The Harbinger Group

Parisian Perspectives: Intern Olivia Sowacke’s Study Abroad Experience

Embarking on a semester abroad in Paris, organized by Seagull Institute and Monique Maye of Columbia College Chicago, was not just a journey through cobbled streets and iconic landmarks; it became a profound exploration of the dynamic world of marketing. From rubbing shoulders with industry giants to immersing myself in the vibrant city culture, every moment unfolded as a lesson in cross-cultural communication and career development.

1. Behind the Scenes with Marketing Titans: WPP, GroupM France, and Peclers Paris

Studying abroad in Paris offered me invaluable insights into the marketing landscape, providing access to industry giants like WPP and GroupM France. WPP’s meetings exposed me to the inner workings of the world’s largest communications company, while interactions with GroupM showcased digital marketing strategies specific to the French market. However, the standout experience was with Peclers Paris, where I delved into the art and science of trend forecasting. Each interaction with Peclers went beyond traditional learning, offering practical insights into understanding consumer behavior and predicting future trends. These experiences in Paris weren’t just meetings; they were hands-on lessons that have profoundly shaped my perspective as a marketing professional gearing up for the dynamic challenges of the industry.

2. Olympic Marketing: Paris 2024 Olympics Marketing Team

Exploring the marketing strategies behind the Paris 2024 Olympics was a high point of my academic journey. It was incredible to be immersed in the planning behind such an iconic and complex event. Conversations with the marketing team delved into the intricacies of creating a global narrative that resonates with diverse audiences. Uncovering the challenges and innovations in reaching a wide demographic showcased the meticulous planning and adaptability required for large-scale event planning and marketing. This experience provided not only a behind-the-scenes look at Olympic marketing but also taught me valuable lessons about resilience and being able to adapt to unforeseen challenges within the marketing profession. 

3. Digital Marketing in the City of Lights: Lessons Beyond the Classroom

Venturing beyond the structured academic setting, the streets of Paris unfolded as my extended classroom, providing a hands-on education in global digital marketing. As I navigated the city’s diverse neighborhoods, the importance of cross-cultural communication in crafting effective marketing campaigns became evident. The fusion of tradition and modernity in Parisian culture not only influenced my understanding of the digital landscape but also allowed me to apply these insights to my research and marketing plans for my class projects. This immersive experience provided a direct observation of the interplay between consumer behavior, cultural nuances, and digital strategies, contributing to new insights on how I can be successful in my U.S. marketing career, as well as in our interconnected world.

As I reflect on my time in Paris, it’s evident that this trip offered more than just academic lessons. Engaging with big marketing names like WPP and Peclers Paris, and digging into the behind-the-scenes of the Paris 2024 Olympics marketing team, made this experience truly special. Exploring the city taught me real-world lessons about digital marketing and connecting with people from different cultures. But beyond that, Paris pushed me to step out of my comfort zone, fostering personal growth that goes beyond textbooks and lectures. So, as I say goodbye to the City of Lights, I take with me a broader perspective and a set of skills that will shape my journey in the ever-changing world of marketing.

Parisian Perspectives: Intern Olivia Sowacke’s Study Abroad Experience
Parisian Perspectives: Intern Olivia Sowacke’s Study Abroad Experience
Parisian Perspectives: Intern Olivia Sowacke’s Study Abroad Experience
Parisian Perspectives: Intern Olivia Sowacke’s Study Abroad Experience