London was filled with attractions, speakers and tours so we saw a little taste of everything. Although we spent the most time in this city I still felt like there is an abundance of more things to do. The Harry Potter experience and Unseen tour are a couple of my favorite days in London but overall I gained the most from the speakers we had come talk to us. Each speaker was unique and incredibly insightful. It was so beneficial because they all have had different backgrounds and experiences to get them to where they are now. Most of the speakers worked from reputable media outlets so we got to see an inside to the company atmosphere as well.
Our first week at Regents University was filled with speakers who had a profession relating in some way to communication. No matter the profession each one had important advice to give. I found an overall common theme throughout of taking advantage of every opportunity presented. The most unlikely job will still give you experience and a chance to grow personally.
Just say yes! When asked to be promoted or take on a new duty, do it. You want to be diversified in skills and experiences. Especially throughout all parts of an industry, it will set you apart to know how to do everything or at least the process of how it works. When we went to meet Jen from Google I realized that every job you have you can balance between what you want between your duties to keep you happy. She started a group for girls and works with that a few days a month on top of her job because it is something she is passionate about it and it keeps her from getting bored. She was also in part in charge of running the MSU Alumni mixed that we attended towards the end of the trip. I thought this was really cool because she’s giving back so much that was given to from this school. Especially being across the pond, it is amazing to see the lengths that Michigan State University stretches.
It personally discouraged me a little at first hearing from all incredibly successful people who have had so much experienced and started planning far before I have. I even felt behind the wheel for study abroad because I am 2 years older than almost everyone else on the trip and graduate at the close of summer semester. In a sense he first speaker we had was Joe Vidian, the first day we met him in Cardiff. He set the stage and with his abundance of experience starting early in high school I was impressed and intimidated. I felt privileged to hear from all of the speakers but keeping this in mind, I felt under qualified and I haven’t even applied to full time jobs yet. The work force is so competitive now, everyone needs to differentiate themselves. This trip has taught me that it doesn’t mean I have to be experienced in every field of advertising or excel in sales to be successful.
The ways to make myself unique are limitless but the easiest way is by taking every opportunity that I can. This is a huge part of what almost every speaker had in common with each other. Our final week in London we took a trip to Design Bridge, where Joe is employed. It was an all around insightful and interesting trip but what stuck with me the most was Dave Arnett’s work ethic. He followed the model of saying yes to each opportunity starting with his first job. He referenced to it as, “a good experience to hate your first job.” His outlook basically showed how no one really loves there first job or fist five but you put in the time to get to where you want to be.
I had never considered working for an ad agency but the combined amazing visits I had with Golley Slater and Design Bridge have changed my perspective. I love the team atmosphere and versatility. It seems like the employees love their jobs and do a variety of projects to keep things interesting. Working on multiple platforms of media is something I admire as well. This study abroad has opened my eyes to possibilities I never knew existed. I see the storytelling behind advertising and a good campaign uses craft and originality to tell the story. Keeping creativity at the front of the mind is key. My concentration is in the management side of advertising but I now know everything I do will use creativity which excites me because I have the ideas, just not the artistic skills.
My perceptions and outlook on joining the work force has done a 180 from the start and our first speaker to the last. I was nervous, anxious and stressed out when I was leaving for the trip because I knew it would put things in perspective. I knew it would force me to stop making excuses and make concrete decisions. I kept putting off job applications because I was telling myself I didn’t want to commit or decide just yet what I want to do. I know realize these were kind of week excises and slightly might have been trying to convince myself more than others. I wanted to protect myself, I was terrified of graduating and failing miserably. This trip has done exactly what I was afraid of but in a good way. I am still nervous but a good nervous. I finally feel excited to start a career and building my resume. I have learned so much and grown in my views from the trip in general but the speakers really spoke to me personally. I am so grateful for my opportunity to attend this trip and meet some of the best people I have ever met. The memories I have made here will last a lifetime. I truly believe learning in a foreign culture is something everyone should experience as business is increasing becoming global.