Networking and clubs are key to success in advertising

By Alex Frank

Two Texas State alumni returned to talk to mass communications about life transitions and a professional appearance online.

Dustin Lien of Kirkus Media and Kala Brock of NEXTmedia spoke to students about finding a career in advertising and the choices they had to make in order to the right job.

 Dustin Lien (left) and Kala Brock (right) addressing a question posited by an advertising student.
 Photo By Alex Frank
Both panelists discussed that they were racing against the clock to find a job and once you find a one it’s easier to find another. Dustin Lien said, “It took me a little while to find the first job, about 3 months…once you get something, hunting for a new job is easier because you have stability.”

Kala Brock spoke about putting her endgame on the back burner and satisfying her primary need of gainful employment. She said, “I was fed up with the job search and took the first offer.” 

One of the overarching themes of the panel was networking. Both Lien and Brock spoke about the importance of going to events in the field you’re interested in and keeping an online presence. Brock said, “I got my first internship through someone on Twitter…everything effects everything.”

They were also adamant about keeping your online presence professional. Lien said, “don’t treat [Linkedin] like Facebook…make it seem like you’re an expert while still in college.”

In addition to pursuing internships both panelists recommended joining clubs pertinent to their intended career path. Brock said, “I would have started Ad Club sooner,” because she gained valuable skills that led to seamless transition from school to the workforce.

An overlooked aspect of college that Lien pointed out was taking your work seriously, when he said, “[it] can be used in your portfolio.” He was able to complete school with a usable portfolio, but admits that he should have taken the work he did more seriously.

Though the room was far from capacity, the students that attended were highly interactive with the panel and learned a lot. Taylor Rhodes, advertising sophomore said, “it was an awesome panel, really insightful.”
Rachel Williams, general studies freshman said, “I’ve been interested in advertising and this panel reinforced those feelings.”

After the panel wrapped, Lien and Brock stayed to talk with attendees and exchange business cards.
Photo By Alex Frank

More information about panels and interviews during Texas State’s Mass Comm Week can be found here.

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