Reflection on an advertising education
May 1, 2008

This Friday will officially be my last day of class as an undergraduate student (well hopefully, unless something goes terribly wrong). I have spent a lot of time thinking about the time I have invested the last four years in school. I want to take a few minutes to examine my education, and the fruits of my degree.

Being an advertising major has opened many doors for me. I have had the opportunity to do marketing and advertising campaigns for both large and small clients. Between Adidas, Kelloggs, Pioneer Bank and Zinger Hardware I have been able to take academic advertising/marketing theories, and turn them into practical application and campaigns. I have seen what it means to work with a client, to work within both defined guidelines and vague recommendations. Professors have given me to freedom to explore the industry and express my thoughts and understanding on ideas like connections planning.

The most important thing that my education has done is taught me how to think as both a marketer and as a professional. The University of Texas Advertising department challenges students to think outside of the box. If a student has a good idea, a professor pushes them to find the great idea. Detailed tests, tight deadlines and a balance of extremely vague yet extremely defined restrictions create an environment that requires students to be at their best at all times. My freshman year I was angry at the TA who took 10 points off my project for not initialing my memo correctly. It was then I realized that I would have to fight not only to do well, but to be the best I could.

So I believe that a good advertising education is more than the clients you work with and the campaigns you execute. It is the caliber of work expected, and the environment that the professors create by pushing and challenging their students. What do you think?