Advertising Women of New York held their 57th annual Advertising Career Conference at the Fashion Institute of Technology on Nov 22-23 welcoming schools from all over the country to get insight into careers in the advertising industry.

St. Francis College sent 10 students from the communications department to attend this event.

On Friday, Nov 22 each school was assigned a company to visit and SFC students took a visit to Monaco Lange, a branding agency to speak with CEO and partner Colin Lange, as well as Tessa Tinney, partner and Executive Creative Director, about breaking into the industry.

Lange said, “Focus on the journey, and you’ll reach the destination in the end.”

After the visit, all schools headed to FIT for the keynote speaker of the night, Belle Frank, Global Director of Strategy and Applied Research at Young & Rubicam.

Frank said, “If you want to understand how the lion hunts, don’t go to the zoo, go to the jungle.”

She stressed the importance of finding your voice, and having a pristine resume to show for yourself.

Saturday started with the keynote address from Sarah Personette, President of the United States sector of Universal McCann, a global media company.The soon-to-be mother of two spoke about landing a job, finding what you love, and balancing it all with personal life.

As the former head of Facebook’s Global Agency Team, Personette spoke about the differences of being a manger and a leader and the importance of becoming a digital native.

“Digitization is no longer a channel, now it’s a ubiquitous way of doing business,” said Personette.

Later in the morning students got to choose between a resume or portfolio workshop run by employees of Saatchi & Saatchi, Redbook, Translation LLC, and more. Katherine O’Brien from Translation, LLC spoke to students during the portfolio workshop on what are some key details to do and have when it comes to showing your work.

Ultimately your portfolio should represent you, according to the experts.

O’Brien also stressed the importance of having your portfolio on a website. Some of the key websites mentioned that students and professional use are Behance, Cargo Collective, and SquareSpace.

Your website should reflect who you are and have an “About Me” section that showcases interesting facts about yourself.

If you want to be a copywriter or art director, your portfolio and website should reflect the same. An art director, for example, will have a more design-friendly website.For the content in your portfolio you should always partner up with people and get a team together. For college students, it is easy to walk down the hallway and find great writers, photographers, filmmakers as well as designers to help your ideas come to life.

O’Brien was keen on having a team, especially since the new “power couple” in advertising is the art and copy team.

Your portfolio should also portray itself in an integrated way, by means of a campaign displayed on various types of media including print, digital, television and social. Not every campaign in your portfolio needs to be integrated, but it should have a couple campaigns that focus on that. O’Brien said that a portfolio should contain about five to seven campaigns and only display your best work, not every work you have done. Always have a backup and a PDF version of your portfolio because portfolio books are digital now.

O’Brien also touched on “puns” in student portfolios and how students should not use them because, “they are considered an easy way out. Your writing should be technical.”

Lastly, she mentioned that you should always be nice to others, because peers are the ones who have connections to other jobs.

The following workshop was also moderated by O’Brien, called “Meet Advertising’s Power Couple: The Copy/Art Team.” This taught students how the art and copy partnership works. Ronney Chong, Art Director at Grey New York said, “Respect your partner and adapt yourself, the industry fluctuates so much, you have to take it with respect of everything coming and going.”

O’Brien said, “Always make sure you’re with someone you want to work with, and always be cautious.”

Chong reiterated the importance of keeping yourself flexible and open-minded when it comes to working with a partner. The panel talked about the benefits of being in a partnership. Katie Riddle Slovin, Chong’s partner and copy writer commented on how with “everything you do, you have a sidekick.”

The other half of the panel discussed the pros and cons between working at a big agency and small agency. Chong and Riddle Slovin discussed that pitching for huge global brands is a big advantage of working at a large agency. Those from the smaller agency like the intimate setting and knowing everyone, as well as working with less competition.

Another workshop was “The Rise of Doing Well and Doing Good: A Millennial Perspective” was led by Amanda Cole, daughter of Kenneth Cole.

This discussion focused on the philanthropic aspect of advertising and the cause-marketing sector of the industry. Kenneth Cole, who was in attendance said, “What you do is not who you are.”

The father and daughter stressed that advertising is anything you want it to be and you can do whatever you want to do. The Kenneth Cole brand supports many social causes such as AIDS research, poverty, and disaster relief to not only sell their product, but support important causes simultaneously.

“I think the best part of this entire experience is that you got to watch what you learn in your textbooks come to life and it felt like there is a shred of hope that there is a way into this industry,” said attendee Anne Edouard, SFC student and class president.

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