4 Things I Sucked at When I Graduated College

At WorkHappy woman smiling at desk. Oh wait, that’s me. Photo by Brad Holt, videographer, photographer and Tesla owner extraordinaire.

 

When I began my first internship a year ago, I was pretty clueless. I wouldn’t speak up in meetings, I second-guessed my intuition, and I simply had no idea what was going on in the industry, or even how to find out.

Now I realize that I lacked some tacit but important skills, ones we never discussed in college, and ones I believe were actually hindered by the education system itself. Granted, these aren’t easy skills to develop, and I know I’ll be working on them for years to come. I just wish someone had told me about them ahead of time, helped me understand how important they were. I may not have worked very hard at developing them then, but at least I would have been prepared. Continue reading

Social Media Guest Blogging

This semester, I’m taking a class in social media. Yes, we do have a class. Although I don’t think it would be entirely prudent to major in social media, I do find value in a class that teaches students how to monitor analytics, write engaging content and explore new apps and networks. So here I am.

Obviously I haven’t been blogging here lately, but my social media class has a class blog, and every student has to post at least once every two weeks. To fill the silence here, I’m going to use this post to aggregate all of my social media class posts for your reading pleasure.

And if you have some time, poke around on that class blog. Chances are you’ll find another stellar undergrad to follow!

The Era of Brand Personality
“Why Don’t Teens Love Us?” – Facebook
Smart Move, Snapchat: Stories
The Quantified, Overwhelmed Self
How Fabletics Fueled my First Seen-On-Pinterest Purchase
What Makes an App “Educational”?

Five Lessons from my First Internship

This is the last thing I shall ever write from my (adopted) desk at my first internship at an advertising agency. Well, possibly. It’s only 11 a.m. But the melodrama is hard to resist.

The intern ladies of Firehouse, Summer 2013

In all seriousness, I’m really going to miss Firehouse. They’ve been welcoming and friendly, offering a perfect balance of advice and companionship. I’m so glad I had the chance to start my career here. I’ve learned a lot — about myself and about agency life. The things I’ve learned about myself, I’ll keep to myself, but I thought other students might like to hear some of the things I’ve learned about working in an agency. Especially as an intern.

Continue reading

My NSAC

Nearly two months after the competition, I finally got around to posting my work from the National Student Advertising Competition. I’m not sure why it took me so long. You think I’d have been bursting at the seams to share our brilliant campaign with the world. ‘Cause it is kind of brilliant.

But man, talk about burned out.

From January to April, the words “Glidden” and “Walmart” used up at least 50% of my breath. I went to bed at 10 p.m. every night from sheer exhaustion and dreamed about them. I paid little attention to my other classes because of them. Would I do it again? No effin’ way. Am I glad I did it? Definitely.

Continue reading

All Agencies, Big and Small

This spring, I’m going to start applying for summer internships. To scout out my selection, this winter break I went a-shadowing. And I highly suggest that every other student looking for an internship — or even a job — should do the same.

There are a few reasons it’s great to shadow. Of course you get an inside view of how the agency operates, what your job might entail, and how early in the morning you’ll have to arrive. But you also get to see the agency’s culture, which is incredibly important.

Culture can change a dead-end job to an awesome job, but it especially helps in the creative industry. You’re hired to think and create for a living — how are you going to do your best work if you don’t feel comfortable at your job? I tend to do my best thinking while I’m in the shower or lying in bed, trying to fall asleep. A cubicle is the farthest thing from my bed, know what I mean?

Continue reading

Millennials and their Facebooks

 

 

Let’s talk about Facebook. More specifically, millennials and Facebook. As a generation, we’re obsessed. And for most of us, it’s caused some sort of problem at one point or another, whether in our relationships, our profession, or those times when we just can’t get stuff done because we got sucked in. Many of us don’t like it. And there’s nothing really wrong with the concept of Facebook — being able to share photos and comments with our friends and family is great — so why do we hate it so much?

Continue reading

Why I love Lovemarks (and you should, too)

Awhile back I read a book that made me realize that commerce doesn’t have to be about making money. It doesn’t have to be about profits or sales or annual reports or anything like that. Don’t get me wrong, those things are necessary to maintain a thriving business, but they’re not what’s really important. People are what’s important. I’ve always believed that, but until I read this book, I wasn’t sure if anyone else did, too.

The Lovemarks Effect by Kevin Roberts is the second book about Lovemarks. The first book, Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands, was a smash hit. Most smash hits get rave reviews in the Times. Lovemarks got such enthusiastic feedback that author Kevin Roberts published a book, this book, dedicated entirely to how much people love his awesome idea.

I read this book thoroughly and glossed over the first. I like this one much better because it’s better written, better designed, and its interviews have a lot more impact.

But let’s get right to it. What the heck’s a Lovemark?

Continue reading

STELLAAA!!

Let’s get real for a second: I love words. I love rhythms and emphases and tiny nuances of meaning. I love how a word sounds like its meaning (ever read Alphabet Juice? So good.) and how a collusion of the perfect sounds can enrich a sentence far more than any emoticon. Words are incredible. Words are beautiful.

Now, I’ve come to understand that not everyone shares this obsession. I’ve had to learn to tolerate the typical grammatical gaffes and forgive their perpetrators. Even the perpetrators who hang signs with the glaring mistake in their shop windows. I’m learning that not everyone cares enough to make their sentences sing, and that’s okay with me.

But when I see someone who is just SO CLOSE to great writing… It breaks my heart.

Stella, I’d just like to say, I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT. Continue reading

Warby Parker and Me

Let’s discuss Warby Parker.

Image

Warby Parker makes eyeglasses. Cute eyeglasses. Some might call them hipster glasses. Whatever, they’re totally awesome. AND when you buy a pair of glasses from Warby Parker, they give a pair to someone who needs them. AND their glasses cost about 1/3 of what you’d normally pay for glasses. Most frames are just $95. Talk about whoa.

Now let’s talk about me.

I’m a 20-year-old (almost 21!!) college student studying advertising. I grew up reading books and watching PBS. My mom often bought store-brand. Many very intelligent teachers and professors have been teaching me to think critically for the past fourteen years. In short, I’m discerning.

And I fell in love with Warby Parker before I ever even bought their product.

Continue reading

Ad Books: “Hey Whipple, Squeeze This.” by Luke Sullivan

One of my nearest and dearest mentors recommended this book to me a few semesters ago, but the title sounded weird so I didn’t read it. What the hell’s a Whipple anyway? If I had only picked up a copy and read the first paragraph I would have known, but to save you from falling victim to the same stigma, I’m going to educate you.

Image

Mr. Whipple was the star in Charmin’s “Don’t Squeeze the Charmin” campaign that began in 1964 and ran for TWENTY ONE YEARS. That campaign was old enough to drink. Most, like our good friend Luke Sullivan, thought the commercials were absolutely horrid, but Charmin was makin’ money so the Whipple ads kept runnin’ until 1985. And then, according to Mr. Whipple’s own personal Wikipedia article, he came back in 1999 before finally surrendering to the cuddly, still-annoying-but-less-intrusive Charmin bears.

Continue reading