are very few constants and you’ve got to be willing to always be learning if you want to succeed. The people in this office are incredibly successful based on the fact that they are always willing to do just that. They never assume that they know all that they can know, or that they will create the best solution the first time around.

5. Work Somewhere That Makes You Happy. While I've been at greenlight, the one thing that is incredibly obvious is that the people who work here genuinely want to be here everyday. Everyone is continuously in high spirits and positive about the creative process. Tight deadlines and printing errors are simply not enough to discourage staff. This positivity makes for an incredibly open environment where creative ideas can be tossed around until execution.

The past 3 months of this internship have flown by, but I cannot express how much I’ve enjoyed my time here. The endless devotion to greenlight these people have is incredibly inspiring and I now understand exactly how a successful creative agency should work. I leave here everyday inspired by the people around me and get to come back each time more and more eager to learn, observe, and design. I’m incredibly grateful to greenlight for all I have learned, and that they gave me the opportunity to work with them this semester.

Until next time, gl fam.

-randie

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Paradise City: The greenlight Open House Party

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Paradise City: The greenlight Open House Party

Things to add to my resume: I survived my first ad agency party, courtesy of the greenlight open house, and if any agency knows how to throw a party, it’s greenlight.

With dancing, drinking, eating, and not to mention the best photo booth experience I’m sure any of us have ever had, greenlight continues to add to the list of ways any future office I work in will fall short of what I am experiencing here. Not that I’m worried, though, considering how many previous employees and interns were welcomed last night with hugs and screams of excitement. Every attendee, for that matter, seemed to have some incredible story to tell about his or her laughter-filled adventures with greenlight.

As I enter the final month and a half of my internship, I am more than ready to find out what stories I will be telling when I return to greenlight in the future for yet another incredible party. Especially if all of them are followed by breakfast tacos and leftover desserts in the break room in the next morning.

-Ashley

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Joyful Noise

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Joyful Noise

There has been a lot of noise around greenlight the last two weeks, and I am not trying to be clever and lead into a metaphor here. Quite literally, drilling, hammering, and welding are the sounds I am referring to. Unlike the construction that is taking place on the highway, this work is ending soon, and with a fantastic result.

When greenlight moved into its new home over the summer, it was anticipated that it would take a little time and hard work before the space could exude all that encompasses greenlight’s personality. As artwork and furniture make their way into the collaboration spaces at greenlight, along with whiteboards, kitchenware, field notes, and much more being taken into our shared neighboring space, it is becoming clear that something big is ready to launch. As creative vision is put into physical form, we are moving closer to the unleashing of the best thing to hit Dallas since greenlight. 

-Ashley

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Aesthetics and Productivity

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Aesthetics and Productivity

One of the most important ways to attract someone to your workplace, whether it is an employee or client, is by paying close attention to the design and layout of your office space. It speaks volumes about the culture, productivity, and employee attitude without having to explicitly say anything at all.

As obvious as it may sound, the aesthetic of a workplace affects the productivity of its workers. But it must be known that every single decision made in terms of layout, artwork, desk space, etc. has an impact on employee productivity and engagement. There have been multiple studies conducted on this topic and its findings are noteworthy. According to Hassell's research, workplace design can be more effective in employee engagement and productivity than a higher salary. While a higher salary may appeal to an employee on a surface level, the psychological effects of design go deeper than one could predict.

Especially within a creative agency, it is vital that the environment of the workplace is not distracting. It should encourage employees to see the possibilities and results they are able to produce within project parameters. It should foster collaboration. It should emphasize open communication.

Recently, greenlight has been working hard to make use of the new office space in the most productive way. Not only does greenlight know that employees feel comfortable here, but they should feel inspired. The white walls on the interior and exterior of greenlight evoke a sense of a blank canvas that lend itself to the vision of what could be creatively. The open floor plan used emphasizes the importance of collaboration in an agency. There is endless opportunity to work with the input of your coworkers, which is incredibly valuable. By easily providing the opportunity to work together, increased employee engagement skyrockets. To be aware of all that is going on around the office, whether you are aware of the certain project or not, makes all employees feel like they are a part of the team.

The facilities that a workplace offers also affect productivity. greenlight's plan to implement an at-work gym creates a sense of convenience where one can find means to satisfy all needs at one place. Given that the advertising industry can be very stressful, greenlight is providing the means for a healthy outlet to relieve any stress that work may cause. The full kitchen allows for group meals, which continue to foster engagement and friendships between employees.

There is so much more that greenlight is doing with the new space, and as they continue to add, it is clear to see the positive effect it has on employees. The workplace should not be somewhere that you feel confined in your ideas and actions; it should encourage an open flow of communication to enhance employee productivity.

-randie

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The Growing greenlight Family

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The Growing greenlight Family

Change is an unavoidable aspect of life. If one learns to embrace and grow with it, it turns into progress. In the last month, greenlight has taken two giant steps in the name of progress by opening its doors to two new greenlighters! Earlier in October, we welcomed our new Creative Director, Todd Lancaster, and to kick off November, we are rolling out the red carpet for Claire Higgins, our new Brand Strategist.

Not only does this mean that I will now have a neighbor on my side of the work table, it also means I have two incredible, new learning opportunities. The beauty of working in a small ad agency that works together like a large family is that there is always an opportunity to learn something new. While it would be easy to assume that those of us who work in advertising all think analogously, this couldn’t be any further from the truth. What takes an average agency and makes it incredible is carefully piecing together brilliantly different minds so they can work together to create brilliantly different ideas. Olivia and Erik have sorted through the creative minds of Dallas to piece together an agency that thinks like no other. With the addition of Todd and Claire, the success of our work can only continue to improve.

Welcome to the team!

-Ashley

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The Changing Current

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The Changing Current

“You don’t paddle against the current, you paddle with it. And if you get good at it, you throw away the oars.”

In advertising, it is always important to be aware of what is going on in the world; always be aware of the direction the current is flowing. Then, there is a point where you know something is going to be big before it even enters the picture. In a world where there are no such things as new ideas, it is critical to be the first to notice when there is a big idea being put into motion.

Here in the “Can-do-city,” there is constant motion. Emerging as a major hub for entrepreneurs, Dallas is always on the edge of the next big thing. Where are all of these entrepreneurs working from?

Co-working spaces.

Co-working as we know it was officially started in 2005 and has only continued to grow in the last 11 years. While I love the concept of a space for creative minds to put their ideas into motion, it all seems a little crowded. While most co-working spaces boast about collaboration, this strikes me as a way of talking up a distraction. Frankly, co-working is turning into a ‘been there, done that’ situation. Even if there are no new ideas, co-working is as far from a new idea as one can come.

Dallas needs a space that inspires and coordinates big ideas in anyone who chooses to use it, whether it’s the rookie with a new startup or a seasoned business professional in need of an off-site space for innovative thinking. Empty of distractions and full of innovations, Dallas needs a space where big ideas can be put into motion. A space devoted to the people who need it.

At greenlight, I have had an opportunity few interns will experience. This opportunity has consisted of innovating space, collaborating ideas, and inspiring action. I have had the privilege to join forces with the powerful minds at greenlight to create a space that will serve as a hub for the powerful minds of Dallas and beyond. greenlight is creating something that can be categorized as inspired meeting space, but is so much more. I know this to be true because I’ve experienced the impact this space has had on every person to walk through the doors at greenlight. These people know how to pull greatness out of anyone, and I personally cannot wait to see the innovative ideas that come from this new collaborative space greenlight has in the works. Co-working spaces in Dallas better thread lightly, because the current is about to start shifting.

-Ashley

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Never Fear Criticism

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Never Fear Criticism

“To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”

 

In advertising, the concept of avoiding criticism is laughable. Despite this truth, it is still human nature to avoid the negatives. No one wants to work on a project for weeks or months, only to have a client, a coworker, or even a peer call the baby ugly. This fear heightens when one attempts to do what has never been done before. There is a first for everything, and that is because no one, until that moment, has had the guts to do it; the gall to say, “If this burns down in flames, at least I will know whether or not it could be done.”

 

If greenlight has taught me anything during my time as an intern, it is how to have the courage to create, undeterred by looming criticism. I can’t speak for the team as to whether or not this was intentional; more so, I have grasped this virtue of courage through simple observation of the greenlight team. When someone has a killer idea, there is never hesitation as to whether or not it should be shared with the rest of the team. It is simply an instinct to get the idea on the table and to see how successful it can be. Not only this, but our fateful leaders Olivia and Erik have taken what was once just an idea for inspiring workspace and have turned it into what will soon be completely transforming the way business professionals work and think as we know it. I consider myself lucky to be interning at greenlight as this incredible idea takes a physical form and launches into the Dallas-sphere and anyone out there reading this better keep an open eye for what greenlight is about to unveil.

-Ashley

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Why Tradition Improves Culture

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Why Tradition Improves Culture

One thing that defines a company is its culture. It determines the environment the employees are immersed in daily and results in how that company is interpreted by both outsiders and insiders alike. An important aspect of company culture is the traditions that it instills and the reactions it brings. No two companies can have the same traditions, for they are shaped by the people involved, the sentiment behind the tradition, and the unique experience created by each individual involved. However, they can yield the same results:

  1. It can strengthen interoffice relationships. As most know, being outside of the work environment with coworkers brings great potential to the strength and depth of those relationships. Of course, we have our passion for the specific field of work in common, but sometimes (although not here at greenlight) that can be the extent of conversations had. Tradition can bring forward new conversations and friendships. Seasoned employees will often share stories of the past year's traditions in order to include new employees and prepare them to shape this year's experience together as a team. 
  2. It gives employees something to look back on fondly and look forward to expectantly.   The memories and associations created with a certain company or in a certain workplace speaks volumes about the truest nature of the company. Psychologists have found that emotions play a vital role in memory; thinking back to a certain fond memory can evoke those same emotions in a person, leading them to remember further the good times that were had. These feelings that tradition and inclusion bring are what will forever be associated with that memory of the company. Sharing these memories in the workplace creates an ongoing positive environment and exciting buzz about company happenings.
  3. It creates employee engagement. While tradition is one thing that builds culture, it is also influenced by behaviors, values, workspace itself, etc. and that takes time to solidify itself. However something that is subject to change quickly is the atmosphere of a company, which relies almost dependently on the attitude of the employees within the office. When it is easy to understand and be included in the supportive culture of a company, employees in turn know what to expect and what is expected of them. These expectations, however, will not seem forced in this situation. If the company culture is something they feel included in then the rest comes naturally. 
  4. It provides unconventional employee benefits. If any agency continues to provide their employees with experiences signature to their culture, not only is the agency the benefactor but the employees feel the positive impact as well. It's not rocket science: happy people equal a happy workplace. While this is not one of your traditional benefits (healthcare, 401K, etc.) it is arguably the most valuable benefits to receive. A positive perception of anything reaches beyond the workplace.
  5. It breeds passionate leaders. Being the new person in the office is not easy. Coming from the perspective of a twice-over temporary intern, it's undoubtedly a scary situation. Each time, I have been taken under the wing of (an) incredibly passionate employee(s) of the company. Their passion stems from a combination of the love of the work they are doing, their love for the company's standards and values, and their love of the people they get to surround themselves with daily. Their guidance and enthusiasm for the company is contagious. It is easy to become just as excited about the work you are doing if the people who are guiding you want you to see the reasons why they are so excited to be there and share it with you. 

While these reasons apply to so many different companies, it is also because of these reasons that greenlight was named one of the 2016 Best Places to Work in North Texas by Dallas Business Journal and has been able to become all that it has today. 

As greenlight closes in on their annual Verde Fair Day tradition, the above list could not apply more to the environment here. It's basically a national holiday for greenlighters... the office shuts down for the day, and heads out to the Texas State Fair to spend time together as a company eating fried everything and drinking good beer. The buzz in the office is undeniable as everyone looks back on the memories of past years, and forward to creating new memories with the newest additions to greenlight. As a newcomer here, I have been a firsthand witness to the effect that this tradition has on the perception of a company, both internally and externally and can attest to just how important this all is to the overall culture of the company.

-randie

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Dear Future Interns

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Dear Future Interns

I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I’ve been an intern at greenlight for just over 2 weeks now. Basically, I’m a pro. Follow my lead and you’ll be featured in Ad Age magazine in no time.

Ok, ok, maybe I’m not quite there yet, but I can say that my first 2 weeks with greenlight have taught me a lot. I’m still getting the hang of things, but for any future interns, here’s some advice for your first 2 weeks at greenlight:

 

1.     Talk to people.

Yes, you are going to be a bit intimidated for your first few days. This is the perfect time to talk to people and get to know everyone! If you can’t find something to say, at the very least, speak up with more than a one-word answer when people try to make conversation with you. There isn’t a soul at greenlight that isn’t welcoming. This isn’t a corporate high-rise where no one knows your name. This is greenlight. And you are now a part of the family. Open your dang mouth and get to know everyone, because I know for a fact that they want to get to know you.

2.     If you have a dog, put up his picture. 

Consider this an extension of #1. It is a proven fact that greenlight people are dog people. Want a super easy way to start a conversation with someone? Put up a picture of your dog. Don’t have a dog? Get one. How do you not have a dog?

 

3.     Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

 I say this as if making a mistake is something you can 100% control. But alas, mistakes are, at their core, unpredictable. Now, clearly you can avoid them to the best of your ability. However, you WILL make a mistake and you WILL sit at your desk sweating for 10 minutes wondering how you are going to explain it without getting fired. Refer to #1, in case you forgot, but everyone, and I mean EVERYONE who works here is nice as hell and as a result, also understanding. Whatever you just accidentally deleted is most likely not gone forever. Get up and tell someone what happened so it can get fixed!

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4.     This isn’t The White House. Have fun getting dressed for greenlight!

It is drilled into every college student’s head that there is some form of Chinese water torture reserved for interns who don’t wear pantsuits to the office everyday. Well, greenlight is a creative agency for creative people. Put away the pantsuit. Obviously you shouldn’t come to work in basketball shorts and flips-flops. Or in the dress you wore out for your roommate’s 21st birthday. But know that you can express yourself with your wardrobe here. Spend your morning thinking about how awesome your time here is going to be, not about the gray color of your pants not matching the gray color of your suit jacket.

5.     It’s ok to not know something.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT say you know something when you don’t. This is one way to avoid the mistakes mentioned in #3. It’s time to put away the ego and let someone know that you don’t know how a certain program works. You are an intern. No one expects you to know the ins and outs of absolutely everything. That’s why you’re here in the first place. To learn. So learn!

 

6.     Always say yes! 

Every time someone asks you to sit in on a meeting, come along for a trip to the printer, or just join her for lunch is a learning opportunity. Even if you feel like you’re a little busy, odds are, you aren’t as busy as you think. With the exception of having a project that needs to be done ASAP, always say yes to any opportunity to see an aspect of someone’s workday.

7.     Make sure you plug your headphones into the right jack before turning your music on. I say this because as I went to start writing this post, "Mo' Money Mo' Problems" started playing out of my computer.

8.     Be proud of your work.

It is so easy when you’re an intern to truly believe that no matter what work you do, someone else who has worked there longer could have done it better. While this may sometimes be true, it is not a universal rule. You have mad skills and that is why you were hired. Odds are, if you put your best work out there, people are going to think it’s awesome!

9.     On that note, remain humble.

It is very easy to get a big head the first time your boss gives you a rave review. While it is very rewarding to receive praise for good work, it is important to remember that good work is a result of hard work. There are going to be times when your team is less than thrilled with a project you’ve worked on. And that’s ok. Dust yourself off and do better next time.

And finally...

10.     Just because there’s a Keurig at work, don’t drink coffee all day. Your first Saturday off without an IV of caffeine in your arm will be filled with headaches. 

- Ashley

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Spaced Out

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Spaced Out

“It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate – you know someone’s fingers have been all over it.”

This, along with just about every other saying the marvelous Julia Child graced the cooking world with, can so easily be applied to aspects of life outside of the kitchen.

More often than not, something near a perfect state has likely had someone’s fingers all over it. Perfection does not fall from the sky and butter does not make you skinny. Both certainties I would love to be true, but life has a funny way of testing me.

Much like a beautifully arranged plate, the space that is greenlight has had someone’s fingers all over it. Olivia, Erik, and the rest of the greenlight team have put their creative minds together and created a space that allows the organized, yet expansive minds of an advertising team to spawn great work. Until recently, my idea of workspace has been sitting elbow to elbow in Starbucks while the person next to me flings croissant crumbs onto my keyboard. And even so, while the “student office” of Starbucks is less than ideal, it still appeals to me more than being in a cubical. If not for the sake of collaboration with strangers, at least for the sake of participating in people-watching.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is why I wake up everyday for work with a positive vibe. At greenlight, they have created an environment that allows me to have my own, expansive tabletop and still be able to quickly ask Sierra at the other end of the table what another word for “thing” is (because sometimes a thesaurus just doesn’t know what I need). Greenlight truly is the perfect space.

But let’s consider for a moment what “space” even is.
Webster defines it a few ways.

First: “An area that is used or available for a specific purpose.”

Next: “The distance from other people or things that a person needs in order to remain comfortable.”

Sorry Starbucks, but you got the whole “comfortable distance” part a little wrong. And while I’m being honest, after staring at a cubicle wall all day, I’m pretty sure my “specific purpose” would be finding out how my first crush from 2nd grade is doing via Facebook.

At greenlight, I have the perfect balance of concealment and collaboration. I never feel that someone is peering over my shoulder and I always have something to spark a creative idea. There is a reason greenlight is one of the top advertising agencies in Dallas, and it’s because they have created an environment where even the most left-brained person could have a creative revelation.

The bottom line: greenlight’s environment spurs me to create work so outstanding, you just know my fingers have been all over it.

-Ashley

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