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Leo Burnett Company, Limited
175 Bloor Street East, North Tower
Toronto, Ontario M4W 3R9
+416 925 5997

Margaret Arnold

SVP, Director, Human Resources

EVP David Kennedy


Lisa Morch

VP, Director of Knowledge Mgmt

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Intern Spotlight: Timmy Parker

In the first 2014 edition of Intern Spotlight, Leo Burnett Chicago’s iniative to feature former interns-turned employees, we are proud to feature Timmy Parker, a 2013 summer intern and current junior art director. The native Arizonian tells all — from his advice for current Burnett interns to where he does his best thinking. (Hint: He does it while doing his 'business.')

First off, let’s start with something all the new summer interns are Eager Beavers to hear. What’s your advice for them?

Make friends with the people who have jobs here. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people don’t do that and wonder why people don’t know who they are and why they don’t get a full-time job. Make friends!

What’s the biggest difference between college and the real world?

Hmm…bills. If you don’t pay, it only hurts you. I’d say I still mess around a lot, like I did when I was at Fort Hays State University (in Kansas), but it’s not the same.

One more thing — it’s harder to blend in if you’re stupid. Stupid people really stand out in the real world.

What’s your favorite place to hang out in the building?

Definitely the Energy Room on the 27th floor. I work on the 27th floor — lots of interesting stuff goes on.

Describe your position [as a junior art director] in three words:

1. Get 2. This 3. Done

Where do you do your best thinking?

On the toilet. (He’s so modest!) I just tend to come up with a lot of things when I’m, you know, doing my business. Or on my bike – but that’s harder because I can’t write my ideas down. On the toilet I’ll write something down. I have a notebook.

Now let’s get to Chicago. What’s your favorite place in the city?

Oh wow. I would have to say my favorite place in Chicago is Neo in Lincoln Park. It’s a really Goth bar usually but on Thursday nights it’s a new wave dance night. It’s all 80s music. All dancing.

To get there you go down toward the back of an alley. It’s dark and gross. But it’s the best dance time you’ll ever have. It’s awesome.

What’s on your to-do list this summer in Chicago?

Start skateboarding again. Make some more music. (I’m saying these things in the least wannabe-hipster way possible.)

I also want to go home to Glendale, Ariz., and see my family.

Are you into the World Cup?

Yeah, I’m into it. I was rooting for Japan — my mother’s Japanese — but the team didn’t do anything. Obviously now I’m rooting for the USA.

Tell us about yourself. Who is your role model and why?

Let’s say my mother because I hope she reads this and is proud of me.

What creative talent would you most like to have?

I would love to be a really cool painter.

What was your first job?

I worked at Target for two years watering plants in the Arizona heat. It was horrendous. That was the moment I realized, decided I’m never going to work at a place like that ever again. I needed a creative job.

It was mostly about the uniforms. I hate uniforms. Slowly but surely I got more rebellious; by the time I left my shirt was a deep maroon; my parents were almost brown — not the required khaki — and my shoes were blue.

If you could listen to only one song for the rest of your life it would be:

“Smalltown Boy” by Bronski Beat. It’s a Brit Pop song from back in the day. I’ve been listening to it over and over again and I’m not sick of it. So it must be the one.

Personal motto:

I heard one once, and said to myself, “That should be my personal motto,” but then I forgot.

So I guess it’s “I forgot.”

If you could be any other person, who would that be and why?

I would be my partner, Kevin Simcox, another fellow past intern, because I would like to be lanky and have a great jawline.

Well, Kevin Simcox, it looks like you’re next to be featured on Intern Spotlight…