Allen Hall Advertising


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.”



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