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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  Is ad school right for a self-taught, client-side CD?

Is ad school right for a self-taught, client-side CD?


I am a CD client-side looking to make the move to an agency, as I know that is my calling, want more of a challenge, a real collaborative environment, and to be around people that run faster than me. The concern is this, I am self-taught, and have been doing communication design for 6 years. I have never had the opportunity to have a mentor, having to be the lone soldier in almost all of my roles. I have built the design team here from scratch, but am constantly frustrated with the lack of strategy and empowerment from the top. I feel that I am at my ceiling in this role, and really want to grow and be challenged.
What advice could you give me on making the move to an agency without having gone to finishing school? I do not currently have much advertising in my book- it is mostly communication design and corporate ID. I have a thirst for knowledge (and I am a heavy reader) so any books you could recommend would be helpful, too. [I recently read your book, have Whipple and Kiss&Sell on my desk... and am looking for The Copywriter's Bible.]

intro Is ad school right for a self taught, client side CD?You’re a perfect candidate for a portfolio school. Your background will serve you very well but you can’t slide seamlessly into the very different world of an ad agency creative department. You can’t get a foot in the door without a great portfolio full of ads. The shortest route to creating it is a great school. Sorry we can’t think of a shorter shortcut than that. And the better the school, well, the better. Yep, it’s “expensive” (not in the long run) and it will take a couple of years. How badly do you want to make it?

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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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