Product Design
  • Interview Excerpt: Hillary Black, Creative Recruiter & Owner, Kay & Black, New York

    HB: …I think the best way to get in is to be really hungry. You have to be. So start out by going to as many things as you possibly can. I don’t like to “shmooze” at all, but I recommend it. Get all the trades [publications], really know the business. Just learn. And then make lists of all the agencies while you’re still in school. Just start figuring out who you like and why you like them and make notes about it. If you see an ad, and you think it’s great, write down that ad, even if you’re not graduating for two years. Write it down, write who did it, why you loved it, and why it inspired you. And maybe when you graduate, send a letter thanking them for inspiring you and more.

    I once had a candidate who did something which I think is truly conceptual with branding herself. She created a wallet and made a fake license and credit card of the creative director and dropped it in the bathroom of the agency.

    WS: Lee Clow, right?

    HB: Yes.

    WS: It was in an award show. And it had her portfolio in the wallet, right?

    HB: Yes…and he gave her a job. So, be creative. I had a woman who did music. I don’t represent music producers but she came to me and asked me for help. And I said, “You know what? You’re in music. And most people just send their résumé, that’s it. Put it in an old eight-track case. Or just a cassette case, or CD cover, or create something.” Make yourself stand out. Be different. Really, just try to be inventive, innovative, and creative in your approach to selling yourself as a brand. Give them the unexpected.

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