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While in school it can sometimes be difficult to keep your eye on where you are going. Three students at BEAU were able to see for themselves what it will be like to work in their fields. Dan Peck sat down with Alex Galindro, April Ricks and Jacen Moore and talked to them about their experience with AAF Student Shadow Day.
For those of us who may not be familiar with it, how would you describe AAF Student Shadow Day?
Alex: The Student Shadow day is essentially where you sign up for the Shadow Day and they’ll ask you what you’re interested in… if it’s for concept art, 3d modeling, anything really that’s in a visual aspect. Then the AAF will try and pair you up with the available agencies that are willing to host you as their shadow.
April: … me and a girl from another school went to Jmills Entertainment, a production company that focuses on commercials and whatnot. So we kinda got to know them and what they do, and we sat in on a preproduction meeting for their current project. They needed to scout locations, figure out wardrobe, all that sort of stuff. So we did that for about an hour and then after that we went to the Gateway where we watched some commercials and advertisements. Different people went to different companies. The person in charge of it was told what our interests were, then he fit us with companies related to our fields, so there were different companies involved.
Jacen: It was a great learning experience. I got to see what it was really like out there. There’s a lot of different things that you can do with it, like the place I went… I went to Fluid and some people were designing logos, some people were designing web sites, someone was animating a commercial… It was a really cool experience and it was more interesting than I thought it was really gonna be, and it was really fun.
How do you think AAF Student Shadow Day will help you to fulfill your goals?
Alex: That is an excellent question. It has definitely opened my eyes to advertising. There’s the One Show that the students are invited to attend, which is essentially a kind of awards ceremony for different advertising agencies, different companies and things like that… places where you can definitely input your skills. Some of the advertisements that were played there had a lot of different mediums in them, one of which had used 3D critters that you can build in Maya or whatever program you’re most proficient in. As long as you have your grounds covered and the different programs, or whatever, that you’re more comfortable with when it comes to illustrating or designing, you’ll be on their list for their consideration, should you ever apply to any of these agencies.
April: I was able to meet the people over at Jmills and actually got to go help them on a shoot for the project that they were doing the preproduction stuff for. We made some good contacts there and talked about working together in the future.
Jacen: It definitely put the end picture there, so while I’m going through school I can imagine the company that I went to, and I can definitely see the end. You know, instead of being like “oh no, what am I gonna do? What is it really gonna be like out there in the workforce?” It gives you an idea of what you might be doing.
Would you recommend AAF Student Shadow Day as an opportunity for other BEAU students?
Jacen: Yeah, it’s way fun, you get to hang out with other artistic people and we all usually mesh pretty well and they were really nice. It was just an overall great experience. I leaned a lot.
How did you get involved with AAF Shadow Day, and how can interested students get in touch with the people behind it?
Alex: Erin [Coleman-Cruz] sent a general email to everybody in the school to see if anyone was interested in signing up for this. I was obviously interested and I got in touch with the person that was organizing this entire event. The best ways to get in contact would probably be to go to the American Advertising Federation’s (AAF’s) website and see if you could send them an email. You could also talk to the faculty, such as Erin, Nathan [Butterfield], or anybody who would know about how to reach out to them.
April: Rando [Schmook] was the person that told me about it at first, but I’d seen the emails that Erin [Coleman-Cruz] would send out from time to time, but had never actually looked into it. So, he mentioned to Erin that I was interested and she contacted Shawn [Butler] from AAF, and I then I emailed him to tell him I was interested.
Jacen: I responded to the email that Erin [Coleman-Cruz] sent out school wide and messaged her back and was like “Hey, I’m interested. How do I do this?” and then I emailed Shawn Butler [AAF], who was above everything. I just emailed him about it and he put me on the list.