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ATK Visits Aisle Rocket Studios

May 13, 2014

Above and beyond what I could have imagined.

Those were the words used by Mary Mccubbins to describe her recent field trip to Aisle Rocket Studios (ARS) accompanied by her fellow Illinois State University undergraduates. Enrolled in the Arts and Technology (ATK) program, these students were given an agency tour by ATK alum and lead ARS developer Chris Smith, who also provided what other tours hadn’t: real-world experience.

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Students participated in a mock brainstorm – complete with a creative brief and deliverables – moderated by Smith and Matt Jansick, ARS’ Director of Emerging Retail Experiences. Called “one of the most successful parts of the tour” by Mccubbins, she and her fellow students were able to experience and participate in actual agency activities. “Ultimately, we were trying to give ATK students a real-world sense of the kind of work they’d be doing in an agency,” Smith said.

Giving ATK students a sample of what interactive agencies do is ideal, as their post-graduation opportunities are incredibly diverse. The traditional route entails students seeking employment at a tech company, where they code endlessly with little room for creativity. Some take the entrepreneurial path, creating innovative products/services/industries that haven’t been thought of before. Then, there’s Interactive Advertising Agencies – like Aisle Rocket Studios – where creativity and technology go hand-in-hand. An interactive agency is where ATK grads can apply both sides of their degree and their expertise to the work. The philosophy of these agencies is best detailed in a video by Robert Wong, Chief Creative Officer of Google, in which he speaks about the line between arts and science being blurred, leading to creatives collaborating with engineers and coders to solve problems.

At ARS, we take this idea further, as the creative team doesn’t just collaborate with technical staff — they’re one and the same. ARS includes technology at the onset of the creative process instead of treating it as a ‘box to tick off’ during the process. We build solutions for legendary clients that are more than just creative. They’re user-friendly. This makes the connection between the ATK program and ARS a no-brainer, as students apply everything they’ve learned in school to real-life projects.

Great work. Awesome clients.
Who wouldn’t want to join this team?

Better yet, who is ARS looking for? In terms of adding to the agency’s roster, our technology team prefers developers who are artists versus those who just code, a sentiment echoed by Alyque Ajani (Director of Technology and Innovation). “It’s more important to recruit those with passion over just the skills,” Ajani reveals, “as well as having the aptitude and willingness to learn, figuring it out and doing good work.” So if you’re a self-starter, a coder with an addiction to creativity, or a designer that knows how to code, we’re looking for you, you and you. We’re looking for those who not only want to change the world, but can. As Robert Wong so eloquently said in his video, “If you’re in the creative arts, don’t underestimate the role you might play in helping to shape the future.” That future is now. The place? Aisle Rocket Studios.