The Hop Hits The Ground Running at H&L Partners

New workspace. Same team. The Hop moved on to H&L Partners after a week at HLK. The time spent at HLK helped us get our bearings as a team; which was a good thing because we were asked to dive into an exciting new project even before we got to the H&L office. Chris Kilcullen, Terry Martin, David Illig and Ben Noble staged an elaborate surprise for us by asking us to show up at St. Louis Union Station. Buzzing with curiosity (and copious amounts of coffee) we all showed up and waited for the H&L Partners to unveil their plan for us.

They definitely lived up to the hype. LHM, the company that owns the Union Station Hotel is adding an exciting new attraction that will not only give the residents a reason to get out of the house more but also attract a lot more tourist traffic to St. Louis. While we spent the week planning out a comprehensive campaign that would give everyone a reason to fill up the parking lots outside the Union Station Hotel, we learned even more about agency life and working together as a team.

Working with an ad agency on a live project is a drastic change from working on something from the luxury of the classroom. It is very apparent that clients will not be as forgiving of subpar work as our professors on occasion could be. Yet, we are grateful for the education we have received at our respective universities.The challenges at work don’t seem as daunting.

H&L Partners operate out of the gentrified neighborhood of Central West End. Flanked by coffee shops, swanky bars, upscale clothing stores and the sprawling Forest Park, they are definitely in an enviable location. Having seen the offices of rukus, HLK, and H&L Partners, Geile Leon and Bruton Stroube, I think we can all agree that creative agencies have some of the best workspaces.

One of the highlights of the week for us was Mark Schaeffer, President of H&L Partners who gave us the lowdown on agency finances. Not only was it a truly educational but we also appreciated the trust and transparency the agencies have so far bestowed upon us to enhance our learning process. It is a very commendable (and strategic) move on the part of the agencies here in St. Louis as well as Ad Club to start grooming us for the workforce and expose us to ground realities early on.

During our week at HLK we had a chance to witness their homegrown intern program, ‘Launchpad’ and we saw a stellar presentation made by their current set of interns. Our first day at H&L was a first for their in-house interns they refer to as The Greenhorns as well. Happy Hour at 3:00 p.m. on a Monday was probably a first for all of us concerned here. We aren’t complaining, we were happy to be included in the celebration.

Watching the interns who are following the more traditional pattern and spending their summer with the same agency helped us gain an interesting perspective on Ad Club STL’s choice to create a program that allows us to hop around multiple agencies. While we are excited by the prospect of starting fresh at a new agency every week, we are left to wonder what it would be like to build relationships over a period of eight weeks as opposed to just one. Luckily, we aren’t saying goodbye to any of the agencies, just, “See you guys soon.”