Lehigh University
Lehigh University

News

Adding links to the Lehigh chain

The group of 20 ambitious Lehigh marketing students who visited Saatchi&Saatchi.

It's the Lehigh tradition of giving -- within one year, I've benefited from the generosity of a Lehigh tie and helping other Lehigh students to form the same kind of bonds. It's the tradition of giving in action, sort of a Lehigh relationship chain.

My position at Saatchi & Saatchi all stems back to a lunch with Scott Gilbert '75, the then CEO of the New York office, during one of his visits to Lehigh in 2004. As we chatted in Rauch Business Center, Scott clearly told me what I had to do to get a job at Saatchi & Saatchi: Make myself stand out.

That night, I sent Scott a video thank you note from a customized portal of my Web site. Soon after, I got called for an interview. He later told me that this helped me stand out, but that it was crucial that I also had the education, experience, and proactive attitude to back it up -- in other words, the things that I learned at Lehigh.

Before my day-long interview, Scott met with me in his office to tell me more about the business and about his personal experience in advertising. He also told me that Saatchi & Saatchi was an "ideas company" that truly partnered with some of the world's largest companies, including P&G, General Mills, and Toyota, to help build their brands. The night I got my job offer, he called me at home to ask if I had any questions and to offer his help.

My relationship with Scott continues today, even after he retired to spend time in his log cabin -- complete with a woodshop -- in Colorado. He always made sure all my questions were answered and frequently stopped in to see how I was making out during my first year at Saatchi & Saatchi. Scott has had a huge influence on my career and on my life, and the advice he gave me -- work hard, always be honest in business, and build long-lasting relationships -- has been invaluable so far.

In the spirit of Scott, I set up an advertising seminar for a group of about 20 Lehigh students in the marketing club. The students visited Saatchi & Saatchi for an afternoon crash course in advertising.

The students were eager to hear about my first year in the real world -- my day-to-day responsibilities and the inner workings of advertising in general. A few of my co-workers and I exposed them to the specifics of advertising, like marketing and branding, and probably more importantly, introduced them to people in upper level management whose voices may someday play a fundamental part in their lives, a role similar to the one Scott's voice has played in mine.

The day was a success, and it was great to talk with the students about an industry and a company I love. But a bigger piece of the reason I wanted to bring them to Saatchi & Saatchi is because of the allegiance I have for Lehigh. I'm still very involved with the university by way of the Young Alumni Council, and I want to lend a hand to Lehigh students in any way I can.

And to keep the chain of Lehigh relationships expanding in both directions, I recently added a link to the pre-Lehigh side by talking with a prospective Lehigh student, a nephew of my co-worker. I set him up with a few students, so he was able to discover Lehigh on a more personal level. He even visited again to hang out with a few of my fraternity brothers. Ultimately, he decided to go with Lehigh over a number of other schools. And he's a well-rounded, talented guy -- interested in jazz, competitor in economics competitions, future IBE major, smart and social. It felt great to be able to give back to Lehigh by helping to recruit a student like him.

One of the key pieces of advice I stressed to the Lehigh students who came to visit Saatchi & Saatchi was the importance of building relationships. And that's something Lehigh is really good at helping their students to do, both through on-campus interaction and external business contacts. Lehigh certainly helped me build many of the business and personal relationships I have now, and I'm doing what I can to help Lehigh's present and future students to have the same opportunities.

--Brian Lenhart '04

As Brian Lenhart benefits from Lehigh connections as an assistant account executive at Saatchi & Saatchi, he is simultaneously working to draft soon-to-be Lehigh grads into the advertising world and helping the university recruit the best students for the future.

Lehigh Alumni Bulletin
Spring 2005

Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2005

share this story: