So much can be learned in the classroom, but when you are given the opportunity to join a once in a lifetime trip, you realize that there is much more to be learned beyond the books. Of course, I can go to class and learn the 4 P’s of marketing, how to write a business plan, or the basics of accounting, but do textbooks allow you to tour companies and speak to executives?! It is not every day that millennials get to go face-to-face with such well-known companies, break stereotypes, and change the conversation.
The National Millennial Community was given the opportunity to speak to employees of all levels and listened to the many different stories and paths taken to get to where they are now. Textbooks paint a vague picture when it comes to working in an agency, but it is only upon visiting a company that you learn about the individual paths, challenges, successes, values and company culture. It was interesting to learn how some people went straight into the positions they planned for after graduation, whereas others, started in different areas and worked their way up into their desired roles.
Textbooks do not teach you about the cons of an agency: extreme stress, coffee addictions, long hours, and the amount of dry shampoo bottles people go through because they don’t even have time to wash their hair! Textbooks also do not teach you about the rush of adrenaline you get when you finish a project, the feeling you get when a client compliments your work, or even company happy hours!
Almost everyone who spoke noted that “the agency life is not for everyone” which made me question… is the agency life for me? In a classroom setting I would never think to even question if the agency life was for me or not. Learning about the different experiences and day-to-day tasks opened my eyes to the agency world.
Without the experience and relationships I gained in Chicago with the National Millennial Community, I would not be able to say with confidence that I am ready to take on the hustle and bustle we call the #agencylife.