Career + Academics

The Advertising Career


career in advertising

Blush loves Mad Men.

But instead of gushing over Draper’s mysterious charm or Roger’s hilarious quips, we wanted to celebrate the WOMEN. Let’s toast to the Peggys and the Joans of our generation, and give everyone a sneak peak into their daily lives. (Cheers to that.)

To get the inside scoop, Blush got the deets from two great ladies who are killing it in the industry. It’s time to get the advertising career info from girls who are out there doing it! Move over guys, it’s time for the ladies to take over.

The Breakdown:

Career: Advertising (2012)
Median Salary: $88,590/year
Entry Level Education: Bachelor’s Degree
Number of jobs: 216,000
Growth rate: 12% (avg=11%)
Top Employers: Advertising Agencies (24%), Mgmt of companies/enterprises (16%)

The Ad Gals:


Senior Account Executive
Age: 25
City: Dallas, Texas
Education: BA – Corporate Communications and Business Foundations, The University of Texas at Austin
Experience: Senior Account Exec at large firm in Dallas


Producer at McGarrah Jessee
Age: 28
City: Austin, Texas
Education: BBA – Marketing, BA – Plan II Honors, The University of Texas at Austin
Experience: Project Manager at MRY

The Scoop:


Blush: We noticed both of you studied something other than advertising. Can you tell us how your degree prepared you, and if you would recommend anything different?

Paige: I graduated with a degree in Corporate Communications and a Business Foundations Certificate from UT. That degree path set me up with some pretty great internships while I was in college, which is where I really learned how to work in the field of communications/advertising. School was valuable, internships are key.

Shelby: To a degree I feel my college education prepared me for the work I do.  In marketing classes I learned terms that I now use (RACI, target market, etc.) and management skills that I find myself referring to in my mind, but in general the majority of what I’ve learned has been on the job.  I was fortunate enough to have an internship at GSD&M in Austin during my final semester at UT and found that though marketing interested me, I was more excited by the diversity of work that comes in advertising. That was incredibly valuable.

Blush: Seems like your jobs include a lot of hands-on training. Tell us about them!

Paige:  I’m a Senior Account Exec at a small, full-service advertising agency. This means I lead several accounts and manage a team of Account Coordinators that assist on the different clients. I’m responsible for growing my accounts, all projects that are happening at a given time for any of my clients, and the overall satisfaction of my clients. At the end of the day, if something’s wrong or a client isn’t happy—that falls on me. Typical days consist of hours of meetings, a crazy amount of emails from clients, client presentations, strategizing and developing briefs. It’s a lot.

Shelby: My job is in digital advertising, meaning the majority of what I do is featured on the web. We build websites, manage communities of followers for brands on Facebook and Twitter, and create digital campaigns. I am the producer (product manager), so I format the structure of my team works within and budgets the projects from start to finish. I create the budget, schedule and assign the tasks each member of my team will perform throughout the course of a project. The it’s my job to make sure all of those tasks are completed on time, on budget and that they are perfect. I’m the first one to arrive and the last one to leave, because I am in charge of making sure everyone has everything they need to execute their jobs.

Blush: Geeze, y’all be busy. Ok, what do you LOVE about your job?

Paige: The flexibility. Advertising agencies are notoriously laid back. I can work from home when I need to, squeeze in an extra Friday vacation, and go to a 10am doctor appointment. No problem.

Shelby: I love my job because even though I’m not the most creative, strategic, or technical person in the world, I’m involved in all of those processes. I can work photoshop, talk in code (kind of) and debate strategy with a client. I’m the administrator, and sometimes this position (project manager/producer) gets overlooked, but I know that there are too many pieces that get lost–and someone has to handle them! Plus I get to know everybody along the way. I motivate and coach others to do their best work. It’s very rewarding.

Blush: What’s not so hot about your job?

Paige: The stress, for sure. You’re working for someone else and catering to client’s needs. It’s fast-paced, too fast at times. And clients aren’t always roses and sunshine.

Shelby: The hours are long, which gets old. Plus, the industry is very “feast or famine.” When business is good, there’s lots of work and clients love everything. It’s great. But it doesn’t take much for one client to walk away and three or four people you love have to be let go. You must always position and prove yourself. Things can be very cut-throat.

Blush: Closing advice for any budding Mad woMen?

Paige: Get a solid internship at an agency while you’re still in college. You’ll see how it really works and understand the industry. I know you’ve heard this before, but it’s seriously the truth. It’s the only way to test the waters before you dive in after graduation. But, most importantly, find a way to follow your passion. I did not do this, and I am now backtracking. I want to start my own business, one that follows my passion for fashion, home deocor, and food. I have a few tricks up my sleeve. There’s always a way to make something happen, you just have to want it badly enough.

Shelby: Yes, do an internship. The industry is fun and fast paced, but it takes a lot out of you (and your social life). I’ve realized I want to continue working for awhile, but I have to find a job with a more predictable schedule and shorter hours in the future. Be tough. Understand you might get laid off (that has happened to me), and that’s ok. It’s a battle scar. Make your job more about the people you work with than the work you do. You’ll end up enjoying it more in the end, and actually do better work!


Thanks to Paige and Shelby for sharing with us! If you are an aspiring Ad Exec, we hope this blog helped! Needing more career guidance? No problem. Join today and we’ll get you set up in no time!

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Photo/Statistic Credits (top to bottom):
Mad Men: AMC

Kali Rogers

Author Kali Rogers

Kali Rogers is the Founder, Janitor, and CEO of Blush. You can stalk her on Instagram or ask her whatever you want via email. She loves the attention.

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