I had a long, successful career in advertising going from copy cub to Vice President/ Group Creative Director. I loved every minute of it. The surprise of my life is my second career, as an adjunct professor at Columbia College. Surprising, because I love it even more. I also have my own freelance writing business and do career counseling.
My First Real Job
I had known since I was 8 years old that I wanted to be a copywriter. Don’t ask me how, but I knew. After grad school, I moved to San Francisco and applied to Botsford, Ketchum for their junior copy position. I had to take a copy test along with all the other applicants. I got the job and never looked back. My mentor and boss was the gentlest, kindest, smartest man I ever knew. It was through him that my passion for the business and for writing took hold.
*Twice, I won the coveted David Ogilvy Award for the campaign that had the greatest impact on both the consumer and the client’s business. They were for Chesebrough-Pond’s Rave Soft Perm and Rave Soft Hairspray.
*I created a training program for writer hopefuls called “Promising Pens”. It became a staple of the company.
* I was on the Strategic Board of Frankel & Co., helping to create a new way to brand products and services.
* I was a “professor” at “Frankel University” developing workshops in Strategic Thinking, On-target Messaging, and Consumer Insights.
What Drives My Professional Career
My passion for learning, for business, and for people. Putting myself in someone else’s head and finding out what that person needs and wants, has always fascinated me. I discovered that copywriting is intimate, that it needs to relate to one person at a time. That’s what has been so challenging, exciting and fulfilling. I feel fortunate to have been able to make my dream come true.
Advice for Students
Always follow your dream. If you don’t have a dream, don’t worry. It will come. Don’t “try” to accomplish things, just do them, even if you’re scared. Everyone is scared and jumping in will make the jitters go away. You are all you have, so believe in yourself, one accomplishment at a time. And befriend a mentor who believes in you, too.