Tips for Freshman as Summer Approaches

Javen Joerger

We are nearly halfway through the 2019 Spring semester which means that Summer is right around the corner.  If you are a freshman in Advertising, you are probably wondering how to go about your professional development and career trek. Freshman year is a challenging time when it comes to finding relevant advertising experience.  In most cases, big agencies are not going to hire a first-year student to come on as an intern for the summer because they have a stable of older candidates that have more developed portfolios and more experience. However, all hope is not lost!

There are still a variety of opportunities that are available to young students that will put you in a great position moving forward.  The first key component is fixing your resume. Generally, you will want to slowly begin getting rid of your high school accolades and experience and begin to replace it with more industry-relevant material.  Undeniably it can be challenging to find industry-relevant experience when you are young, but what you can do is perfect the format and make sure you have the most relevant content filling the most amount of space. A great resource on campus is the Career Center and make sure to stop by before the semester ends. It is important to have your resume revised by them or by someone with industry experience to get helpful tips and make sure that you are on the right track.

Finding relevant experience in advertising may seem challenging, but there are a lot of opportunities available. Organizations like AAF or PRSSA give students actual client work in a variety of advertising disciplines. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know exactly what it is you want to do in advertising. These kinds of RSO’s can guide you and let you experience the different paths in advertising.

I would also encourage reaching out to small businesses and organizations that could use help with their social media accounts. You may find a paid position, make some freelance content, or simply volunteer, but regardless you will have actual relevant experience to add to your resume or portfolio.  

Finally, go to career fairs and events! I cannot stress enough how important networking is in the professional world.  If you show face and talk to recruiters, alumni, and industry people you will be remembered when you are looking for competitive internships or jobs down the road. The people at these events want to answer all the industry questions that you have always been curious about. Another great opportunity is to job shadow. It allows you to get insight into agencies and expand your network. You get the opportunity to see some really cool offices and the kind of spaces you could potentially be working at in the future. Remember, it is never too early to start developing your professional experience.