Friday, August 7, 2009

Great Article

Here is a great article from Edward Boches, the CCO of Mullen.’s-graduating-class

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Credo

After presenting my website and work to a whole bunch of people. I have realized that my about me is a little off. It doesn't describe who I am. So I decided to write a new one for the hiring process, which may end up being the foundation to rebranding Here it is tell me what you think.

I was a 5'9", 200 pound Division 1 Swimmer.

Even though that statement has nothing to do with advertising, my technological capabilities or professional attributes, a lot of it describes why you should hire me.

I was not your average swimmer. I was fat, small, and weak. But what I brought to swimming wasn't my natural born talent, it was my passion, my ability to get up at 5:30 in the morning ready to work and my loud voice. And that is what I also bring to my art direction, design and, most importantly, ideas.

So even though I was better at algebra than writing in high school and I come from a public school rather than a portfolio school, I will work harder and set the bar higher because I love this business.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


A round up since my last post has been a wild one. I got my book printed along with 60 take-aways and 60 post-it note pads with my website on it. I headed to New York City for the Art Directors Club National Portfolio Review ready to drink in the center of the advertising world. Then that night after I flew to Chicago for several interviews and flew back home in time for graduation. Then went back down to NYC for a one day excursion. Finished packing up my stuff and moved back home to keep the job/internship wheels grinding.

So I'm going to stop blaming my travels and just write.

After interviewing with different agencies and researching departments and different types of agencies, I have fell in love with small boutique agencies who are working above and beyond traditional media, print, tv, web banners. These are the places that are bringing the customer into the ad campaign and included them as an integral part of the storyline. These are the places that get customers to go from website to website to sign up, follow, tweet, play and watch a campaign develop. These are the places I want to work and be a part of.

I have realized that big shops won't look at me because I am not from a portfolio school or have the best book out there, but it has been a godsend because these shops, with a true love for creativity and a family atmosphere, are where I will be able to learn a crap load more and love every second.

So I'm writing this post because I have found out the hard way, that there are better jobs than being a junior at a global agency. Don't get me wrong that's still an amazing opportunity, but don't think it's the end all be all.

My goal, when I am looking for a job, is to work somewhere that cares as much about this industry as I do and loves every moment of it. I am finding it everywhere: big, small, interactive, traditional. So keep an open mind.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Getting on the Digital Bandwagon

Lately I have been finishing up my portfolio and basically have all of the campaigns closed to being "finished". (read earlier post "Messin with Fire" to understand the quotes)

So recently I have been on a hunt to upgrade my knowledge of the digital world, Social Networking Sites, SEM, RSS feeds to give myself a leg up on everyone else entering the job market. Thanks to Alex "The Boss" Munro (gotta give a little shout out), I have been tracking a few websites that have done wonders for me, but I'll get to those later. First I will start with the basics. Please get on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These are the basic social networking sites that are necessities. I repeat, NECESSITIES!

Then there are sites that organize information on the web to the most viewed, searched and commented. and are both sites that update real time what is going on currently on the web. They organize what people are liking, disliking and "digging". Of course they also stream onto Facebook and Twitter so if you like something you can press a button and wham bam thank you ma'am, you can show everyone and your mother.

There are other sites coming out like that allow you to look at reader's comments on news articles before even reading the articles. So I get to see Carrie's reaction to the article on the new flu epidemic before I even look at the article. is doing the same thing with weather. It not only gives you impressive "weatherman" maps (got really technical there, sorry) but it also links user generated content to that area, like pictures from Peter in Boston and videos from Natalie in Cleveland. Weather just got a whole lot more interesting.

The next category starts getting a little more confusing. I am still researching this currently but it centers are RSS feeds, so try and stay with me. I won't go on defining what it is but does a better job than I ever could.
RSS is becoming more and more common on sites because everything is becoming real time oriented. As we start getting attached to the internet through smart phones and constantly updating material, everyone is going to want the most recent info right now, like a screaming child demanding for frosted flakes (that used to be me, now I am more mature). So when you like a website you look to see if it has an RSS feed like this one and boom you can follow it and your other favorite sites pain free. An RSS reader like accumulates these sites, receives all of the newest articles from your favorite sites and organizes them for your reading pleasure. Kind of like a daily newspaper for the internet.

There are tons of crazy sites coming out as we speak but this is where the internet and technology is going. The internet is becoming so vast that no one can keep up with it themselves so these sites will help you, along with other people.

What's funny is that this article is probably "so 5 years ago". But I feel it hasn't hit the mainstream yet so there is still time. While people are still getting acquainted with Facebook and LinkedIn, we have to be one step ahead.

To stay one step ahead I have been reading They are the gods among mortals of social media and I would be living under a rock without their posts. I have also been following a lot of social media "masters" on Twitter who post in depth articles on new technology and the power of these sites, "Use the force Luke".

I'm still researching this stuff and half it maybe wrong but I'm still on the goose chase, trying to gather as much knowledge and understanding as possible, like a nerdy Rocky. Cue soundtrack.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Power of a Picture

So in my search through LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and everything else on the web, I have realized that having a profile picture and avatar goes a long way.

(This is from my own accounts of going through these sites. I'm sure there are books on Neuroscience and statistics about this, but I am not aware of any of them.)

I enjoy a picture because there is something nice about seeing the person you are connecting with. When there is no picture the trust level plummets because a gray silhouette could be anybody, sometimes my imagination goes wild.

Going through LinkedIn, I would say over 80% of the profiles I viewed in a search didn't have a picture and I never clicked on them. Facebook doesn't have this problem because a lot of people have 1,000 pictures of them. I won't lecture about keeping Facebook safe because that's all I hear nowadays.

So being a student in search for a job, get a picture up. Who knows maybe someone will take a gander and hire you.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Brought a Portfolio to a Gun Fight

So in these past few weeks I have been getting anyone and everyone to look and comment on my portfolio. I have realized some interesting things and made some rules for myself to stay positive and stay productive.

Rule Number 1:
Don't take anything personal.
There are some harsh people out there who can say some harsh things about your book. And it hurts sometimes. That's your baby, they're slandering. But most of the time, it's truthful criticism. It probably is a hard pill to swallow, but you gotta do it. So keep your chin up and be ready.

Number 2:
Take everyone's comments to the bank, but don't deposit everything.
If you are given good honest feedback on your work. Take every word seriously and be genuine and thankful to person who gave it to you because you can buy a compliment but you can't buy honesty. There are a lot of subjective opinions in advertising, so someone may love a piece or campaign you did and another person may loathe it. You are the final decision maker when it comes to your work. Don't just blindly follow every comment and criticism.

Number 3:
Change your book!
There are tons of students out there that think once they're done with a campaign, they are done. This is the worst mentality anyone can have. The work should always be evolving. You can't just plant a bulb and expect it to grow, you gotta water it, mulch it and weed around it. And don't be afraid to go completely back to the drawing board. Although painful at first, it will put hair on your chest and prepare you for what really happens. It is also nice to show someone who gave you feedback, that you listened to them and took them seriously.

Now these 3 rules shouldn't be the end all be all of things to do, but they are my three cardinal rules. If anyone has another, I would love to hear it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

If There is a Hand, Grab It and Don't Let Go.

Recently I have been trying to get my name out there in ad world, which is a lot like swimming across the Atlantic on an empty stomach (that doesn't make too much sense, but I'm keeping it).

Well it's safe to say it's tough, brutally tough. But I have come across a lot of helping hands. Some from my university, some from my family and friends and some from god knows where. LinkedIn has been an incredible resource. People on LinkedIn who comment on forums and blogs care about helping out others. Twitter is another great place to saddle up and beg from some criticism. It may not get me a job, but it gets me valuable comments that will help better my book and get my name out there.

You can't expect to just announce your name the day after graduation and have people come begging to have you come work at their shops. No. You gotta put some leg work into it and build your stuff to be the best it can be, which means to not only hear the opinions your classmates and your professors, but everyone in the industry. Then you will see if it will float or sink like the titanic, without the Celion Dion song.