At the beginning of last week I attended a conference with other JRM students from Creighton.
The Meet the Pros conference focused on advertising and graphic design primarily. Over the course of two days we visited with students from other universities in the midwest region, as well as over 75 professionals in the industry. I had the pleasure of listening to keynote speakers from agencies such as Archrival, Bailey Lauerman, and UnderConsideration just to name a few. We learned about the benefits of social media, a personal brand, and tips on how to land your dream job. I left each afternoon feeling inspired and excited about the industry.
Our first speaker was Clint Runge from Archrival. I would have to say that his presentation and influential words impacted my Meet the Pros experience the most. Clint’s main concept that stuck with me was the significance of creative surprises. As Mr. Runge explained, we often allow outside sources to mold our opinions for us rather than allowing ourselves to be surprised. Netflix and Spotify give us suggestions of movies and songs we may like, Yelp helps us decide whether or not to go to a specific restaurant or business. We have the power to say no and not listen to those things, yet we still listen. These words really stuck with me as I thought about how many times I allow the opinions of outside sources influence my decisions in these types of situations. We watched a few videos that reflected company or product promotion through surprise situations. One was from Coca-Cola, and had a message that I loved because I truly don’t think people in today’s society take advantage of sharing precious moments such as sharing a meal together enough. The second video featured infamous Red Bull drops on university campuses across the world. The uncertainty of how giant boxes of Red Bull mysteriously appeared in the middle of campuses was sure to bring surprising smiles to thousands of sleepy-eyed students.
Over the course of the two days I was at Meet the Pros, I came up with my top favorite moments and/or lessons learned from all of the different speakers, agencies and students I encountered with.
1.) Surprising people works. Mr. Runge said to us, “People want discovery…they want to be surprised.” This tip is so simple and can be taken in so many different creative directions.
2.) LinkedIn is a powerful tool and form of social media. It develops your personal brand and helps you when trying to sell yourself.
3.) Networking is also powerful. The whole idea of “it’s not necessarily about what you know, but who you know” is very realistic. Don’t be shy, and reach out to people. Those that you network with could potentially become your future employers.
4.) Be nice, be willing, be patience, and be a student always. You don’t stop learning after you’ve received our degree. And If you are nice to those whom you connect and network with, they will remember you and it could help you get hired.
5.) “Anything is possible”. Follow what you want, stick with what interests you, and it will lead you to the right company and clients. Also remember to come back home and give back. I think this lesson was by far my favorite. So often I think student’s get caught up in the moment and think “I’m not good enough” or there is “someone better”. I will be the first to admit that I am guilty of it, but truthfully, anything really is possible. And as much as I would love to live elsewhere in the world, I know that Omaha is the one place that will always bring me back and remind me of how I got to where I am.
I hope that some day I will be able to have as much influence on young professionals as these pros did for me. In the meantime, I’m planning on working on surprising people, and sticking with what inspires me.