Mariana De Lucca
IMC 636 Capstone Project
Completion Date – Summer 2016
Client – A Day in L.A.
Residence – San Diego, CA
Previous Degrees – B.A. in Journalism from Faculdade Casper Libero, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Certificate in Music Business from UCLA, Los Angeles, CA.
Misc. Facts – I grew up in Brazil and left a career in journalism to move
to the United States 11 years ago. After a few years of working odd jobs, getting
a handle on a foreign language and interning, I got a job at Google as an Advertising
Analyst. That experience expanded my knowledge about digital marketing and inspired
me to pursue my Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications. Currently
I work as a SEO Lead for iProspect, a digital advertising agency, marketing Fortune
500 companies such as PayPal and Sony. A fun fact: I got a puppy on the same day
I started the Capstone. While it was crazy to juggle a full-time job, the Capstone
and having my first dog, I’m really glad I had him as a companion to relieve some
of the stress. I named him Archer, which may have been an homage to our awesome
capstone professor Archie Sader.
Capstone Experience – The Capstone was a mix of second-guessing every
single step I took and feeling extremely confident that I was on the right track.
The whole process was challenging, but once I decided what my campaign would focus
on, everything became clear. If you have the opportunity to choose your own client,
make sure you choose something you enjoy (even better if you have a contact in
the company so you can ask for details). You will think about your client 24/7
for eight weeks and being familiar with the industry can make the experience a
lot more pleasant. In the beginning, try to narrow down the business problems you
will try to solve with your proposal, along with the right target market for your
client: it is better to have a few objectives well thought out than too many objectives
that your client won’t be able to achieve.
I built my agency credentials about a month before the class started, so I could
dedicate the first few weeks for deeply researching my client, the target audience
and the industry (wow that was a lot of research)! Graphic Design is not my strong
suit, so websites like Taylor Brands and Canva were lifesavers for my proposal
(Fiverr was also great for proofreading)! Be your own project manager and plan
every single step of the project along with the “due date” for those steps. I set
my own deadlines for every section, so I could allow time for proofreading, changing
content as needed and keeping everything on track. I ended up finishing the proposal
a week before the deadline, and could enjoy an early vacation and the peace of
mind of not being pressed for time.
Seeing the project printed and ready to go was one of the best feelings ever. Everyone
at the Fedex store thought I was crazy for taking selfies with my proposal, jumping
and screaming when I saw it, but I didn’t care, I wanted to enjoy that moment.
Allow yourself to be proud of your work. This is a great accomplishment and the
ultimate validation of your hard work throughout the IMC program.