ACE’S AFTER SCHOOL SPECIAL [EVENT] AT THE YELLOWHEAD BREWERY

Posted 18th Oct, 2012

by Andrew Savchyn

by Landis Kine Donahue

To the left was a hallway to beer tasting. To the right, a door exuding laughter and free full glasses of beer. Clearly, the Student After Hours event was to the right. I followed the laughter and found myself welcomed by handcuffs and a ticket for beer. That, dear advertising professionals and fanatics, is a great beginning for any mingling event.

In case you didn’t make it to the event or you didn’t get a chance to ask, the handcuffs were souvenirs from the event sponsor, Kick Point. Why handcuffs? To spread the word to end lazy marketing, of course! (Check out their website for more information on lazy marketing punishments .)

I hung up my coat and headed to the bar, as all attendees did once they received their handcuffs, and then I was left to face the common fear of mingling and networking. As I threw myself (not literally) into the first crowd, reality hit me: my anxiety towards socializing with professionals who I admire for their astounding work is foolish. I was instantly welcomed into the conversation, I introduced myself, and the rest was natural conversation.

Why so stress-free? The Student After Hours event is not all business and I’m sure everyone appreciates it. Once you get past the basics of what you do and where you envision yourself in the industry, the members threw out helpful ideas regarding portfolios, suggested books to read and many even shared personal stories – from their first idea-shredding experience to their proud award-winning campaigns. Then each conversation was interrupted by new introductions or friendly banter and you can simply sit back, take in the overwhelming amount of advice and join in on the laughter.

But it wasn’t just the industry professionals who shared stories and advice; the students who attended had more than enough to offer. I heard stories about amazing international internships, job shadow experiences, and even a recent brush with fame experience. The students were more than willing to talk about their processes to step into the advertising world and what surprised me the most was that they all exuded confidence when they spoke with the professionals (even though many admitted that this was the first ACE event they have attended).

This event was perfect for any student or aspiring professional to gain an honest perspective of the field. It also seemed like a great reason for the professionals to forget their clients and office stresses for a few hours of comfortable conversation, cupcakes and cold beer.

The event was a complete success. The Yellowhead Brewery was full of laughter, friendly banter and smiles on each face. No matter where you looked, every table, aisle and floor space was filled with friendly people who have a common interest: advertising (and beer). I truly admired the instant acceptance that each professional had for the students. And I encourage all nervous students to throw away your worries of socializing because the ACEevents are too beneficial and far too entertaining to miss out on. A much deserved thanks is in order for the Yellowhead Brewery for hosting the evening and to Kick Point for sponsoring the event.

Keep your eyes and ears open for the next ACE event!

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