Student-run marketing firm now hiring

Jessica White

Tannery will soon open its doors downtown

Greg Thomas, managing director of the Tannery, is getting ready for the company to open in downtown Kent. Kent State students will handle all the incoming advertising business once the office opens. Abra Williams-Witzky | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

The Tannery is hiring, but the only bronzing done will be outside its doors.

“When I first got the e-mail that said ‘The Tannery is hiring,’ I thought it was a tanning salon,” junior advertising major David Lawson said.

The Tannery is a new student-run marketing communications firm opening this fall in downtown Kent, not a leather-making operation.

“The building should be finished within the next few weeks,” said Greg Thomas, managing director of the Tannery. “Until then, we’ll be accepting and reviewing applications and beginning to look for clients.”

These clients won’t be hard to find, as many practicing professionals are already on board.

“I’ve talked to several ad agencies, all of whom are incredibly enthusiastic about this,” Thomas said. “We also have a board of leaders of ad firms that will meet with the students once a quarter.”

Lawson doesn’t know if these contacts will lead to internships or employment down the road, but he said he hopes so. He applied after the Tannery began accepting applicants a few weeks ago.

“I’ll definitely get my foot in the door,” he said. “I’ll gain a lot of experience, and when it comes to my resume and portfolio work, it’s huge to say you have something that’s so innovative at your school. I want to be part of it.”

If accepted, Lawson said he hopes to work in account management, one of a wide range of jobs the Tannery has to offer.

The firm will be almost entirely student-operated, but students will have different responsibilities “depending on what department within the agency we’re placed,” he said. “I could be working with the creative team designing ads, or I could actually be meeting with the account management to make sure the clients’ needs are met.”

Aimee Crane, senior applicant and visual communications and design major, is also hoping to see the business side of things.

“In VCD, we’re just now starting to get introduced to the business and marketing sides of design,” she said. “I’d like to learn more about marketing and advertising and use it to my advantage with graphic design.”

And while participants and hopefuls are in serious business mode, there is excitement across the board.

“I don’t know all the details, but I think that’s the exciting part – the mystery about it,” Crane said. “I’m excited to see how successful it is when it launches off.”

Contact news correspondent Jessica White at [email protected].