While I dont know that I would technically consider yesterday my first day at the Brandcenter considering I have no classes until next week, it was the first day the class of 2013 was all together for orientation. It felt good to finally meet everyone after months of connecting (…ok, stalking) on facebook. I didn’t meet a single person I wouldn’t love to work with over the next few years. I am very excited to get into the curriculum and see the work that everyone puts out.
The nature of orientation is to take care of a lot of housekeeping for incoming students. Regardless, I still came away with quite a few pearls of wisdom from professors and alumni that spoke to us. I thought I would recap a few of the points that I connected with:
Melissa Cabral – Strategic Planner at Martin Agency & VCU Brandcenter Alumni shared with us 3 tips on how to not suck at the Brandcenter
1. Find your happy place – Take time to center yourself and recharge your batteries.
2. Be Patrick Swayze (from Dirty Dancing) – Be the guy everyone wants to dance with, dependable, trustworthy, make the people you dance with look better just by association.
3. Don’t be afraid to deviate – Just be yourself, figure out your own style, what you are willing to compromise on etc. and remember…haters gonna hate!
Don Just – Head of Creative Brand Management track & Caley Cantrell – Head of Communication Strategy track
- Think of this as a PHd program
P – Professional & Proactive
H – Humble
D – Dignity
- Conflict can be a good thing, just don’t make it personal —- “No Pressure, No Diamonds” (Loved this!!)
- Being a leader can be a thankless job but it is something everyone needs to experience and should get as much practice in as possible
- Get comfortable with rejection – as simple as this seems and much as I hate the idea of facing constant rejection I do think this is valuable advice….especially in the ad world
In a recording of a Friday Forum (more on this to come) from last year there were some very interesting statistics shared from a survey comparing Brandcenter students and top MBA students. I don’t remember all the specifics but one that really stuck out was that nearly 25% of Brandcenter students that participated in the survey admitted to having cried in the last 24 hours. The percentage of MBA’s was significantly lower. And for some reason most people seem to be tracing this back to Don Just (or Mr. Just as he corrected me yesterday in our introductions after I made an only slightly sarcastic remark about looking forward to spending lots of time with Don), who is the head of my track.
All in all orientation was great. Yes, there was an earthquake and we are all chalking it up as a good omen. But I have stocked up on kleenex just in case Mr. Just gets the best of me.