I’ve been working up the courage to tell you this for a while now. Maybe you’ve already guessed it — I have a crush on you.
I know we haven’t known each other for very long, but the time we spend together is amazing. You’ve taught me so many new things and now that I’ve met you I feel like I can do anything. You challenge me and I like that, because when I’m around you I want to be the best version of myself.
Most importantly, we have fun together. We’ve had adventures and made memories that I know will last me a lifetime.
I hope I’m not coming on too strong, but when I wake up in the morning, it’s you I think about and I can’t wait until we’re together again. I know we won’t be seeing as much of each other soon, and that makes me a little sad … but I remind myself that you’re not going to be out of my life completely. I hope it’s OK if I come visit for lunches, a game of ping pong, or just to see what’s new.
I guess in the end what I really wanted to say was thanks for everything, now that I’ve met you, the future looks bright.
This post is brought to you by Creative Communications graduate Margaret Howison, whom we've had the pleasure of hosting as an intern here for the past three weeks. Margaret fit in so well at Fusion that it's going to be hard to see her go! Best of luck, Margaret – I hope we see you at Fusion again someday.
It’s going to sound a bit like a movie cliché, but my interest in advertising started one day in class when an instructor made some motivational comment, something to the effect of “advertising can be used for the good or for the bad,” read: with great power comes great responsibility. Maybe that seems obvious, but having come into my very first (mandatory) ad class with a pretty narrow, and even skeptical understanding of the trade, I found the idea revolutionary.
A few terrible radio spots and print ads, a couple of internal struggles, and a handful of breakthroughs later, I found myself graduating from Creative Communications with a major in advertising — and later walking into an ad agency (Fusion) for the first time for a three-week internship.
When I was asked to write about my experiences at Fusion for the company’s blog, I couldn’t help but take the opportunity to hash out some of my preconceived notions about ad agencies.
Revelation 1: Not everyone who works in ad agencies likes Mad Men. Okay, most of them do, but I counted two at Fusion that don’t. Sometimes when I tell people I’m in advertising, they say “just like Mad Men,” and I say “yep,” without really knowing what they are talking about. I’m almost afraid that if I say I haven’t gotten into it yet, they’ll think I’m not a true ad girl. I’m not saying I’ll never watch it — I’m just happy to know it’s not a pre-requisite.
Revelation 2: Some agencies are so much about that workplace culture. Yes to an ongoing intra-office Wii bowling competition. Yes to monthly potlucks and beer-at-four Fridays. Yes to a game of darts to stimulate creativity. Yes to dogs — so many little dogs — walking around the office.
Revelation 3: Ad agencies are not scary places. Dispelling my fears that I’d be entering a workplace with a whirlwind of a pace, when I walked into Fusion, I felt an almost immediate urge to walk slower and breathe deeper.
It’s a place where white walls are canvasses for big ideas, daily schedules, and bowling scores. Little office cubes are spread over a sprawling rectangular interior like mouse houses. Chattering never travels quite so far as the sounds of footsteps clicking across the wooden floors. It’s the kind of place where the bathroom smells better than bathrooms should. And the lounge — fit with a pool table, dartboard, and huge flat screen TV — is enough to make my inner teenager ecstatic.
Revelation 4: Some agencies let their intern in on a lot. Three weeks isn’t a long time to get into a new work rhythm. There are learning curves and new procedures, and people who are really fast at what they do. While I could have been doing coffee and Bronut runs, or shelf dusting or paper clip counting or anything else that didn’t require the slow down and walk-through from someone else — I wasn’t. Since I’ve been here I have attended client conferences, crisis management meetings, photo shoots, and briefings; I’ve written case studies, samples, headlines, tweets, and blogs; I’ve participated in brainstorms, worked on social media strategies, and walked around the office deciding what to Instagram (staff pickle jar?). I was even given an opportunity to project manage a logo design and was almost elated to see the three beautiful designs that were introduced at the logo presentation.
It’s been a rewarding experience and a great introduction into a thoughtful, creative industry. If I were to give my work placement experience a brand personality, I would call it fun, enlightening, and refreshing.
The first time I saw this commercial, I definitely laughed out loud. And while it’s pretty cute and pretty funny, it is also resonating pretty perfectly with my personal goal for 2015: to figure out how to slow down, live in the moment, and back away from this mindset that being constantly, unendingly super busy is the only way to be a successful, ambitious, competent person.
Our culture in general seems to really value busyness. We complain about it, but it’s expected and embraced at the same time. Most of us feel we don’t have any choice but to be busy. After all, there’s just so much going on and so much to do, and then there’s FOMO to worry about… so you keep up or get left behind.
The advertising agency world is a deadline-driven, always-say-yes kind of place. It can feel very expected and encouraged to let work take over your life - like you get some weird kind of industry-cred for being bleary-eyed and hunch-backed from way too many hours at your computer. Aside from work, we all have families, friends, pets, events, obligations, errands, and life in general that all have to be balanced, and it’s easy to just accept that full speed 24/7 is literally just the only option. But is it?
Probably not. At least I’m starting to think it’s not. So this year, when the calendar flipped over and everyone started talking about New Year’s Resolutions, I started thinking about being busy. I decided that maybe 2015 was the year that I started to give myself a break. I work hard, and that’s cool, but somewhere in between deadlines and goals and crossing things off lists, I want to make sure I don’t miss out on just enjoying life.
So while saying “no” is still not my biggest strength, over the past couple of months I’ve been slowly taking steps toward slowing things down, letting go of some responsibilities and commitments, and enjoying some downtime (and it only counts as downtime if you aren’t feeling guilty the whole time). Mostly, I’m just looking to find ways to get better at enjoying and living in the moment, instead of getting distracted by what’s next and what needs to be done. Maybe you’re really good at that – if so, feel free to pass along some tips. And let’s all remember to use our holiday days, shall we?
This post is brought to you by Graphic Design student Quinn Carberry, who we've had the pleasure of hosting here at Fusion over the past two weeks. Best of luck in the rest of your studies, Quinn!
Doing my work placement for the Red River College graphic design program at Fusion has been awesome! I was nervous at first but everyone here is super genuine and nice. I’m enjoying seeing the things I have learned in my classes put into practice and experiencing the day to day processes of an advertising agency. Kara, the Creative Director, has been a big help, has been super patient with me and has taught me so much I can take back to school with me in the new year. All in all, it’s been a great experience that I’m not likely to forget!
A nice little bonus to doing my work placement in the exchange is that I got to go to Tiny Feast and pick up the Isometric Risograph 2015 calendar that I have been eyeing up for a while. It’s a beautiful calendar by J. P. King that uses some great printing techniques (like halftones and overprinting) that I learned about in one of my classes.
It’s my last day of work placement and The Exchange Shop Hop is happening today and tomorrow, so I may find myself taking away more than just design knowledge and practice from this experience.
The sun is shining beautifully here in Winnipeg, and we're taking a minute today to enjoy the glow from the windows, and use that warm feeling to welcome a new face to the Fusion office.
Audrey Neale has come on board this week as our new Advertising Copywriter and Social Media Strategist, and we couldn't be more excited to have her here. She's taken on her first few projects with enthusiasm and a fresh perspective, and we can tell already that she's going to be a great addition to our team – as well as a lot of fun to have around.
Audrey's no stranger to social media – she founded GoWpg, an impressive college project turned local online touch-point, that sets out to "draw the attention of hip, young city dwellers who love to go out and enjoy Winnipeg." The website, Twitter feed,Instagram account, and Facebook page all do a fabulous job of showing a side of Winnipeg that is slowly becoming less well-kept-secret and more well-known-source-of-pride. Winnipeg shines in the spotlight that GoWpg points at it, and Audrey's work on conceptualizing, writing, posting, and promoting, impressed us in more ways than one. Be sure to follow GoWpg on your platform(s) of choice, and prepare to catch Winnipeg-fever.
We've also had the pleasure of seeing her smart, insightful copywriting in action, and know she will bring a huge amount of value to both sides of her new role.
I'm super pleased to have Audrey round our Creative Team, and am excited to see everything she brings to the table. Welcome to Fusion, Audrey! We can't wait to see you shine.
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