A career in advertising???

I would like to know the best way to start a career in advertising.

Does anyone recommend school or no school? If so, how long? Which schools are best?
Is anyone a self-taught advertiser?

I currently work as a graphic artist at a top design agency. I create our clients projects such as retail store graphics, P.O.P displays, branding, and various print collateral. I am also in charge of our in-house projects such as direct marketing campaigns, tradeshow graphics, and advertising (very little).

Is advertising right for me???

Any suggestions/recommendations are greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Pouts's picture
Activity Score 703

Miami Ad School is something you can strat with, they have the support of CPB and other major agencies.
Another interesting school is VCU Adcenter...

But remember that advertising is based on talent and hard, very hard work.

pixelbomb1's picture
Activity Score 2555

Arnold Santillan

focus group's picture
focus group
Activity Score 146

Hahaha! There's got to be a better job out there. Lovely!

Di Chiara's picture
Di Chiara
Activity Score 20

I expected more feedback??? maybe I should post some work and see if that helps me.

GREAT schools (Miami Ad School, awsome site!) THANKS


ivan's picture

Advertising is a very hard industry. I heard it's the second or third most stressful among all professions. After flight coordinators and stock brokers. So, don't do it unless you love it!

ellehcimeo's picture
Activity Score 3516

Do you know any copywriters? you could ask one to hook up with you to work on a mock campaign and see if you are any good at it.
you could also pick up a copy of "Hey Whipple, squeeze this". it's a book for people to get to know what's involved in creating good advertising, it might help you get a better grasp on if it's for you, if you can think conceptually.
there is also a really funny movie called "Viktor Vogel - Commercial man"
which is an exagerated and funny movie about the misadventures of Viktor in the adworld.

Di Chiara's picture
Di Chiara
Activity Score 20

I will definitely be checking out this book along with some others. I will also see if netflix has this movie.

swat's picture
Activity Score 355

mail a few agencies your resume and portfolio. Most agencies act as the teaching schools. If they see a creative streak in you, they'll definitely take you in and train you. but please don't scared on seeing the salary during the training period(some agencies don't even pay during the training period)...persistence would pay off.

all the best!

Di Chiara's picture
Di Chiara
Activity Score 20

I was thinking the same thing. Especially because I learned all my skills as a graphic artist at my first job and freelancing. The #1 reason I am considering going to ad school is for that piece of paper that lands you the interview.

I almost landed an interview with Rapp Collins Worldwide, but they said I had no "agency" experience. Now that I have been at another agency for a year, what is the big deal (no difference).

PS-do you recommend sending a simple resume/portfolio or be creative with it??? (i.e. cereal box, magazine cover, etc.)

PaulyG_fill in the blank's picture
PaulyG_fill in ...
Activity Score 1148

It's always good to be as creative as possible throughout the interview process. I've seen people do the magazine idea - I've even heard a story about a guy who had a suit custom made with his best ads stitched right into the fabric - a walking portfolio. You gotta come up with an idea that portrays who you are. Creative Directors love it.

Di Chiara's picture
Di Chiara
Activity Score 20

WOW! I bet he got the job, or not (a bit wacky).

duncangela's picture
Activity Score 26

Be very careful not to flop if you're going to be creative... better safe than ridiculous.

Pouts's picture
Activity Score 703

Di Chiara you seem to want that a lot (i'm in tha same position actually trying to get in) the best thing you have to do is to find the way on your own, try to be yourself. they Say that if there is a will there is a way. So in my opinion the universe is with you go for it and try to Believe it. By the way are you from Italia?

Di Chiara's picture
Di Chiara
Activity Score 20

I believe if you have a passion for something you should "go for it". That is how I got started in graphic arts, and now I cant put a magazine down without ripping out good ads. (I also collect the bad ads).

Have you decided on a school?
I have looked in to Academy of art SF, since Miami ad does not offer online courses (I don't think?).

Wish I was in Italia!
Di Chiara is not very common in the US, you must be from Italia? or how did you guess?

Pouts's picture
Activity Score 703

I'm half Italian half Greek i'm applying to MiamiAd School and VCU i'm also considering Academy of Arts; Great School, i already have a bachelors but i think of taking some courses in London (i live here) if you like email me @ so i can send you my research regarding the schools etc. Ciao

TRICKY's picture
Activity Score 3954

i hope this will help

There must be complaints from creatives about
too many restrictions on every brief.
" The deadline is so tight ...
there is a lack of manpower ...
the budget is so low, it's impossible to use a better
photographer or director to execute the idea...
the client is so greedy, they try to tell everything in one ad.
which isn't single-minded, the consumer will get none of
the messages as a result....blah blah blah...
it is impossible to do good work!"
posted by gwen at 4:30 AM

The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time

Minimum's picture
Activity Score 1490

I am currently working at an agancy as Graphic Designer, and have finished an ad school last summer. Finished top of my class with the lowest grade being a 7,5/10. Now I'm working for the money and starting a new education in advertisement around september. I want to dig deeper in the concepts and the less commercial thingy's. So I'm contend. I highly recommend an adschool so you get experiencend in the way of thinking outside the box and not making standard mistakes in design and layouts.

As for intervieuws, bring lots of process work. They like to see the proces of which you got the idea. And allways be yourself, sounds cheesy but it really helps to be laidback and react as you allways would. They want an individual, not just another mindless drone in a suit (which I dont wear).

Hope to be of help

...and let the poets cry themselves to sleep. And all their tearfull words would turn back into steam

prozac_republic's picture
Activity Score 196

michelle, it's crazy that you know that film. it's pretty underground even here in germany...

i love it...

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The Prozac Republic®

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The Prozac Republic®

ellehcimeo's picture
Activity Score 3516

prozac- i loved that film! i enjoy watching films from around the world, it gives you a bigger perspective!

Eugens's picture
Activity Score 2624

I'm a self taught copywriter (well actually I'm a writer that adores advertising), so you could say I already knew how to write. It took a lot of hardwork getting my portfolio done, it took even harder work to manage to get hired. helped me a lot, I got to exercise there. Good luck. PS: Read all the important books. You can't do it without them.