Blog post by contributer: Kyla Gladstone

As Gainesville’s warm weather began to chill, I found myself seated across from the chair of the advertising department, sweating bullets. As I embarked upon a new path, I thought, maybe this could be it. But for every positive idea in my mind, there were three anxiety ridden worries to follow. I couldn’t handle crossing another failed major off the list of possibilities. After the chair’s meticulous review of UF’s advertising program, I reached information overload. However, a key recommendation stuck with me, join Ad Society.

The following Thursday, I found myself immersed in a sea of advertising students listening to Katie Penna, the meeting’s guest speaker, detail her winding road to the advertising industry and expound upon her exciting career. After what I thought to be a twenty minute talk, I reached for my phone. Mesmerized, I hadn’t noticed that an hour and a half had passed. Dry course descriptions were nothing compared to this personal account, my first real window into the advertising industry. Hooked on the creativity of the field, and enamored by the combination of practicality and art, I was so thankful I had taken a risk and shown up that evening. From then on, Ad Society meetings provided me with what I craved most: clarity.

In addition to giving me a better grasp on where advertising could lead me in the future, Ad Society facilitated connections relevant to my life now. After attending a few meetings, that same sea of strangers transformed into a network of friendly, like-minded individuals. All I had to do was dive in. Making friends in the advertising community helped me understand how I fit into the discipline. By getting to know the other unconventional, intellectuel, and creative members of Ad Society, I have gained an overwhelming sense of belonging in this area of study.

After countless introductions, I met a senior member of the organization who decided to take a chance on me. By shoving my foot into any door I could pry open, I found my way to a copywriting position at Elevate, the advertising agency within Ad Society. Although I have only been fortunate enough to contribute to the agency a short while, my love for copywriting has flourished with every thoughtfully worded caption and carefully crafted sentence I have had the privilege to create. Building upon all that I learn at our biweekly meetings, the practical experience I am gaining through Elevate is painting a clear picture for my future. Ad Society has given me all the crucial information I never knew I needed. During the inevitable conversations in which relatives pose the question “So what are you going to do with your life?” my answer no longer feels like a shot in the dark. In one school year, this organization has transformed me, a clueless freshman, into a confident individual, sure of my path forward.