As part of its ongoing commitment to education and cultivating up-and-coming talent, Solve sent four team members – Robert Atkinson, Shaina Gillmann, Miranda Lawler and Yoshina Okamoto – to this year’s 4A’s Pitch Bootcamp. Designed to give young advertising professionals a hands-on, new business client experience, participants are broken into competing teams and responsible for developing a holistic pitch presentation against a real client’s brief. The program runs nine weeks and serves as a crash course on how to build a strong pitch from the ground-up. This year’s client was Hippy Feet, a socks and clothing brand dedicated to supporting the homeless through providing transitional employment.
Working with teammates from across the country, the program gave participants a first-hand glimpse at juggling a new business pitch with day-to-day client work. “I balanced this with a lot of coffee and determination. Working 30+ hours a week on top of my regular schedule was definitely a tough experience that led to a lot of late nights and early mornings, but with the support of my teammates as well as my peers at Solve, I was able to make it past the finish line,” says Okamoto.
Especially given the virtual nature of the bootcamp, the significance of communication during a pitch was also apparent. “Overall, I’ve realized how important over-communication is and how important it is for everyone in your group to feel confident in their voice, especially as junior-level professionals,” says Gillmann, who was part of the winning pitch team. “We worked through it and really got good at communicating with each other.”
All-in-all, the experience proved to be a rich one that everyone will remember as they continue forging their career paths. “I was able to have complete ownership over sections of the pitch deck, refine my presentation skills and meet and work together with a number of interesting and hardworking early career advertisers,” added Okamoto.
Congrats to our four team members on a pitch well-done.