KPU business student Aaron Bhawan a rising star at one of Canada’s top creative agencies

HEADLINES Aaron BhawanRICHMOND student Aaron Bhawan is spending the summer learning from the best in the advertising industry.

A fourth-year bachelor of business administration student studying marketing management at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), Bhawan landed the opportunity to intern with DDB Canada – a company that was named Canada’s number one creative agency in 2012, and is Strategy Magazine’s most-awarded Agency of the Year.

The company – with clients that include Netflix, Nordstrom, McDonald’s, Subaru, Canadian Tire and Manulife – has partnered with the BC Chapter of the American Marketing Association (BCAMA) to offer one lucky person the chance to gain a comprehensive, hands-on experience with the firm’s award-winning strategy team in Vancouver.

The lucky candidate, and the first person to hold the position, is Bhawan – who was selected for his leadership in school and volunteer activities, curiosity, strong work ethic and confidence. The Richmond resident, who would like to one day hold a leadership position at a marketing agency, says the opportunity is a great fit.

“This internship is that ‘first step’ into the industry. It allows you to get your feet wet, learn from the best and apply everything you have learned in university. If you show initiative and aim to make an impact, it is probably the most direct avenue into lining yourself up with a job offer in the future,” he said.

For three months, Bhawan will get an insider’s view of what makes DDB Canada one of the country’s best creative agencies. To date, he says he has already gained an understanding of how an agency works; turned research into actionable and presentable insights for clients, and; learned about brand conviction and behavioural change – all of which are keys to industry success.

“BCAMA is a forward-thinking organization so we want to invest in the future by, among other things, supporting young talent and matching students with the best possible mentoring experiences,” said Joel Sloan, Director of Collegiate, BCAMA. “Internships such as this one allow us to offer talented individuals like Aaron quality industry exposure, hopefully making the transition-to-industry process easier. We’re looking forward to developing this program further and being able to impact more young marketers in the near-future.”

After honing his skillset at DDB Canada, Bhawan will complete his degree at KPU, where his journey as a rising marketing star began.

“It was actually KPU that helped guide me into marketing in the first place when I had no idea what I wanted to do,” Bhawan said. “I do not believe any other university or blend of professors could have better prepared me. Working with real clients in-class, the ability to actually speak with professors on a one-on-one basis and the networking opportunities provided by student clubs are all facets of my ‘student life’ that only in reflecting do I realize how valuable they are.”