Before I begin, I think it is important to tell you a little about myself. I am a student at the University of Miami double-majoring in Advertising and Media Management. I am also an intern here at Mittcom. In other words, I’m a sponge. I take notice of everything around me—absorbing advice from my professors and peers. I am not an expert by any means, so all I can share with you is what I have discovered during my time as a student of advertising.
Contrary to the stigma that Mad Men perpetuates, the world of advertising is more than just lavish lunches, cigarettes and booze filled afternoons. It is considered one of the most competitive fields in the country. Here are some reasons why I chose advertising.
1. I am a Diagonal Thinker
First, let’s define. Diagonal thinking is a form of cognition that exists between linear thinking and lateral thinking. Linear thinking is best understood as a progression. If a=b and b=c then a=c. This thought process is associated with logical people. Maybe you’ve heard someone describe themselves as a “math and science” person, chances are they favor linear thinking. Lateral thinking is a thought process which relies on creative and abstract solutions to problems. It is the juxtaposition of linear thinking.
I am a diagonal thinker—both logical and creative. Advertising caters to this type of thought-process. As an intern, one hour of my day will be dedicated to analyzing trends and the next will be spent brainstorming creative solutions for a client. The use of both hemispheres of my brain is cognitively rewarding.
Have you seen the movie Office Space? I worried that the day-to-day boredom of office life, portrayed by that movie, would become the plot of my actual life. I am relieved to tell you that advertising has steered me clear of boredom. I get to think critically and creatively in the classroom and in the office—I get to exercise diagonal thinking.
2. I’m Competitive, Really Competitive
Darwin’s Theory of Evolution suggests that only the strongest will survive. Natural Selection, as he calls it, leaves the weak in the dust and the strong ever-progressing. A professor once told me to think of the advertising field as a jungle—thousands of hungry predators with a very limited amount of prey. Seasoned in the field, he told me that if I want to succeed in advertising I’d need thick skin, sharp fangs and a fire in my belly.
I refuse to be discouraged by the competitiveness of the field, in fact it motivates me. Nothing good come’s easy, right?
3. Psychology Fascinates Me
The very nature of advertising demands you to be in touch with people’s needs. You need to be able to walk in the shoes of the consumer and consider what makes them tic. The psychology behind decision making interests me, and while I don’t want to sit in an office with a couch and a fichus, listening to patients tell me what shape they see, I enjoy understanding people’s thoughts and feelings.
There is a science behind advertising. There are charts and graphs that you can look at and decipher—bounce rates and social media mentions—all pieces of a puzzle. Majoring in advertising, or better yet, interning at an advertising agency has shown me how to put the puzzle together.
As I continue to learn in the classroom and in the agency, I am sure that I will uncover even more truths about the world of advertising—so far I have no regrets in my decision to pursue a career in advertising.