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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  How much will where I went to school affect my career?

How much will where I went to school affect my career?


Here’s my story: I moved from home and studied Fine Arts Advanced at Georgian College, north of Toronto, knowing one day I was going to be living in the big city. Realizing I can actually just take the Advertising Program and up my chances of getting into the industry creatively that way instead… I began studying advertising. Have always had a flare for art as well as a wild imagination. For personal reasons I ended up making the choice to move back to where I grew up, near Montreal. I like the eduation system better in Ontario and graduated high school there as well. I plan on moving back in Ontario, to finish my Advertising program there and was wondering if you have heard anything good about Algonquin’s (Ottawa) 3 year course. I know if I am going the creative side, my portfolio will most likely be my iron fist- but will where I go to school disrupt my chances of getting into an agency? I just want to finish my schooling where it is best, I’ll do anything to live out my dreams. By the way, great site. You two are heroes.

intro How much will where I went to school affect my career?We’re not familiar with the school you’re considering, so we really can’t comment on that. So we’ll speak broadly about the impact your education has on getting a job. It’s huge. Wherever you go, ultimately you’re looking to leave with a portfolio that says you get it and you’ve got it. It’s more than your “iron fist”—it’s literally everything; the only thing. The name of your school won’t really help or hurt—creative directors judge you by your work. Went to a crap school and have a great book? Great! Went to a great school and have a crap book? Too bad for you. Do your homework before you choose your school. Ask for a list of alumni, or even just those they consider their most successful alumni. You may be able to track people down and see what their experience has been. Better yet, can the school point to any great advertising their alumni have created? Can the school show you some version of their portfolio (best student work)? This is where the rubber meets the road. The creative product tells the story. If you can observe that what you see is mediocre, it isn’t the right place for you. There are many truly bad ad programs out there— unfortunately, we’d say the majority are mediocre or worse. A real waste of time and money. So do be discriminating, and cast your net as wide as you can. It will be well worth the effort.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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