As students head back to class, I thought it would be an opportune time to reflect on my college career (nine years as an undergraduate and 10 years working on an advanced degree). So, here are a few of the courses that have served me well throughout my career in this business. If you know any advertising students headed back to college, make certain these courses are on their “must take” list.
Stagecraft — I spent four semesters getting credit for working on theatrical productions. I learned about working with technical people as well as actors and actresses. I got a crash course in lighting, sound, set design, costuming and directing. Most importantly, I learned how to take a piece of paper, bring it to life and actually have people pay to see it. Those are all very real and valuable skills for any advertising professional.
Chinese Philosophy — Everything you need to know about creating effective campaigns you can learn from Lao Tzu, who is credited with the axiom, “Tell me, I’ll forget. Show me, I’ll remember. Involve me, I’ll understand.” That’s what great work is all about.
Propaganda and Social Control — If you want to learn how to influence people, start by understanding how to influence the groups to which they belong. You can learn a lot by studying the history of propaganda and social control. It’s amazing how many of those techniques find their way into our business.
Jazz History — Learn the value of improvisation because that’s what life is all about. As trumpeter Bobby Bradford describes his craft, “It’s like tap dancing on a slippery floor.”
Advanced Calculus — Are you kidding? I became an ad major to avoid this course!
August 28, 2012
Posted by: Abe Goldstien, Senior Account Manager