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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  How can I best prepare myself for a career in advertising?

How can I best prepare myself for a career in advertising?


I live in the US and my question is do agencies rate my undergraduate schooling as a very important factor when hiring?
Also, how can I best prepare myself, education wise, for a career in advertising?

intro How can I best prepare myself for a career in advertising?If you have an excellent portfolio, a creative director won’t really care what school you went to, or even if you went to school for advertising at all. Many outstanding creatives have made it without taking the traditional route.

Having said that, the majority of successful creatives have benefitted from good educations. The best schools give you your best shot at a great student book and of course a strong foundation to begin your career. Some of the best schools in the U.S. are the VCU Ad Center in Richmond (a 2 year masters program), Art Center in Pasadena, Creative Circus in Atlanta and Portfolio Center, also in Atlanta. There are several others that are outstanding but not lots, oddly enough. Our best advice to those looking for a good program is to start by checking out the prospective school’s best student work and ask about their success stories. Right then and there, many schools will come up short. Check out sites and start comparing programs. A little homework should help you avoid the vast majority of schools that are weak. We can’t tell you the number of times we’ve seen student portfolios and thought the poor kid with the book they don’t yet know is terrible just flushed thousands of dollars and years of their lives down the toilet.

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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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