So you’re majoring in Advertising…

In case you guys haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a student, and, like most of my peers, I’ve been a student for the last 15 years of my life. I still have three semesters left before graduation, but this summer I was lucky enough to take my first step into “the real world,” for lack of a better term.
A favorite professor (and awesome mentor) of mine found out that the former owner of a national photography representing firm (e.g. HUGE STUFF HERE) was looking for an assistant for the summer to help her get her visual consulting business organized, and he tossed out my name. Melanie called me up and, well, I guess she liked me ’cause here we are, two months later and about three years wiser (at least on my part, that is).
Organizing photo shoots, talking to clients, going through Melanie’s old invoices, learning what it takes to run your own business, and frankly, just being around Melanie herself has taught me that I know next to nothing about the industry I’m going in to. Sure, I know some techniques and terms and I have good time management skills, but when it comes down to it, I understand why employers hesitate to hire kids fresh out of college. Sadly, that phrase used to be “fresh out of high school,” but that’s another can of worms entirely.

In all honesty, advertising is a difficult field to keep up with, and because there is so much more for an educational system to cover, even the best schools will be at least a beat behind the times, but c’mon. Don’t get me wrong, there are awesome professors at UNT, ones who have worked in the industry and do know what it’s like, but unless you can get them outside the classroom, they usually don’t dispense wisdom about how to survive in a work environment on a day-to-day basis. It’s not their fault, it’s the system. And the biggest bone I have to pick with the system is discussed in Seth Godin‘s book, Free Prize Inside.
Over the summer, I’ve collected several recommendations of advertising and marketing books to read, so even though I don’t have much time to read them, I decided I was going to share that wisdom with my fellow students and help them, too, bridge the gap from the classroom to the office. I’ll start with Godin’s book, and then just keep on truckin’ as I can get them read. Look for the review on Godin’s book first, and then follow me on Twitter or search this blog for the tag “ad books” to find the rest.
Until next time!

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