Before he wrote copy for McDonald's, Ocean Spray, Volvo and more at one of the world’s top agencies, Evan was at Johnson & Wales University, winning ad awards, competing nationally and working on projects for Staples and Foster Grant as a Duffy & Shanley intern. Here’s what he’s learned.
Launching Your Ad CareerBy Evan Dunn '10, copywriter, Arnold Worldwide
I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was 19 (rarely does anyone). So I did the logical thing at the time, and “improvised” with JWU's Advertising & Marketing Communications and Creative Advertising majors. I was able to:
Here's my advice:
1. Join Ad Team I got a crash course in advertising with my first year on the Ad Team. Because of that, we were able to win more student awards at Hatch than any other school in New England.
2. Fail Harder That’s what I wish someone had told me. There’s no
way to get to a finished ad without many unfinished ideas. Many, many
3. Be Your Hardest Critic An ad portfolio with 5 great pieces is better than 10 pieces of so-so. You’ll want to put in all that class work you spent weeks on – don’t! Be selective.
4. Ask Questions Erase the words “I don’t know” from your vocabulary. Ask questions. As much as you don’t think it’s true, people want to help. They themselves have been in your place. Make the first move.
5. Keep Writing Whatever the medium, keep writing. It’s the only way to get better. Remember: Less is more. Straightforward is better than complicated.
6. Soak Up Opportunities Be a sponge for anything and everything.
Insights can come from anywhere. And move for the job. New experiences
define who you are.
7. Network Sometimes networking at JWU
is as important as a good portfolio, if not better. Seek out talks and
conferences. A foot in the door is the first step to starting your
career. It doesn’t matter where that door is.
8. Book: Think Big Right out of school, your book is judged on being conceptual. Find the big idea, and then go from there.
9. Sell YOU, Not Just Your Work When I sent my book to agencies and creative recruiters (literally across the world), I didn’t focus enough on selling myself before trying to sell my work. The two work in unison. Without one, you don’t have the other. 10. You Have Something to Prove Come in early, and leave late. Bust your butt. People really do notice.
Evan Dunn and fellow Ad Team members lead the student category at the Hatch Awards for Creative Excellence, winning more prizes than any other college. read more
"This was my absolute favorite part of college," Rob says. "I learned the most, created my best work and made
some of my best friends. Holding our trophy is an honor I’ll never forget." read more
Fresh off their regional victory, Ad Team students from Johnson & Wales University are heading to Nationals for America's premier college-level advertising competition. read more