Saturday, August 1, 2009

I Dated W+K London for 3 Minutes

Welcome to Optimism!
-W+K London

This is from some notes I took when Richard Ward came to hang out with us one day last year, at the UO. Richard is a good friend of the "family" within the SOJC advertising program. Each year he puts on the Executive in Residency program, which allows us to spend quality time with interesting professionals in the industry, bringing them to the UO for a week long stay. Because of Richard's tremendous support and belief in our program, I have had the pleasure of working with Russell Davies, Nils Anderson, Kevin Swanepol, and Merry Baskin during my time at the SOJC. Anyway, getting back to the quote, I also had the pleasure of getting to know Richard. He is one of the good people who has taught me that you have got to think positively in this business, breath optimism and to never be an asshole.

I came back to this thought as I was flying home to Portland today. I was trying to think of ways I could sum up the last few days, and I found this quote appropriate. Why? Because on Friday I had the privilege of dating W+K London for 3 whole minutes in NYC! Speed dating that is! Well, the speed dating was just part of it- I was honored to participate in the Platform US open day. Out of 187 applicants, 40 were invited back for open day (which also took place in London and through the almighty powers of the interweb).

The day was really a great experience. Walking into a room at W+K to see your work hanging on the wall was one of those moments that make you pinch yourself a little and ask, "Is this real?"

Sam and Lucy were our hosts and what an incredible pair. Sam has this infectious personality, she is confident and put together, and genuine. Lucy is down to earth, thoughtful and really observant. She is also a female creative director, what a dream come true! The words female and creative director aren't often used in the same sentence and it's really exciting for me whenever I meet women who have made it happen. It's always exciting to meet strong women in the industry and these two were striking examples. Both funny, with a strong vision and extremely passionate about what they do- very inspiring individuals.

Everyone who participated in the day really blew me away too. I was surprised that 7 strangers who are all very different people could work so well together. We were broken up into groups to work on a brief for 45 minutes. The brief: How can Nokia help spread awareness of Peace One Day to 3 billion people by 2012. Yeah, no big deal. It was like someone saying, "Hey, go solve world peace, we'll meet back here in 45..." =) Reminded me of a good ol' Deb assignment, "Hey, go change the world." (the exciting news is, we are going to change the world)

The day didn't feel like a day of competition, rather it felt like a day to celebrate our opportunities and to of course, put the work first. By the end of the day everyone felt like a friend and that is important. So my biggest take away from the day? The more I dive into this industry, the more I see how interconnected it is. It's most important to make good friends and that is all this day was, an opportunity to meet good people.

At the end of the day, we had our speed dating session. One at a time we were asked three questions with one minute to answer, and that my friends, is how I dated W+K London for three magical minutes.

Side note:
This was a great application process. I wonder what would happen if all jobs required this kind of dedication and thoughtfulness rather than a simple resume?

Update: I didn't make Platform this time around. But the good news, I will continue speed dating... let me know if you want my number ;)

Congratulations to my dear friend Nicole Karalekas who will be moving to London town in a month!!


Tiffany Schaffeld-Cruickshank said...

Love this, I can't wait to hear the news!!!

megan pants said...

I love the idea of speed dating. Currently I'm in an open relationship with Poke. I want to go steady but I just don't know how they feel. If they decided to break up with me for a more experienced partner, maybe we can go on a double date in PDX sometime.