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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  Looking ahead to my next job, will my multimedia degree help?

Looking ahead to my next job, will my multimedia degree help?


Hi Jancy, I love your book Pick Me! I love it and it changed me. I plan on re-reading it after I’m done with Hey Whipple. icon smile Looking ahead to my next job, will my multimedia degree help?
Anyway, for my question, I’m a fresh graduate and recently got a job as a Junior Art Director at a local medium-sized ad agency. I plan on staying for only a year to get a job at a more reputable agency. The question is, what are my chances at getting a job at reputable agencies as a Multimedia Arts graduate (making print ads, designing and developing websites, interactive CDs, production and post-production of videos, 3d and 2d animation that sort of thing) and not as an Advertising graduate? I’ve been told I have no advantage over the competition since my major isn’t Advertising. I really like this business and have been reading up as much as I can about it and how to excel at being an Art Director. Should I go back to school or keep working on my portfolio?

intro Looking ahead to my next job, will my multimedia degree help?Your best chance at advancing into your dream job is to do an exceptional job at the agency that currently employs you. Do not make the mistake of undervaluing the opportunity you have right now to learn and grow. If your attitude is that you’re only there as a sort of stepping stone, treading water until a ‘real’ job comes along, you will not only squander the chances you have there, you will set yourself back. The next CD you approach will not be impressed if your portfolio shows you didn’t give your job all your energy. It may not be the perfect place (guess what, there is no perfect place), but you can make good things happen if you’re proactive and have passion to dig opportunity out of the corners. Especially as a junior—you will be able to show work that wasn’t produced for another year or two. So if your agency isn’t great at selling brave work, or you have a weak leader, weak partner, bad clients—none of these hurdles mean you can’t keep building your portfolio with great ideas. You just have to push that much harder. Only have crap projects? Talk to account directors about the business problems facing their brands. Approach your CD with ideas that could make a difference. At best—he or she will like your thinking so much they’ll show the client. No client turns away a chance to see really great unsolicited ideas from their agency. And no CD will do anything but give you bonus points for putting brain cells against solving problems proactively (unless you did that instead of what was on your to-do list). At worst, the ideas you have won’t be used at all—but may help the portfolio continue to grow. The exception there is if your ideas aren’t good enough.

It sounds like you can get the “education” you need on the job—which is usually better than school. So embrace the fact that you have a job and make the most of it. Who knows—you may love it when you approach it with a good attitude.

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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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