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Alumni News

Faculty of Business

Stay humble and hungry, advise advertising alumni

March 26, 2014

Students of Sheridan’s Advertising programs got some insight from alumni industry professionals about making the transition into the business world at two events on campus this month. Sheridan hosted student-alumni networking evenings for students in the Advertising and Marketing Communication-Management and Advertising Account Management programs in March.

Key to surviving and thriving in the advertising industry is to “stay humble, hungry and curious,” said Erica Cheah (Advertising, 1998), Director for the global media agency, Mindshare. “If you aren’t excited by what you’re doing – change. There are endless possibilities and a million different personal strengths required in advertising work, so there is a place for you. But it’s up to you to find it – no one will give it to you.”

On-campus networking events are a great way for students to find their place in the industry, said Mark Spencer (Advertising, 1981), Vice President, Strategy and Partner Solutions, Active International (Active Media Services).

“These events offer graduating students practice speaking about themselves and exchanging ideas with business professionals. Gaining the confidence and ability to think on your feet will set you apart when you are one of 100 applicants with the same qualifications,” said Mark, who has held senior management positions at Canwest/Postmedia and Torstar. “Networking opportunities represent another resource that students should tap into to help them land on their feet after graduation.”

Alumni professionals who participated in the events welcomed the chance to offer their in-the-field wisdom since their companies regularly hire Sheridan advertising graduates. “It’s about giving employers like me qualified employees who know what is expected of them in a professional environment,” said Erica.

The advertising field is an environment where multi-taskers will thrive, said Erica and Mark. “I love not knowing what my day will look like and being challenged in new ways. I’m excited about change, development and thought-leaders in this industry,” Erica said.

My days are always different,” agreed Mark, who buys product and excess inventory and turns them into a variety of media solutions for businesses and their ad agencies. That represents only one of many projects he has on the go. “The diverse roles you can play within this field are great for exercising your brain and fostering ideas.”