College of Media | News

Advertising Graduates: Digital Aliens

Jesse Nosbaum, Senior, Agricultural Communications
10/23/2013  8:00 am

Tuesday, October 15, 2013, was a chilly, wet day. It was the first time this semester that it rained nonstop. All day across campus, spirits were down. Not only because of the weather but also because seniors were struggling with post-graduation decisions. Some are job hunting while others are studying and taking the GRE.

Helen Min, a 2005 BS graduate in Advertising and a 2006 MS graduate in Advertising, helped to diminish mental struggles that we have been facing. She talked to a full lecture hall of College of Media students about the industry and our role in it.

Min made it easy for us to relate to her. While she was an undergrad, here at the University of Illinois, she changed her major not once or twice, but four times. She told stories about her time at Illinois and her experience in the field. Min was able to shed some light on the industry for us. 

“You know this world of digital and internet. I grew up through the shift from TV to digital. When you get out there (into the industry), you will be aliens,” said Min. I know for me, this was not exactly what I wanted to hear.

She went on to talk about how current workers in the industry know and are not ready to let go of other mediums. The whole advertising infrastructure is built around the old way. The only other time the industry saw such a change was when it shifted from radio to TV.

Min said, “Creative is an adjective, not just a department.” Creative will always be creating photos but it is also coming up with ideas and testing them out. While Min worked at Facebook that is exactly what she was doing.

It is an amazing time to be entering the industry said Min. We have a specific purpose as new graduates who grew up in digital. “You know digital better than anyone else. It is your job to bridge this gap (between traditional media and digital),” said Min. Knowing that we have a specific purpose helps to reduce the anxiety we feel as we prepare to enter the workforce.

Min left us all with words of advise. She told us to let passion guide us. Min switched her major four times before she knew where she needed to be. She told us to have integrity. She was miserable at her first job, but she never said anything. It was her problem and no one else’s. She showed up and worked hard everyday. Lastly, she told us to make ourselves memorable because you never know what will happen.  

Our Alumni have accomplished great things in their careers. Not only are our Alumni known on campus but throughout the nation. Sometimes as students we feel like we will never accomplish half of what they can. Min related to us and made success and acknowledgement in our field an obtainable goal. I know for me, hearing Min’s story and advice puts me at ease as I get ready to graduate.


Helen Min