Digital Agency: The Mind of BrainTrust

Kendra BrainTrustHave you ever imagined working in a cool, global digital marketing and social media agency that is at the pulse of creativity and culture? Or, have you come to the conclusion that a career in digital advertising is right for you, but you have no clue how to get there?

Thanks the NYWICI Student Affairs committee, the behind-the-scenes tour at BrainTrust CAA-GBG gave attendees tips on how to land a job with a digital agency, a description of employees’ daily routines and a look at BrainTrust’s impressive list of clients. Founded in 2016 by Kendra Bracken-Ferguson (at left), now the Chief Digital Officer of CAA-GBG, BrainTrust is a social media agency leveraging data, insights and the most modern forms of communication to develop comprehensive strategies that elevate paid, earned and owned media to deliver ROI.

“It’s all about expanding the brand’s message,” says Kristi Bergeron, vice president of digital strategy. “May it be through connecting influencers with the brands, digital marketing or brand management: How can we spread the message or the product without diminishing the brand itself?”

Kristi and Associate Manager Danielle Garcia took attendees to the 60th floor of the Empire State Building, where they were given a tour of the CAA-GBG and BrainTrust offices, which showcase spectacular views of the New York City skyline. Attendees toured the showrooms for Kenneth Cole, Juicy Couture, Cole Haan and Betsey Johnson, just to name a few, and heard in-depth stories of working with amazing clients like Black Opal and CuddleBright, as well as celebrities like Halle Berry and Drew Barrymore (shh … they’re working on something top secret. Be on the lookout).

“What we do from a strategic standpoint is focus on insight, audience and results,” Kristi explained. “Everyone loves data, but nobody has any idea what to do with it. So instead of talking about how we’re data-powered, we focus more on being insight-powered. You can give us all the data that you want—we’re gonna take it, pull it apart, see what or who we’re working with or targeting and create smart creative results.”

This same concept can be applied to help you obtain a position in a digital agency.


To get the most out of building your resume/portfolio, have an open mind about new technologies and methods. Whether it’s coming up with new ways of integrating videos or adding a new layer of gamification over an existing property, digital agencies love being pioneers. Also, don’t be afraid to freelance.

“I was working the front desk as a receptionist, but I also was taking in clients and doing freelance work to pick up skills as I went along,” said Danielle. “I went from bagging groceries in D.C with an Art History degree to having this rousing array of portfolio in social media.”


Network! Network! Network! These days, it’s not enough to keep your head down and produce A-plus work. You need to connect with others, be vocal about your interests and career goals and build relationships with people. May it be with a former college buddy, who works at the agency you want to get into, or finding a mentor through NYWICI: getting connected is key.

“Use all your resources to connect to the right people,” Kristi stressed. “This holds true for when we work with our clients as well as finding a job. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn are all accessible tools right at your fingertips. And if you do land an interview, do your due diligence to research the agency. Know your audience.”


What if you beefed up your resume/portfolio and schmoozed with the target audience, including social media influencers, but still nothing has come your way? Don’t lose faith in the process and believe in the dream. A lot of people tend to give up when they don’t see the results of their labor.

Danielle reassured everyone to persevere: “It’s not about your timing, but about producing the right results and getting it to the right people. Your time will come. You can dream to work in the Empire State Building and have that office you want—but it’s going to take some time to figure out how to get there and that’s totally OK.”

—April Ellis


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