Hellooooooooo! (read as Robin Williams a la Mrs. Doubtfire. You’re welcome.)
It’s official y’all. I’ve joined the circus.
For those of you who don’t already know, or who pretend they know, or who never even knew they didn’t know, I made the decision a while back to head back to school for Advertising, Copywriting to be specific. I researched and visited and wrote essays on essays and toiled over creative samples and cried… a lot… and finally, two days before my birthday (June 30th. Gifts accepted.), I got a glorious email telling me I had been accepted to The Creative Circus.
Contrary to the red ball on my nose, The Creative Circus is not clown school. (Hardy har har… I’ve made the joke so now you can’t.) In fact, it is one of the most outstanding Advertising Portfolio Schools in the country and everyone should be like… really impressed.
I don’t want to get into too much detail about my life before The Circus, because ultimately it’s now irrelevant to the purpose of this blog which is to detail my experience in school, Atlanta in general, the industry as a whole and my neurotic responses to all of it. However, a little back story would probably help ya out:
May 2010 – Graduated University of Iowa with a BA in English (What do ya do, with a BA in English? – Avenue Q)
July 2010 – Started working at Banana Republic to pay dem bills and actually really liked it. Shocking. I was good at it! I love people and clothing and everything seemed to be falling into place. Plus I was given free reign to dress mannequins and set up the display windows. I felt creatively motivated. I owe all of my not so secret love of retail to my first and best boss, Matthew McNally.
March 2012 – Transferred to Athleta (another Gap Inc. brand) because it was time to try something new and the “Power to the She” motto really resonated with me. I grew in my visual merchandising skills and was able to get behind a high quality performance product I actually used. I am a runner, fitness enthusiast, dancer, and general jumping bean. I had found my retail sweet spot.
March 2013 – Promoted to Visual Lead at GAP. I wanted to try management. I still hadn’t figured out what I wanted to do, like for my life, and I thought “Why not?” Turns out there were a lot of reasons why not, but that is neither here nor there. (There, it’s definitely there, where it will stay forever.)
Summer 2014 – Transferred back to Athleta to work as their Community Outreach/Marketing Associate in-store. I managed our store’s twitter, all the in-store marketing and any special events or fitness classes we held. Cool right? I also got a marketing internship at Chicago Children’s Theatre where I met some lovely people, worked my butt off, and fell in love with writing all over again.
Fall 2014 – I hit a wall. The new exciting changes settled down. I realized I was in a stagnant position. Zero upward mobility and the things I loved doing (writing for twitter, creating email blasts for the theatre, figuring out fun ways to advertise, yes advertise, product, etc.) were just little nuggets in the day to day retail and marketing world.
I wanted to write. And think. Everyday. Not just on my own, forcing friends to read my poems or short stories and toiling over how to precisely phrase my facebook status to get maximum likes, I wanted to do that professionally. I wanted to be a problem solver. I wanted to think inside and outside the box at the same time. I wanted to be challenged and motivated and pushed and utilized to my greatest potential.
I also… wanted to not be broke.
After months of research, starting and stopping, a few “come to Jesus” talks with my parentals, Dad and Deb (working agency peeps in Chicago. Family business I suppose), and Madre (working resource/special education teacher who is a voice for change and a force of nature when it comes to work ethic), I started my application process and lucky me! Here I am!*
So that’s that. Obviously it is a broad and skimming overview, but this blog isn’t about that. You can see my #roadtothecircus and continued #lifeinthecircus on my Instagram Clpow630. Though I make no promises that I won’t post selfies. #noshameselfiegame #thatlightingtho
Onward and Upward! To the Circus!
*I want to stress how very, very, very, very important the undying love and support of my family was and is to this process. I don’t have enough words to express how grateful I am to them. siblings and relatives, blood related or not, all very much included. Thank you all. So very, very much.