ADDISON – A recent Roosevelt University graduate and Addison resident will be featured on a reality television show this fall, along with the advertising agency she's been interning for.
"The pressure was exciting," said 22-year-old Ilma Gjini.
The Monogram Group, where she's been an intern since January, will be featured on an upcoming episode of AMC's "The Pitch." The reality show gives two advertising agencies one week to develop a campaign for the same client, and the client chooses the idea they like best.
"During that week, you really didn't think about that you were going to be on a show," Gjini said.
Even as an unpaid intern, Gjini was putting in late nights and early mornings for a week in April with the small agency in order to develop a winning campaign for Fuller Brush, Co.
While she admits it was difficult, she doesn't see advertising as work. Two years ago, Gjini changed her major half-way through college from Education to Integrated Marketing Communications.
"I caught myself not being that passionate," she said about her education classes.
Gjini saw how much her classmates loved their studies and knew she needed to find a field that gave her the same feeling. She picked up a list of majors Roosevelt offered and crossed them out one-by-one.
After taking a marketing course, Gjini knew she was in the right place. She wanted to do her homework and projects; they didn't feel like work to her.
Even though Gjini graduated in May, she's continued her unpaid internship with Monogram.
"The experience I'm getting is a lot more important than if I'm getting paid or not," Gjini said.
She also has taken on a new role as a social media coordinator. Gjini began as a creative intern, but when the agency filmed for "The Pitch," she took on the role of promoting the upcoming appearance.
Gjini organized a watch party contest for student chapters of the American Advertising Federation. Participating chapters will share Vines, photos and tweets to win $1,500 for first place and $500 for second place.
"As my boss kind of put it, we're kind of our biggest client right now," Gjini said.
Her skills have worked on her family – they now watch "The Pitch" every week in preparation for Gjini's appearance. She thinks they might even be more excited than she is.
Gjini said she has also felt a lot of support from her friends and the Roosevelt community. She never expected so many people would be interested in her television debut.
The entire experience has also changed Gjini's career goals. Where she used to aspire to work at a large agency, she's gotten the chance to work on all aspects at a project with The Monogram Group's small staff.
"I see the power that a small agency can do," Gjini said.
The Monogram Group and Gjini will be featured on "The Pitch" Oct. 3 at 10 p.m. While Gjini knows who won – even though she can't tell anyone – she is still anxious to see how the entire episode turns out.