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Finding Her Niche in the Digital World

Advertising senior Ashley Eschert says internships have prepared her well for a career as a search planner

By Ashley Eschert (B.A. Advertising '16)

Ashley Eschert on Search Advertising

The Difference Between SEO and Paid Search

Search advertising can be broken into two main categories of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Paid Search, sometimes called PPC. The main goal of SEO is to make sure your client’s website ranks highly on a search engine result page with the aim of gaining website traffic. With Paid Search, advertisers use tools like Google AdWords or Yahoo/Bing Ads to purchase ads on search engines with the added intent of driving website traffic.

Growing up is scary. Being a graduating senior in college is scary. Only, for me, moving on to the next phase in life is no longer as terrifying and as much of an unknown anymore. That’s due largely in part to my time spent at Southern Methodist University.

My favorite part about being an advertising major in Meadows is that the school allows for and encourages gaining real life experiences to combine with classroom learning. By having an internship-for-academic-credit program, I was able to intern for two semesters while simultaneously attending school. It was challenging at times but well worth the vast amount of knowledge that I gained by taking what I learned in the classroom and being able to apply it in a real-life setting.

Through these internships at amazing Dallas-based agencies like Canonball Creative and The Richards Group, I was able to combine my love of digital media and creativity. While there, I found my niche in Search advertising, a field of advertising that I never knew existed nor would have thought of pursuing had it not been for my internships. There’s an element of human psychology in Search advertising. You have to have a keen understanding of how people think. It's almost predictive, as you need to select which keywords consumers would type into a search engine and plan accordingly.

I’m happy that I will be wrapping up my time at Meadows by being on SMU’s National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) team. I’ll get to work side by side with my fellow students and really enjoy being part of the school community as we work together on our semester-long project. The SMU NSAC team will be competing against other collegiate teams by putting together a campaign for Snapple. It will be a bittersweet and memorable end to my college career. I aspire to be a Search Planner at an advertising agency after graduation and am thankful that my education at SMU has prepared me to do so.

See more: Internship Stories at SMU Meadows

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