Ad school, like the industry, is scary, but in this amazing way that makes you stay up all night to present an idea that dies the next day. And you think about quitting to pursue a career in art or Jazzercise, except you can't because it isn't art or Jazzercise that keeps you up at night. It's advertising.
School prepares you for this reality by not hiding anything. You fail a lot. You get let down a lot. But you build the humility that makes you step back, rethink an idea, speak to a consumer and eventually create something you never thought you could. School's just like the industry because everyone wears black T-shirts, loud shoes and they often hook up with one another.
Ideally, when I start my career it will be in a slow-motion montage where I do work that people, real people, not just ad people, feverishly tear out of magazines and tape to their walls. But, honestly, I just want to affect people, and to work with people who are better than I will ever be. And I hope to be in a place where everyone in the agency is considered a creative. Where account people sell your idea with the same passion you created it with and media people stop at nothing to get it out there.
If or when I'm a creative director, I hope juniors will think I'm ruining their lives by demanding more of them. And we'll win every award, but hide them in the bathroom. I hope everyone shares the same hunger to do great work and they stream from each other's iTunes.
Ad school prepared me for all of this-at least I think it did. Partly, by putting me in the financial ruin I cannot help but be motivated by. But mostly it's given me the backbone I was missing. I started as a poet with a shaky voice and I'm leaving as a copywriter with a less noticeable quivering lower lip. But still, no matter how many lines I write or how many ideas I have that somehow survive, I still can't sleep at night. I hope I never can.
Megan Sovern graduates from Creative Circus in mid-September.