April 2015

Stay Curious

I’ve spent much of my free time at college agonizing over The Big Decision—or more specifically, what I want to do for the rest of my life. They tell you time and time again that that’s what college is all about, so the longer I spent at Temple without making up my mind, the more panicked I felt. While I have managed to graduate from the ‘All I know is that I don’t like math’ phase to something a little more concentrated (double-tracking in Copywriting and Art Direction as an Ad major), I always struggled with never feeling like a perfect ‘fit.’
My thoughts that began as:
“Once I start taking more classes for my major, then I’ll know.”
turned into
“Once I start taking more classes in a concentration, then I’ll know.”
then turned into
“Once I get my first internship, then I’ll know.”
Well I’m here to tell you as I am now completing my second internship in the advertising field that I still don’t know 100% exactly where I want my career to take me. But I’m not so worried anymore.
After working on design and writing projects at my SBDC internship this semester, I’ve learned that if you want to work in advertising, the ability to handle variety is a definite plus. Any designer, copywriter, or account manager can only benefit from exposure to another aspect of the process. Even when I eventually must choose to focus on one path over the other, there will still be a chance for me to at least participate in other aspects of the advertising field.
I’m grateful that the SBDC has allowed me to explore both the writing and visual side (and postponed my need to choose for a little longer!). I’ve learned that it’s okay to not know everything that you want from your career, and that it’s important to always explore your interests rather than try and limit yourself for the sake of feeling like you’ve figured it all out. If anything, gaining skills in both copywriting and art direction has helped me to develop a more well-rounded understanding of how the two fields work together. Getting experience isn’t always about settling on that one thing you must do for the rest of your life. It’s about learning about your likes and dislikes, and maybe even stumbling into a new passion along the way.
I’m happy to say that I’ve accepted a part-time position for the summer and coming semester at the SBDC. I’m excited by what is to come—even if that just means continuing to explore.

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A Permanent Internship

Most fellow students I have come across took an internship in a traditional ad agency, or marketing company that would naturally progress into either a job, or teaching the tools in order to land one. I, however, decided to intern at a tattoo shop, entitled Lost Soul Tattoo. This presented me with many opportunities to use my creativity and strive to come up with new ways to advertise an already popular tattoo location. I was thrust into a real role, as they never had anyone do advertising or “business” oriented work in the shop, other than piercing and tattooing. It provided me with a great challenge as there was not much in the way of guidance, so I took what I learned so far from my advertising classes and did my best to put it to work. The laid back, wear whatever you want, jam out to music while you worked, atmosphere really provided for a great creative environment and made it easy for my work to come to life via Social Media campaigns, clothing designs, and creating an entire guerrilla marketing strategy based around the shop. Taking this risk of working with a company that never had an intern before was something I was nervous about at first, but in the end it allowed me to rise to the occasion and create real work that garnered many impressions as well as new business for the shop. We saw a 6.5% increase in overall sales/revenue during my duration there, and with my implementation of a “How did you find us?” card, we realized that my Social Media Campaign was driving in about three new appointments per week (about $1200 extra revenue). This post isn’t about me bragging, or saying, “Hey, Look what I did for this company,” but to challenge other students and individuals to go for a job or internship that may be out of the box, as it could end up being the best thing for you. You could make a difference right away if you are ready for the challenge, don’t just settle for getting someone’s coffee or the internship your parents want for you. Sticking with the traditional way of doing things or going with the safest choice, will look good on a resume, but will it bring out the creative, driven person in you?

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