A Year After Open House

A Year After Open House

I remember meeting alum last fall at Newhouse’s Open House in November. They told me that the program was a whirlwind, but little did I know a year from then, I’d be in New York City with 20 new friends, pacing the lobby of one of the biggest advertising agencies in the country.

Entering the program, I was impressed by the accomplishments of my new classmates; they had published writing, interned at some of the best agencies, worked with real clients, and had a grasp of the real industry we’re all hoping to enter. Every agency we visited had emphasized the importance of networking—which really just means “having a network.” A year ago, I hadn’t met any of my current peers, let alone talked one-on-one with such incredible copywriters or creative directors as I did in New York City. It’s only November and I already have so much creative work that would have been impossible without the help of my creative partner, both in forming ideas and executing them. And without guidance from my project teammates in researching, I would have been completely lost.

When we sat before panels of real agencies in New York, I realized there was a person there that each of us were looking at, imagining ourselves in their position. In a way, we’re already there. Through all of our group projects and simply needing one another to learn from and work with, we’ve all become better than what we were alone. The day in New York was partially focused on reaching out to new people, connecting with them, and hearing their perspective, but I found that networking could be more internal than that. I believe so strongly in the talents of my art director and the strategic skills of my classmates. These were my friends who helped teach me how to conduct research, who taught me how to look at data in new and interesting ways. My creative professor took our class down to “the Cage” and a real photographer taught us how to set up professional cameras and tripods.

Thanks to those I am surrounded by, I’m no longer just a copywriter. I’m a Newhouse student and that means having a variety of skills whether you asked to learn them or not. Communications inherently requires collaboration, and networking is simply the beginning of that. My peers now are my teammates and my friends, but they’re also the beginning of my network.

While we depend on each other now and push each other forward in this industry, I’m thankful that in the future, I can rely on them, in the same way that they can rely on me. We’re not just defined by our one specialty. We’re Newhouse students. We work hard to understand one another and to make each other better in every way. It’s hard to believe it was only a year ago that this program was a glimmer of an idea I had for my future. Knowing what I do now, I can say it was one of the best ideas I ever had.

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Isabel Drukker

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