Today’s post is brought to you by Hailey McDermott, Fox River Ad Club Education Committee Member.
The Fox River Ad Club has truly blessed me in many ways. As a former student at UWGB, I first became active in Ad Club as a junior. I made the decision to attend the kick-off event with a couple of classmates in the hopes of maybe networking with some area professionals. I was very scared for I didn’t really know what to expect and truthfully, I really struggle to put myself out there in a networking setting. I was a nervous wreck, but I went. There, I was encouraged by a few members to apply for the student membership scholarship – which I did – and I ended up receiving one. I can honestly say looking back now, attending that kick-off event and applying for the scholarship were two of the best decisions I could have made as a student (and I honestly wished I would have become a member of Ad Club sooner!).
As a student in Ad Club, I heard many inspiring talks from successful creatives from all over the country. I presented my graphic design portfolio for review by professionals who gave me honest and helpful advice, which was beyond helpful in preparing for actual internship and job interviews. The Ad Club even provided many resume enhancers for me, most notably by recognizing my work in the form of a few Student ADDY awards.
Ad Club also opened my eyes to how many dedicated and talented creatives live in the Fox Valley and I realized (despite what is often perceived) I wouldn’t need to live in Milwaukee or Chicago to work for a company that does amazing work. There are many great companies here in the Fox Valley and the Fox River Ad Club is filled with professionals that want to help you succeed.
Ad Club has allowed me to make many amazing connections with amazing people. (Remember how this was the very thing that made me most nervous about attending my first kick-off event two years ago?!) I met a gentleman who worked for a local agency at an Ad Club event. He hired me as a summer intern, providing me with invaluable experience. Another woman I met though Ad Club went out of her way to send me job listings, offered me words of encouragement, and gave me the confidence boost I needed to apply for jobs at a time when I was fresh out of school and very scared to fail. Yet another lovely Ad Club member took it upon herself to put in a good word with the agency she worked for and personally gave my contact info to the hiring manager. These people, along with many others I met through Ad Club and UWGB, have contributed to where I am today: working as a professional for an amazing company in a job I truly love and am passionate about.
The biggest advice I could give to students is to push yourself to leave your comfort zone. Doing so shows you are passionate about your future professional career, and you might just meet some amazing people along the way who want you to succeed and will help you get to where you want to be in your post-graduate career.
Are you a student interested in getting a leg-up like Hailey? Apply for an Ad Club Student Scholarship and take advantage of all Ad Club has to offer!