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Professional, Knowledgeable, Young – You Can Only Choose 2.

BizBlog

I can’t be the only person with this problem. As an early college graduate, I had my first job at the ripe age of 21. Sure, age isn’t brought up much in the corporate world (I assume because most people are as bad of a judge of age as myself), however when you look like a high school senior, it doesn’t help. Lucky for me, my first two jobs out of college were at advertising agencies, which are quite a bit more laid back then corporate offices. That also can be damaging to someone who needs to dress “older”.

I’ll never forget my first client meeting – I had been working with the client for about a month, and brought them in to review ideas for upcoming promotions that had previously been OK’d. After printing booklets and preparing all morning, the client walked in and gave the worse stare down I’ve ever had. He immediately disliked our ideas, and made us redo them four times (to the point that it ended up being the original promotion we suggested!) The entire time I worked on his account, regardless of the success we had, he questioned my judgement because I was “just a kid.”

Some things you can’t change – and in 15 years, I’ll be yearning for the days of being “just a kid,” but for now, it’s important to me to rise above the “young” stereotype. I make it a point to shake hands with a strong grip, look people in the eye, and avoid the filler phrases (at work at least, at home, I am stuck on “like.”) I’ve graduated from ill-fitting black pants and J.Crew sweaters to well-fit blazers and lady-like dresses, but I do not own a suit set. I make sure my actions speak louder than words – I get results, regardless of my age. And at the end of the day, I know I have some growing to do, but I won’t let that interfere with my success.

Have you had any #PostGradProblems yourself? 

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Uncategorized

Advertising Advice: What I Would Have Done Differently

If someone could tell me where the past year and a half went, that would be great. Yep, I’ve been in the industry for a whole 18 months! I’m definitely no expert, but I’ve learned a lot. When my good friend Chelsea (author of Creative Little Bird!) had a few questions for her internship class, I didn’t realize how eye opening it would really be.

1. What would you say is the most rewarding part of your job?
Nothing. JUST KIDDING! I get a huge kick out of seeing a promotion or post get legs and go. There’s just something satisfying about seeing something you created go from an idea to 50 likes.
2. What would you say is the most challenging part of your job? I think people overlook the challenge of working with the public. Representing your client means you really only see things from their point of view, but that doesn’t mean your audience feels the same way. It’s important to respond to complaints from an optimistic perspective and not out of anger.
3. Describe something that you encounter(ed) after entering into your professional career that you least expected to encounter. Being young, you face a lot of scrutiny entering the workforce. I’ve had clients nearly laugh in my face when they’ve been told I’m taking over their account. What they don’t realize is that even though I’m young, I have been in the social space since it existed.
4. What is your day-to-day like? What’s a day-to-day? No day is ever the same, but that’s what keeps it exciting.
5. Is there anything you wish you would’ve known about the industry or account service when you first started on the job hunt? Experience is everything. Don’t discount the little project you did for your brother’s friend’s mom. Showing that you can own a project from start to finish speaks volumes. Also, networking cannot be overlooked!
6. What is an important asset you think an account service person can contribute other than things that you can learn in school? Being a good listener. You’re in the middle of creatives, interactive people and clients. If you can take what everyone says and put it together in a comprehensive way that everyone can understand, you’ll go far.
7. Any words of wisdom for a newb to the industry? Wear comfy shoes – you never know what you might get into!
What’s the best piece of advice you could give a newb? What questions do you have as a newb? 
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Getting Personal

Grown Up, Year One

It’s incredibly hard to believe that a year ago tomorrow, I graduated college. Three and a half years of finals, papers and projects all cumulated to that very moment where I crossed the stage. That being said, I’ve complete year one of adulthood, if you will. I figured I’d document some things I’ve learned.

It’s not easy. How I long for the days of 11am classes, Thirsty Thursday’s at Harpos and afternoon naps. The 9-5 world is just that – business, 9-5. Or, like most advertisers, closer to 8-6. Sure, the whole paycheck thing is awesome, but the free time isn’t close to being comprable.

Work isn’t perfect. Like most proud J-School grads, I expected some $50,000 glam job doing social media for a powerhouse like Budweiser or Old Spice. That didn’t happen. My first job was not a good fit for me at all, but I learned a lot. Will I go back to media? No. Did I really need to know the inner workings of a cow’s digestive system? No. But it’s experience, and an interesting conversation piece.

Respect is earned. I can’t emphasize that enough. It probably doesn’t help that I have a baby face and look like a 16-year-old without the acne, but you have to work very, VERY hard to gain respect out of college. Just because you show up with a degree doesn’t mean you’ve earned your stripes.

Living on your own is not what you did in college. Sure, I had an apartment, I had roommates. I had to buy groceries and pay electric bills, but that was all highly supplemented by my parents. Being on my own now, I realize the importance of budgeting and free time. Laundry doesn’t do itself, trash does not get taken out automatically, and you have no idea how grateful you are for your parents until you’re no longer living with them and calling them up to install a shower head for you.

B-Averages no longer cut it. To give myself credit, I was an A-B honor roll student. However, in the real world, that missed  comma or misspelt word that would have gotten a few points off now can cause meetings with your boss, client, or worse – HR department. Practice makes perfect is no longer the motto – get everything right the first time by double and triple checking your work is.

Responsibility is nice. I wasn’t allowed to have a dog as a child, teen, or college student. Now, living on my own, I was able to get Yadi. Yes, he’s a damn handful, but I enjoy being responsible for him and myself. When you have to count on yourself, you quickly learn to appreciate what you do.

Life goes on. I had a breakdown or two that I wouldn’t ever see my friends after graduating early. That’s false. Keeping your relationships is just as important as landing a job. Are their things I miss about college life? OF COURSE. But all in all, I’m enjoying the grown-up life.