“Do you have any tips or pointers for a young person looking to break in to the industry?” This question was asked at the end of every single guest lecture. We were fortunate enough to meet with many talented and prestigious people from a wide range of media backgrounds. They covered all ends of the mass media spectrum from newspaper and cartoon journalism, to film and TV broadcasting. Their backgrounds were very different, but they all had one similar piece of advice. Whatever you do, do it with passion. As each speaker told us to be passionate, I blew it off and thought it was just a generic response to keep spirits high and avoid killing the mood. Because who wants to hear the truth? Who wants to hear that there is one job and thousands of equally if not more qualified candidates competing against you for the same position? I wanted more than that. I wanted them to tell me exactly what they look for in a candidate or something concrete and applicable. When I was told to be passionate, I assumed it was just a bull crap pep talk. It wasn’t until we toured the Kinloch Anderson tartan and kilt store did I start to believe in the power of passion. Fifth generation store manager Deirdre Kinloch Anderson said the exact same thing as Josh Berger, president of Warner Brother U.K. as well as the head of advertising for Golley Slater, Mike Leeson. Both Berger and Leeson are very well established in their media fields. Kinloch Anderson has been a family company for the past century. Their staff is small and kept within the family. It’s not as if any of us are trying to break in to the tartan and kilt industry. Anderson didn’t have to sugar coat her story or give us empty words of advice. When she gave us the same advice as the media moguls, that is when I knew that the advice was sincere. Seeing Deirdre’s eyes light up as she spoke about her family’s craft was so inspiring. She had devoted her life to her passion. I didn’t expect to get much out of a trip to a kilt store, and yet it was there that everything clicked. All of the speakers genuinely meant it. Their passion and desire for success was they all had in common.
From a very young age, I had loathed school. The first time I ever played sick was in second grade and it only got worse as I got older. By the time I made it to high school, I skipped a full day at least once a week, hardly ever made it to class on time and had no interest in going to college. I could barely get myself to go to school when it was mandatory so I knew there was no way I would choose to go to four more years of school. The though of spending the next four years in a classroom made me cringe. All I wanted to do was travel the world and experience different cultures. Yet here I am approaching my third year of college, taking summer classes in The United Kingdom. I have never loved going to school so much. My summer overseas has opened my eyes to a whole new world and so many doors to the future. The opportunity to study abroad for the fast five weeks has been a life changing experience. I immersed myself in different cultures and (temporarily) satisfied the thirst for adventure and new experiences. I also think I might have found a way to pursue my passion and find a career in the area. I had always been curious about the lives of other people and cultures, but never knew thought it was something I could pursue as a career path. Our visit to Golley Slater Advertising in Cardiff, Wales, opened my eyes to a possible career path. Guest speaker Mike Leeson covered a research position in their social media department. That particular position, though are all very integrated, focuses on consumer demographics and cultural interests. The research on those areas is then presented to the advertisers to help produce the most affective advertisements for the target audience. Leeson spoke of a Red Bull campaign he worked on that failed miserably as a result of poor research on the target audience. When the campaign failed to increase sales, Leeson did some research. The campaign ran in the Middle East and was printed in Arabic. However, the add was printed from left to right, leaving it illegible to a majority of the audience because Arabic reads from right to left. Simple mistakes like that can make or break a campaign’s success, but could have been so easily avoided with proper and thorough research. I feel as if this could be an area I could be very successful in. It would allow me to continue to to learn about different cultures and put that information to use.
Weather I find myself in a similar position or take a completely different career path, I have no doubt that I will find my way. All of the speakers we had the privilege of meeting with has vastly different backgrounds and journeys. That has given me a sense of security. I do not fear what obstacles or opportunities await. I am excited to face the challenges and find my way to where I belong. Though the trip has come to an end, this is just the beginning.