Updates on Leah, the Energy BBDO ‘LEGO Intern’

By Patrick Coffee 


A few weeks ago, a clever and creative young woman with agency aspirations named Leah Bowman won a bit of attention on this Internet of ours by submitting an account services internship application that starred herself in LEGO form.

You may have heard, via our morning stir or some other party, that she did indeed score an internship with BBDO.


Today we reached out to the newest member of the agency world to learn a little more about the application that went viral.

Our questions and her answers after the jump.

How did the idea come about?

It was inspired by one of the many different prompts agencies have for internship applications (like writing an essay about which crayon colors describe you or using an 8.5×11 sheet of paper to sell yourself). This one read: “Make a persuasive advertisement with yourself as the product.”

I’m not a graphic designer, but I wanted to highlight my skills and creativity in a way that would stand out. It took me about a weekend to put together the kit, including the label and instructions, and then I created a poster to go along with it “selling” the LEGO version of myself.

It turned out really well, so I snapped a quick picture and posted it to reddit. Never in a million years did I expect the kind of response the idea got or the discussion it sparked.

Are you a longtime LEGO fan?

Yes–my grandmother is 100% Danish, and we love to celebrate everything about our Danish heritage, from LEGOs to big Christmas dinners and the semester I spent in Denmark this fall.

My dad is a big LEGO fan, and because of him I played with them as a kid and started collecting the Star Wars sets when I was a little older.

He recently became more serious about LEGOs as a hobby: he leads the local Des Moines LEGO Users Group, and they built a huge model of the Des Moines Science Center to bring to Brickworld, a LEGO convention in Chicago.

He also introduced me to “miniland scale”, which is the scale I ended up using for my kit. It’s the same scale that LEGO uses for the people in Miniland USA, because they are bigger and more creative than just a standard minifigure with hair and pants.

What’s your experience with advertising, and how did you choose the agencies to which you applied?

My experience so far has mainly been in marketing. I only decided to start looking at advertising agencies in February and wasn’t even sure where to begin — Northwestern doesn’t have an advertising program or even a marketing/business major (I am a Communication Studies Major with an Integrated Marketing certificate).

I knew competition would be steep, so I tried to cast a wide net. I applied to ‘dream’ agencies that I’d heard professors rave about in my classes, but I also tried to hunt down smaller agencies where I might have a better shot.

What ultimately led you to go with BBDO?

BBDO was at the top of my list even before the LEGO kit.

After the interview, I felt like both the company and the internship program itself would be a great fit. As someone who is still in the first stages of exploring the world of advertising, I wanted an internship that would give me real, hands-on experience and expose me to all of the options that exist within the field.

I think account management is a great position from which to observe the different areas, and BBDO specifically does “Energy 101” sessions weekly in which different departments walk the interns through their day-to-day responsibilities.

I knew that the exposure to different projects and positions would leave me better prepared for whatever I decide to do after graduation.

Don’t know about you guys, but something tells us she’ll be alright.