One of the hardest jobs to get a foothold in fresh out of college, especially in Oklahoma City, is advertising. Just ask Erick Worrell, Director of Business Development for Staplegun Advertising.
“I remember when I graduated from college I was basically told “Hey, if somebody goes on maternity leave, we’ll give you a call and you can come temp for six weeks!” Worrell said. “There’s not a lot of opportunity because there’s not a million agencies here like there are in New York or Chicago.”
This was the main reason for Worrell to not only become a member of the Oklahoma City Ad Club. The group is a local business organization that promotes continuing education and personal connectivity in the metro’s advertising landscape.
The group also takes on this year’s Career Day, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12 at the Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive. It gives prospective advertising employees a real-world look at the inner workings of modern agencies, Worrell said. For college students, admission is $25, including bus rides and lunch.
Worrell believes that for anyone interested in this path it’s a “huge benefit” because it “gives students that first open door into the industry.”
“Career Day is a crash course in our industry,” Worrell said. “We have a full day planned for colleges all over the state. We essentially offer a full view of what advertising can be like in Oklahoma City. We do that in a handful of ways, but this year we’re taking all of our students to five advertising agencies. We want them to leave at the end of the day exhausted but well-informed.”
The agencies that are included on the tour include smaller, more specialized firms like Third Degree and Insight Creative Group to nationally renowned titans like Ackerman McQueen.
There will also be a special lunch with acclaimed ad man and keynote speaker Scott McAfee, of Sanders/Wingo Advertising in Austin, delivering his sermon on “Ruthless Creativity” — the idea of taking chances and innovating in the industry while never playing it safe.
Ad Club will also be giving out four $2,000 cash scholarships, as well as the opportunity to network with many of the industry’s bigwigs, some of who often fill their intern pool with the very students they meet with on Career Day.
Brian Winkeler, creative director at Robot House Creative has been one of Career Day’s biggest cheerleaders, for many of the same personal reasons as Worrell.
Winkeler said that when he was a student with “virtually no knowledge or connectivity to the OKC creative community” he would “relished” this kind of opportunity.
“What I love about the OKC advertising community is that everybody knows everybody else,” Winkeler added. “So students looking to stick around town can have direct contact with potential employers and students whose destinies lie elsewhere can connect with local professionals who more than likely have contacts in other markets.
“We’ve all been exactly where these students are and we know how tough it can be to find opportunity so I find the potential inherent in the Career Day experience to be invaluable to those who really want to make the right connections to help get them where they want to go.”