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Career Connections: Advertising Director

5 minutes

I am what I call the president and janitor of the company. That means you do everything. I'm in charge, of course, of all client relationships. I'm in charge of being a creative director. I'm also in charge of everything that concerns personnel and the financial aspect of the company. The most important thing is that you're dedicated, you love what you're doing and bring passion to the work. We can't teach passion. You must bring it. I'm the president of this company, but it took me a while to get there. I wrote a list of things I like and don't like and created a formula for me that was visual communications. The things I was good at and liked was languages, I was good at art and at history, and I had a strong interest in psychology. So for me, that was a formula combined together that became visual communication. It took a long time and soul-finding to find that and go in that field. So I started out as a graphic designer, as a junior art director, and then I became an art director, then returned to Germany when the wall came down because I wanted to participate there. I worked in account services, too, in East Germany, and it helped me to really understand what the client's needs are. Then I became a creative director and then started my own company. The moment you have client contacts, and you bring good business to the company, that is when it becomes a factor for maybe having ownership in the company. The financial management and the entire business aspect is something that I've learned by doing. I was not trained as an accountant, but you learn with your successes and your failures, so I had to really learn by getting a bloody nose, and understanding, "You can't do it like this. Do it like that." I also had very good advice and people I could get advice from. You must be a good listener and cannot take communication for granted. When learning a language, you learn to listen and learn what words mean. If we assume that somebody understands art, we already miscommunicate. We are in the most powerful business on Earth, from my perspective, because we are there to create opinions. We are actually in the business of manipulation, which is a very dangerous business. We all know how badly that can go, through bad propaganda and things like that. It is a joyful business of communication, but it also has its dark sides. You have to have a good mindset of ethics and what you like to do and want to do, and what you can say and can't say. I have my own ethics. There are things I will not do advertising for. I think that everybody has their own opinion about that, and they should, but it is important that we just don't sell out our soul in what we do.

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The founder and president of an advertising, design, and marketing agency talks about how his work is enriched by his cross-cultural experiences, his knowledge of more than one language, and his passion for what he does. Part of the "Career Connections" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 5 minutes

Career Connections
Episode 1
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 2
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 3
3 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 4
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 5
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 6
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 7
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 8
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 9
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 10
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12