AdLab for a Beginning Creative

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By Hannah Herman
Associate Creative Director (Copy)

AdLab is one of those courses that tentatively hung over my head – I wanted to take it – but did I really have the skills necessary to contribute to a full-service student run ad agency? It seemed unlikely. As a self-proclaimed creative who lacked nearly all of the creative skill set, i.e. minimal Adobe Creative Suite experience, who also couldn’t see herself putting up a professional front and answering emails in seconds as a member of the account team I didn’t think art direction or account management were for me. Don’t think I forgot about account planning either – I wrote my last research paper and I’m not ready to go through that agony again.

Spring of junior year the time had come though. There I was in AdLab with a lackluster portfolio and a very conflicted choose position form. I interviewed with Copy, Art Direction and Planning, and honestly didn’t have a clue where I was going to end up. Luckily my self-described creativity landed me in copy and on the creative end of the spectrum.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that I wasn’t the only person in the same position though. While AdLab is ran like a full-fledged agency, it’s also a class and we’re expected to learn from our experience. If you have questions, conflicts, etc. there are plenty of tools and people to support you from your supervisors and professors.

Working with so many people who have so many different perspectives – it’s never going to be all smooth sailing. If it was – that would be the outlier, not you and your group/client tension. It’s more about problem management than anything and figuring out how you guys as a team can present the best possible support. Supervisors act as great editors, varying perspectives from creative vs. accounts creates better work.

More than anything AdLab is about progress. If you don’t initially think you’ll be able to make it to the finish line, trust me you will, because there are clients who paid for your work waiting on the other end and this isn’t just a class it’s an agency. The sooner you dive in head first, the easier it will be will be to see the light at the end of the tunnel.