International Students Testimonies

From a HMKW student to a sales manager in the field of ambient advertising and social media marketing

At this year's graduation ceremony, alumna Lea Kämpken (B.A. Media and Event Management) was awarded for one of the best theses. Congratulations! In her thesis, she examined street art and street art events in brand communication in detail. After graduation, she was able to seamlessly tie in with her research topic: she now works as a sales manager at the Cologne-based agency Perfectly Placed Media.

Alumna Lea Kämpken now works as a sales manager.

Alumna Lea Kämpken now works as a sales manager.

What comes to mind when you think about your studies at HMKW?

When I think of HMKW, the first thing that comes to mind is my great course and the lectures with Mr. Bär. I learned a lot of exciting things in the Event Management and Event Economics modules. Participating in the BrandEx and also my work as a research assistant motivated me a lot and showed me that I chose the right study program for me. I also enjoyed attending the practical modules with Mr. Pöllmann and implementing the projects there. In general, I enjoyed writing all my assignments during my studies, almost without exception, because I was allowed to choose the topics and to work on things that really interested me. Before that, I didn't expect that to be the case at university.

I really liked that there was a good relationship between students and professors at HMKW and that I was always inspired to think in new directions.

You acquired a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Event Management at HMKW Berlin. What is your current job position?

I work at Perfectly Placed Media in Cologne as a sales manager. We mainly deal with ambient advertising, but we also build bridges between the offline and online worlds and implement social media campaigns. Our core business are the CityCards, the free postcards that are often available in restaurants. I collected the postcards myself for a long time and I really enjoy planning the campaigns. We also plan all the other media in restaurants, gyms and city centers. In my side jobs in the Späti and at the gas station I always had a lot to do with customers and so I also feel very comfortable in sales management.

Did you get any further work experiences prior to your current position that you would like to share with us?

I had the opportunity to do my internship in the 5th semester at the Berlin agency SPREEFREUNDE. I had a wonderful time there, a great team and felt very comfortable. Because my 5th semester coincided with the pandemic, I joined the agency at a time when mainly digital events were taking place. The agency developed various concepts to implement digital events emotionally and multisensually and I was able to learn a lot. I was also able to be part of some live events in September and was able to work on concepts, prepare events, create briefings and support the project management on site.

When did you figure out your preferred career path? How much was your choice influenced by the compulsory internship?

During my studies, I realized very quickly that I wanted to work in the event industry. In the first two semesters, it was actually clear to me that I wanted to work in an event agency. Then, in event management, I got to know guerrilla marketing and found the topic very exciting. In my current agency, I have the opportunity to work in this area and I really enjoy it. However, at some point I would like to go back more in the direction of the event industry. The internship showed me that I feel at ease in the industry.

Why did you decide to study “Media and Event Management”? And what made you choose HMKW Berlin?

I first studied biology in Potsdam and worked in Berlin. Through my work I got to know some organizers and got an insight into different projects. That appealed to me a lot and I liked it better than studying biology. So I decided I would rather study media and event management and HMKW was the perfect choice. Thanks to my parents and grandparents, I was able to study there and it was the right decision.

Which contents of your studies are part of your current job? How do your studies help you in your work routine?

In my work I deal with ambient media and online advertising. In my studies I was able to learn some basics about social media advertising, which definitely helps me now. About guerrilla marketing I wrote some papers and collected a lot of background information, which is very useful in planning the campaigns to implement them more effectively.

 

At this year's graduation ceremony, you were awarded for one of the best theses. Congratulations once again! Would you like to tell us a little bit more about it?

Thank you! My work was about street art and street art events in brand communication. In urban areas like Berlin-Kreuzberg or Cologne-Ehrenfeld, street art is everywhere. The classic advertising media no longer reach people and Street Art, as an alternative advertising strategy, provides a new way into people's minds. Street Art as a communication tool can be combined with event marketing resulting in Street Art Events.

I compared 3 examples of street art events with 3 examples of street art as urban hacking in a self-developed category system with regard to different points. It turned out that Street Art Events work more with physically intensive stimuli, in the Urban Hacking with surprise effects.

The street art events are staged in a more cross-media way and have a higher event character than the urban hacking measures. The urban hacking measures have a stronger guerrilla effect.

Street art can be used in brand communication for brand renewal, for the introduction of new products and for building up and consolidating the brand image, if a brand fit is given.

Could you tell us more about the application phase after your graduation?

I submitted 4 applications to agencies after university and got 2 job offers. A third agency that deals with street art in brand communication offered me an internship because the Cologne office is just about to open.

What are your plans for the future?

For the time being, I would like to stay at my current workplace. At some point, if possible, I would like to move to the Cologne branch of the agency, which deals with street art events. There I want to gain more experience. I really can imagine setting up my own agency with my brother (event technician) after a few years of work experience.

What would you tell fellow students that study at HMKW?

During your studies, you should check out everything and take advantage of opportunities to meet people.

In my opinion, the university offers many opportunities to look directly into the industry (lectures, etc.). If you have already networked with professors and lecturers here, you have the chance to have "a foot in the door" at large, interesting companies.

Also, as someone who has moved to Berlin (like me from Cologne), you shouldn't get lost in the beginning and should stay focused.

Which characteristics should students have that want to study „B.A. Media and Event Management“?

I think that a certain spontaneity is important. There is always a plan B. But I've noticed that even plan B often doesn't work out as planned. Sometimes you have to improvise spontaneously and keep cool.

You also need to be a team player, because I believe that the best ideas come from working in a team, and that's when your own ideas can grow best.

Thank you very much for the interview and the insights into your studies and your profession. All the best for the future!