NSAC Ad Team. Learnings and Yearnings

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This past weekend wrapped up my experience with the University of Oregon’s Ad Team. Working for two and 1/3 terms with some of the most talented, hardworking Ad students at UO has been quite the ride.

I have learned so many lessons over the course of our project, some of them bitter, some sweet. I learned that I work best on my feet, with a dry-erase marker in my hand, and as one of my peers said, “You are a born facilitator,” a compliment I hold dear. I learned everyone has a different way of processing information, taking criticism, and presenting ideas. At times, it was an exercise in stamina and people skills more than advertising.

This past Friday I presented with three of the finest public speakers the Ad. Program has to offer, and we killed it. At the end of the night, Oregon was awarded 3rd place. The University of Idaho won, for one good reason. Their strategy was bonded to their creative with super-glue.

Ours wasn’t. Looking at our work after hearing the judge’s feedback, I realized that although our tagline was spot-on, our executions lacked the consistency that would have made them great. Tough stuff, but chalk it up to another learning experience. 

I’m so proud of my team, the work we created, and the fact that we emerged from the competition with a trophy in our hands and arms around each other. Though we didn’t get gold, we won, because we value each other over the final product. I don’t need any judges to tell me how important that is.

Spencer Adrian says it best. Look out next year ‘cause Team Spacey is going to blow them all away.

 

Resumes fer Dayz

I am a firm believer that you should use a unique resume each time you apply for a position. I currently have two multipurpose resumes, one on my portfolio for advertising, and one that I send to non-advertising folk, who want to see the details of what I have done in past positions.

Why are we expected to have such different resumes? Do advertising folks have less time to look at resumes? Do they take less time? I think the main difference is that if you want to get a job in a creative, productive industry, you need evidence that you have cut your teeth on some ambitious creative projects, hence the portfolio.

Resumes are more of a formality for Ad folks, methinks.

It all comes down to how you brand yourself: Darcie Burrell may have trouble getting a job as a middle school teacher with this resume. As a copywriter however, it instantly shows her voice, spunk, and whether or not you would want to work with her. Bold, smart choice.

Here are my resumes, let me know I pass the test.

Short resume

Extensive resume

Allen Hall Advertising

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As my time as co-director of AHA draws to a close, I’d like to share some of the most important lessons that I have learned at the helm.

  • Show, don’t tell,
  • Communicate like a Baus, and
  • Always say thank you.

Co-directing AHA has been one of the most challenging learning experiences that I have had while in college, and it has also been one of the most fun. The most rewarding part was working with the most talented and passionate students in the Ad program at the University of Oregon. I know they are the best, because I sat down with Leah and Austin and read through the approximately 115 resumes + applications that we received for fall term. The biggest takeaway I have for Ad students, and Journalism students in general, is to “Show, don’t tell.” Yeah, you’ve heard it before, but it works. If you present a resume that you threw together in an evening, and  list “Adobe Creative Suite” as a skill, who is going to believe you?

If you say you are an Art Director, you better have some FREAKING compelling work to show on that portfolio.

Show, don’t tell also treats your audience (the people who will be giving you your first job, for instance) with the respect they deserve. If you want to be a Strategist, show evidence of how you think, make a flowchart, include ideabook pages, be interesting!

Communication is more important to any military then weapons, and likewise, especially in a student-run organization, communication is what will determine their success, without even considering creative talent. Austin, Leah, Chris and I met at least once a week to plan the class, and we all answered email promptly. There is always room for improvement with communication, we’re human, so occasionally there will be misunderstandings or forgetfulness, but find the best way to communicate with your team, and stick to it religiously. Then, and only then will you succeed.

“The ones with the manners have the money.” says Mark Lewis, and if you want money, better get some manners! Say thank you, when necessary, which should be always. Thank your parents, thank your professors, thank your janitors, thank visiting professionals, thank your peers, thank your employees. Sometimes just saying the words isn’t enough. Compliment your roommate on how they handled that upset visitor last night, send a thank-you card to a professional who visited a class you were in. Actions speak louder than words, remember? Show, don’t tell.

Check back soon for the next chapter in the series “What Eli learned.”