Alumni Spotlight – Meredith Young
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Creative Circus Alumnus – Copywriting (2013)
Senior Copywriter at KBS (kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners)
Advice to the graduating class: Stay hungry, stay humble. I know it sounds cheesy but that really does go a long way. If you show up to your first job or internship and you are hungry to get on more assignments, people will respect you/put you on better assignments.
Advice to the Incoming Class: Have the time of your life. Never miss out on a social event. These people will become your best friends and best network. Circus fam stays together for life.
Also, sleep. Don’t believe that staying up for 4 days straight is going to make you better.
But work hard, don’t be lazy, find a good partner if at all possible and then you two can apply for jobs together in the future.
Start working on your book as early as possible, it makes a difference. Maybe in like Q5. Look through previous grads’ books, especially those who have been in the real world for at least a year. Try to make work that feels ‘real’, like something sellable. Definitely don’t do safe work but do (somewhat) realistic work. Not like ‘we launched nachos into space because space is cool.’ If you launch nachos into space, make sure there’s a clear strategy/insight behind it. :]
What do I wish I knew while at Circus: I wish I had thought more about the importance of having a partner. It’s definitely doable on your own but having a partner is just so much better/makes things easier on you. You can totally go it alone for the first couple years/during school, but after that you should find your match. 😀
What does Circus mean to me: Such amazing memories, nostalgia, the nicest people. It’s even better than college in my opinion because you’re dedicating yourself 100% to the thing you love. With likeminded people.
Lightbulb moment for me while in school: Probably at forum one time, when a speaker said ‘Don’t be afraid to go rogue.’ That stuck with me for some time; if I ever wanted to do a project outside of work, I’d do it.
Daily Life as a Copywriter: It’s never the same.
Some days I’m writing in-store poster copy for a rebranding/renaming project. Then other days I’m writing scripts for TV. Or stunt extensions that could be award-winning. It’s a lot of rough mundane tasks but it’s also so worth it when you get the awesome briefs/actually sell your favorite idea through.
My favorite quote from a previous ECD/boss, Wes Whitener of FitzCo is simply, ‘What if they say yes?’ I think someone at Circus Forum originally said it but still. That made a big impact on me. Don’t present a ‘safe’ idea unless you’re willing to work on it for the next 6 months when the client says ‘yes’ to it. Always present work you’d be proud to work on/have in your book.
Favorite project from an agency: My favorite project was probably the ID Condoms print ads that got shortlisted at Cannes last year. We did them on no-budget, just as an ‘extra’ project at FitzCo. It was so great that they supported us so much in making proactive work. To have an idea for a condom ad, then to actually make it from nothing, and make it onto the shortlist felt like a legit accomplishment.
And also, a current project I’m working on for Ad Council / AdoptUSKids. It’s amazing to actually work on something with a good cause, but also use humor while doing it. This project is a prime example of being proactive and never taking ‘no’ for an answer. The campaign idea is essentially “What to expect when you’re expecting (a teenager)”, so we had to get the rights from the author of What To Expect. We heard no multiple times from the lawyers, but thanks to dedicated coworkers, we got in touch with the author/her husband and they said they’d love to give us the rights. Just shows it never hurts to ask.