From Student to Professional: How Ad Club Helps Members Make the Transition

Did you know that Ad Club’s great professional development opportunities aren’t limited to just professionals? Our programming can also benefit area design students with boundless networking opportunities, topical luncheons, and student portfolio reviews. To make joining even easier, we offer annual scholarships to a number of students that cover their membership dues for the year.

It sounds pretty awesome, right? We don’t expect you to take our word for it, so we invited Sam Konshak, current Fox River Ad Club Secretary and former student member, to share a little more about her experience with Ad Club as a student and how it helped her make the transition to the professional world.

How did you first hear about Ad Club and why did you decide to join?

I first heard about Ad Club at UWGB as a sophomore in intro design classes. By joining Ad Club I hoped to get ahead of the crowd because most underclassmen were not attending professional events at that time. I looked forward to networking with professionals, receiving a professional mentor in my field, and I was able to do all of it at little to no cost because of the awesome student scholarships Ad Club offers. 

In what ways did Ad Club benefit you as a student member?

Ad Club gave me opportunities to meet other people who were already doing the job I was hoping to do after graduation. The speakers were always inspiring and gave me better insight into the field instead of just sticking to my little college bubble. I was able to enter the ADDYs and win two silver awards, which was a great confidence boost to say the least. I think it also put me out there as a stand out soon-to-be graduate and allowed me to secure a full-time job at Arketype several months before graduation. Not to mention the awesome, creative, weird people I met in Ad Club and still consider great friends!

How do you feel Ad Club helped you transition from student to professional?

The portfolio reviews helped to get my butt in gear and put my work in a presentable portfolio, as well as prepared me to speak confidently about my work in a “no risk” situation. As I attended more events, I began to feel more comfortable and confident like a professional member, and less like a student. 

Why do you continue to be involved with Ad Club?

I love the people! I feel like giving back to the creative community here is an awesome use of my time and energy. Being able to help, even if it is just a little bit, allows me to give back to the club that has given me all of these opportunities and continues to bring new ones. I think that the more creatives all get along and hang out and be weird together, the better we will get at what we do.

And one last question for fun: Knowing what you know now, what piece of advice would you give your student self?

Go to as many things as you can! If you stay in your comfort zone, you won’t grow and expand your creative mind or be inspired by others. Ask questions; people want to help you succeed.

Fox River Ad Club is hosting its 2017 Student Portfolio Review on Friday, April 14 at Greene’s Pour House in Neenah. This event is open to both students and professionals and will feature portfolio reviews and a panel presentation featuring four local, creative visionaries. Click here for more information and to register!

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