You never know where a single Instagram contest will take you. For me, one little Instagram post allowed me to present an elevator pitch to Scott Belsky, Chief Product Development Officer of Adobe. He basically makes all creative careers possible. That elevator pitch won me a trip to Adobe MAX, an annual creative conference. During this three-day conference in Los Angeles, four thousand art directors, designers, and typeface enthusiasts join together and dive deeper into the software that makes our jobs possible. We tested out new features, listened to industry leaders, and nabbed a TON of free stuff (my favorite freebie was an ACTUAL type specimen! It’s a little metal piece of a letterpress that came in a tiny labeled test tube. SO COOL!). The conference encouraged me to get outside of my laptop and appreciate all the awesomeness of design and how it brings together incredibly interesting people and projects.
I recently graduated from TAI in May but my SMU experience has given me the warmest welcome into the real world. I work with several former TAI rockstars at BBDO in New York –several of whom were in my own cohort! I also still bother my professors even though I’m no longer in their classes (Sorry Mark for de-railing your Advanced Portfolio class a couple weeks ago!). My education didn’t stopped when I left the classroom. The foundation of skills that I learned at TAI gave me the confidence to enter the art direction world wholeheartedly. My professors taught me that it’s always okay to ask questions and to seek advice from trusted friends and colleagues to strengthen my work.
Scott said it best in his opening keynote presentation on the first day of MAX: “The best way to learn to create is by seeing how others create.” TAI allowed me to learn from and alongside some of my favorite creative minds and I feel endlessly grateful for that opportunity.
During my four years at SMU, I majored in Strategic Brand Management through the Temerlin Advertising Institute and minored in business and international studies. I have had several internships and my most recent position, before securing a job in Dallas, was with M&C Saatchi PR Worldwide in London.
My studies at Temerlin helped me obtain this internship position. I learned how to market myself for professional opportunities – an invaluable skill that all students should master as early as possible. Temerlin also taught me how to behave in a professional environment and how to respond to real world, real life, and real job situations.
My responsibilities at M&C Saatchi PR in London encompassed a wide range of activities. I wrote press releases, attended influencer events, and initiated one of the biggest energy drink activations in Europe. I worked with multi-national multi-billion-dollar companies including Red Bull and Foot Locker.
Currently, I am employed at another globally leading PR firm, Weber Shandwick, which is located in the Dallas American Airlines Center.
Temerlin not only prepared me to know the acronyms people use in meetings and to meet deadlines, but also how to position myself professionally, how to be successfully interact with clients and colleagues, and how to market myself in this industry.
This is my advice for current Temerlin students: don’t wait for the job hunt. I encourage you to secure an internship as soon as possible because all experience is good experience. I had five internships in college and I believe that I now work at Weber Shandwick because of this extensive experience. Oh, and also listen to your professors. One day, you might need to know what they taught you.
In September, The Richards Group Media Planners and SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) visited TAI to discuss what having a career in media and digital look like. Experts in paid social, programmatic, and brand media took turns discussing their role in the agency, what kind of path they took to get where they are, what are the differences between SMEs and media planners, and tips on preparing for internships and future careers. An amazing group of nine TRG experts came to the panel and enjoyed fielding questions from our students.
Our senior Digital Media Strategy Specialization students joined the panel as well, Beth Rose, Hannah Tymochko, Julia Devine, and Austin Inglett, all graduating seniors, took time out of their busy schedules to give tips to the incoming group on how to navigate school and professional career building. Students discussed numerous past and current internship experiences, scholarships they have won, and classes within TAI and outside that helped them build relevant knowledge. Everyone emphasized the importance of networking and advised the new students to tap into our TAI faculty as a great resource and to establish more connections.
The Richards Group will be back in November for another media/digital panel and all of TAI will be invited. Media and digital crosses over to all other tracks so it would be a great way to learn more about different areas of an advertising agency. We hope to see you there!