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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  How much beyond ad school goes into building a book?

How much beyond ad school goes into building a book?


I got your book for Christmas and have been enjoying it and learning a lot from it. I’m currently a freshman at VCU and plan to study creative advertising and hopefully work as a creative. I was wondering what your take is on how much you should expect from school and how much you think is raw born-with-it talent. I ask this because if I was asked to come up with a campaign right now (as far as generating ideas, drafting on the computer, etc), I don’t think I could (or it would really suck). I know completing a book is going to take a lot of personal time, but how much should I expect to have to do on my own?

intro How much beyond ad school goes into building a book?You should expect a great deal from your school experience. Especially if you go through the VCU Adcenter, ranked the #1 school in the U.S. recently.

It’s only normal that you wouldn’t have a clue at this moment if tasked with creating an ad campaign. If people knew how to do it without training there wouldn’t be a need for schools. Yes, talent plays its part, but those who succeed in this business usually site hard work and passion for advertising. A great school will teach you how it’s done and push you hard to do what it takes to be great at it. Those who don’t have the right stuff—commitment, drive, enthusiasm, with some talent thrown in, will be gently (or not) directed to other majors if their school is decent. Many schools that aren’t top calibre will still graduate people who will never make it, wasting that student’s time and money. It makes us angry to see the unfortunate grads with books that will never get them a job.

As for how much effort you should expect to put into creating a book that will get you a job, we’d describe the journey as all-consuming. At a good school you won’t feel you have to figure things out on your own. But your own motivation will determine whether you give it your all or not—school can’t make you try your best.

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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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