AAF Omaha’s Meet the Pros program is a two-day educational event designed for advertising, public relations, graphic design and communications college students preparing to enter the industry.
On February 20 & 21, 175 students and 16 professors attended this year’s event. Meet the Pros was held on University of Nebraska Omaha’s campus at the Scott Conference Center and featured 14 speakers and 4 emcees over two days. The planning committee was very deliberate in choosing speakers that would appeal to students in various aspects of design, marketing and advertising. The topics included entrepreneurship, collaboration, real-world advice, account services, storytelling, social media, design and illustration. The two keynote speakers were Amy Schwartz, Design Director at Cards Against Humanity, and “Going Big Panel” with Roxanne Abbott, Daryl Anderson, Jonas Pultinevicius and Deb Ward. Amy Schwartz offered insight into Designing for People and engaged the students by sharing her expertise and advice for young professionals. The panel discussed a case study on collaboration featuring The Swimmers of the Lagoon, a campaign commissioned by Visit Omaha for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swim Trials in Omaha, Neb.
In addition to programming for students, AAF Omaha offered programming to attract area professionals during the two day conference. Professionals were invited to the two keynote luncheons mentioned above as well as an evening education session featuring Eric “Mean” Melin, Senior Social Media Community Manager at ad agency Callahan Creek and 2013 Air Guitar World Champion, and an evening networking event. Throughout the four events, we had more than 150 professionals join us for educational sessions.
Meet the Pros 2017 offered three collaborative sessions between students and professionals. The first was roundtable discussions where one professional joined a table of eight to ten students to discuss advertising in the real world. More than 25 professionals, representing a variety of career positions in advertising, met with the students to answer any questions they had. The second opportunity was agency tours. Professionals at ten agencies opened their doors to students to show them their working environments and answer their questions. The third session was the highly anticipated portfolio reviews. AAF Omaha welcomed more than 75 professionals to review design, copywriting and digital portfolios as well as resumes. While not formal interviews, students honed their interpersonal and communication skills as they sat down with professionals to talk about their work and collect praise and constructive-criticism. Students were encouraged to cycle through as many times as they wanted within the allotted two hours.
Thank you to our Meet the Pros Co-Chairs Christine Dunn with Vic Gutman and Associates and Bre Phelan with Yahoo for leading their planning committee and to area advertising PROS for volunteering their time at Meet the Pros this year.
Meet the Pros 2017 Committee:
Christine Dunn, Vic Gutman and Associates
Bre Phelan, Yahoo
Ashley Anderson, Flywheel
Cyndi Wenninghoff, Bailey Lauerman
Bri Harding, Bailey Lauerman
Cody Fenske, Eleven19
Kelsey Scofield, DayCloud Studios
Kylie Feilmeier, Vic Gutman and Associates
Megan Rupiper, HDR
Monica McFarland, M3 Copy Content & Creative
Thank you to the Meet the Pros 2917 Sponsors:
Houck Transit Advertising
Visit AAF Omaha-Meet the Pros Facebook page for photos from the two day conference.