The New Guys Get Best Experience from the Little Guys

So check it. Last Sunday, I read an awesome story in The Birmingham News by Dawn Kent. The headline: Mad Men South. The story gave job-searching, Birmingham-area creatives reason to celebrate, especially social media and new/young professionals. While the Mad Men South story highlighted the expansion of the medium- to large-sized agencies, it didn’t mention anything about small agencies. It’s been my experience that the little guys can offer the best work experience for us new guys. Here’s why:

  • at agencies with a staff of 1-20-something, even the the recent grad plays an important part in flow of everyday business.
  • projects move more quickly at a smaller agency.
  • when you work directly with veterans of the industry, you get the added benefit of their experience.
  • everyone’s ideas are heard and that means your good ideas get to shine (probably the most beneficial).

The South as “Creative Oasis” isn’t too surprising. Georgia has SCAD, the quintessential art school; Portfolio Center for anyone interested in a specialized creative education; and Creative Circus with an awesome podcast and the most aggressive career services I’ve ever seen.

In Alabama, UAB’s PR program is one of the best in the nation. Head even further south and you have Auburn with incredible design programs of all kinds. Back in T-Town, UA has classes in fashion design and advertising.

Competition for these jobs will be fierce, I’m sure. And you won’t even get an interview unless you have a portfolio.

Anyway, it’s great to see the advertising and creative industries in Alabama get the recognition they deserve.


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