During the past two semesters as an advertising student at UNT, I’ve learned so much that I feel as if my brain could combust at any moment if I focus too hard on recollecting the information. This hadn’t changed the fact that I had yet to sit down with someone in the industry and act as a sponge in a conversation centered around the advertising world.
This week I had the opportunity to grab a cup of coffee with someone who has been a professional in the field for decades. I had an inordinate amount of questions prepared, but instead ended up mostly listening to a few key points he had arranged for me. As any eager student would, I inquired about what makes a person successful in the industry, and what are the steps one can take while in school to prepare for the professional world.
Here are three points he made:
Do this. This is a way to gain insight and allow the customer to be involved in the process of creating a product and brand. If you are ever assigned to a project, never think that simply reading and gathering secondary research is enough. Hitting the bushes, so to speak, will help grow you and your brand in many ways.
He stressed this point the most. He referred to people that have project management experience as “gold”. He stated, “Life is just a series of projects.” His point was, that if someone could be successful at completing and managing projects, they could be successful in almost anything they do. While you’re in school, take as many opportunities as possible to lead teams, complete tasks from start to finish and meet deadlines.
Insight and analysis
It’s time to nerd up. I realize for us creatives, numbers can be daunting. (Or maybe not, this is just what I’ve always heard?) Whether they are or aren’t, it’s important that you’re well rounded and know how to think analytically. Opportunities to grow your analytical skills will be lying around every corner of the journalism department. Even though they aren’t always welcoming, try not to avoid them
Along with the incredible advice, he suggested a book. For the people that still know how to construct letters into thoughts, this book is titled “The Power of WHO.” He strongly recommended it, because as students, we are desperately looking for a path that will be fulfilling, and he believes this book will help you to identify your dream in life and how to fulfill it.