Amanda Kapsales G'10

November 5, 2019

“The work you put into the program definitely pays off when you enter the industry.”

Amanda Kapsales G'10 Courtesy of Amanda Kapsales

Amanda Kapsales graduated with a master's degree in advertising in 2010. She began her career as associate media planner and then media planner at Initiative, a global media agency in New York City. She then worked with Publicis Health Media in Philadelphia as media supervisor and associate media director. Currently, Kapsales works as the media director for CMI Media, a pharmaceutical media agency.

Can you tell us more about your current position?

I recently joined CMI as a media director, having worked in the advertising industry for eight years doing media planning and buying for pharmaceutical companies. I am responsible for building client relationships as well as managing my internal team to plan and implement media campaigns.

What’s an average day like for you on the job?

I typically work with clients on any requests that come through, manage my team with any deliverables and work with other departments within the agency. My day is often full of meetings with internal teams and clients. The busiest time of the year is always planning season, when we are working through our recommendations to present to the clients for the following year’s campaign.

How do you feel Newhouse prepared you for your current job?

The advertising program gave me insight into working for an ad agency and the different components that go into it: from being an account lead to media planning and then to working with creative teams. Classes that tied directly to what I do now were the media planning class and capstone, which required building campaigns. When I was starting out as a new associate media planner, I had a leg up by already knowing how to read and understand research and data, being familiar with the terminology and types of formulas and math involved in media planning and [having the] general communication skills needed in the industry. The program also gave me the tools needed for being an account lead and working with clients as well as creative teams.

Did Newhouse open your eyes to new professions or aspect of your field you may have not considered when applying?

I already had the desire to work in advertising, but never thought about specifically working in media planning prior to Newhouse. It is the perfect fit for me as I love the strategy involved and working with numbers and budgets.

What unique features of your graduate program drew you to it in the first place?

The reputation of Newhouse, the quality of the advertising program and the outstanding faculty. It is a top program in the country.

What are some obstacles or misconceptions about your field that students ought to be aware of?

If you want to be an account lead, you must work for a creative agency. On the planning side of a media agency, we have two roles: planning/buying and account lead.

What moments in your career have been most exciting or defining thus far?

Working on new product launches and having the opportunities to do work that was the first in pharma, first for the clients or first for our agency. Coming up with new and innovative ideas that make sense for the brands is also exciting, but it is a challenge in the pharmaceutical industry given the legal restrictions.