May 14, 2012 § Leave a comment
I went to New York City this last week and learned a ton about myself, my peers, advertising, and how they all fit together. The city was incredible and I’m so grateful to have been given an opportunity to expand my horizons beyond the rural that I’m so used to.
I visited these agencies: Mcgarrybowen, Big Spaceship, Huge, Mr. Youth, Code and Theory, JWT, W+K NY, Jet Blue, and Siegel+Gale.
INSIGHT 1 In many guest visits to the ad school, people always talk about interviewing an agency. They say that it’s just as important that you like the culture there as it is that they like you. This trip really showed me how true that is. There were some places that my peers really loved, and I didn’t. Or places that folks weren’t super excited about, but I was way into. I really realized that this is true—agencies are all so different from each other and it is really okay to not want to work at some of them.
INSIGHT 2 People are so important. This year has really been about people for me—life is really about relationships and what you make of them. Going to all of these agencies in New York City demonstrated this. Art Directors brought their writing partners along and visa versa. Bosses raved about their wonderful employees. Everyone talked about the culture of an agency all based around the people that work there and how they relate to each other. When account people understand creative, and everyone is on the same team, great ideas happen. When creative directors trust their team, the process just works.
I learned a lot this week, including much about what I really want out of my career and my life. Thanks to all who contributed and made the week better. The experience continues—I hope we can all continue to help and encourage each other. The people in the SoJC ad school are what make the school successful and that is a valuable lesson in itself.
March 23, 2012 § Leave a comment
I recently read this Fast Company article on something Continuum calls “deliberative discourse.” It’s based on a system of Arguing and Discussing with a common goal in mind. This kind of discourse has been a huge part of ad team recently and I hope it continues to be part of my life. The general idea behind this discourse is that everyone argues for what they believe will solve the common goal then discusses it. The process is repeated until everyone agrees.
I have been in many meetings where people are afraid of conflict, and I hate it. When each member of a team is fighting for what they really think is the best solution to a problem, it shows they’re passionate and not giving up.
When I sit in a meeting and everyone agrees with me (and especially if I agree with everyone), I’ll know it’s time to move on and push myself into another area position. Passion is powerful. I will always choose a passionate team, even if they are not always the most correct.
March 23, 2012 § Leave a comment
This post is about buzz words and new stuff and trends and “must haves” and all that junk. People are smart and they are constantly coming up with brilliant solutions to problems that exist. That part is good, but the issue happens when other people take those brilliant solutions to particular problems and apply them to EVERYTHING.
Responsive Web Design: Great idea. It’s a wonderful solution for many websites that need to be flexible and work on many devices. But it shouldn’t be used for everything, especially image-heavy sites that will take forever to load on small devices.
Phone and tablet applications: YES! Apps are so great for so many things—like games that are fun for more than a day, things that help organize life, or Twitter. But they are absolutely pointless for many other things, like advertising cars and being less-good versions of websites.
This all comes down to strategy. Don’t do something unless it’s worth doing. People waste a ton of money on Superbowl ads, apps, and ads in places that will never be seen by people that matter. Like my last post says, make sure that everything you do is valuable in some way.
March 22, 2012 § Leave a comment
As this term comes to a close and marks what is pretty close to the end of my formal education, I thought I’d summarize some things that I’ve recently learned. So here you go.
Life is mysterious and sometimes it’s best to just go with it.
At the end of February, I was laid off from my job at the student paper because the publisher shut my whole department down. I can describe it as ridiculous and all those words that I’m sure you can think of yourself. After being pissed off for a while, I started up my job search and ended up with a recommendation from my department head at this student paper that just laid me off. She passed my portfolio on and exactly one month later I am starting a real job. It’s not quite my dream job, but it is a really good job, and a very important stepping stone to getting there. From this comes another lesson:
When you take yourself seriously, people take you seriously.
I tend to think of things in terms of value. How much value am I adding to this situation? How much value am I getting out of this situation? Is the value I’m getting worth the cost? I’m a little strange and I realize this, but it’s just the way I think. Anyway, I always try to maximize the value I’m getting out of something by contributing value, which really means that I take myself seriously. Not in the mean way, just in the “I know enough about what I’m doing to know that I sort of know what to do and I can talk about it with you” kind of way. As I enter the “real world” that people like to think of, I realize that there is only one world and it’s all real. The mindset is what’s different and as I stop thinking of myself as a student and start thinking of myself as valuable in many situations outside of the classroom, other people see me as that too.
Doing what you love is fun.
This one seems a little obvious but it gets forgotten all the time. I have been working with a team of 11 other people for the last few months to construct a mind-blowing campaign to advertise Nissan vehicles to multicultural millennials. We have put more hours into this thing than I even knew existed, but it truly has been fun. It is affirming to see that I really enjoy the career I have chosen. I knew I loved advertising, but Nissan really put that to the test. But I came out on top (at least so far), still loving advertising despite the stress and late nights and early mornings and heated discussions and scrapped ideas and everything else. What’s more fun than fun, and why not have a job that’s fun so you never have to stop having fun?
I’ve learned so much more, but these are the highlights right now.
February 27, 2012 § Leave a comment