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University just wasn’t enough


Dear Jancy, I will be graduating this year at a Canadian university with a commerce degree majoring in marketing. For quite some time now I’ve been telling myself that a career in advertising is where I want to be. I believe that the university has taught us what we needed to know. However I felt that what I know is not enough to be in the ad industry.
I guess my question is, what are the options available to me? What can I do to further my experience/knowledge? I’m open to learn and do things to get me where I want to be. I actually just received your book from Amazon today. I’m still in chapter 2 though.

intro University just wasnt enoughYour instincts sound like they’re right on. Especially in these tricky times, having something more than a degree would definitely be helpful. You can check out internships, of course. They’re great learning experiences, but maybe a more surprising approach is called for when the competition is even tougher than normal.

How do you learn more, demonstrate your creativity and resourcefulness and perhaps land a job, all at once? Maybe you should make a list of agencies that interest you and see if you can job shadow somewhere, or even lots of somewheres. It’ll give you insight into how agencies work and may help you decide what part of the business gets you most excited. What if you created some sort of self-education program, pitched it to agencies so they’ll let you come and hang out for a couple of days, then you can compile your experience into some kind of unique resume that separates you from the crowd. Don’t forget to look at digital companies, guerrilla media companies, media agencies. Look at getting a job as a creative project. And remember, there’s no law that says a resume has to be a boring sheet of paper.

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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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