1994 Advertising, Advertising (MS)
When Kimberly Brun ‘93/’94 MS ADV was attending the University of Illinois, she understood the importance of networking with the affluent alumni of the Advertising Department. She would be seen regularly at career night and was always up for an informational interview. It was through these connections that Brun landed her first job in the field.
“This field is all about connections,” Brun said. “The more people you can stay in touch with, the more people you know to help you in your job search.”
After graduate school, Brun attended a networking event hosted by one of her professors in Chicago. She handed out her resume and stayed in contact with the alumni that she had met. Through this experience, she got her first job as an account coordinator at Lois USA.
Today, Brun works for DDB Chicago as an account director for State Farm. And while she has been very successful in advertising, she does not forget that importance of connecting undergraduate and graduate students with alumni.
“It’s important to help current students get in touch with people that are already out in the professional field,” Brun said. “The cycle only works if people continue to stay involved.”
Brun now serves as the Vice President of Alumni Board for the College of Media based in Chicago. The Alumni Board works to develop relations with current students through hosting career nights and agency tours, allowing students interact with professionals in a more casual setting. In addition to student relations, the Board also hosts reunions and alumni activities to encourage alumni to reconnect with old classmates as well as meet new graduates of the College of Media.
“You many not know for certain what path you want to go down so it’s so beneficial to talk to as many people as possible in non-traditional types of fields like promotions or sponsorship,” Brun said.
Alumni relations were not the only thing that prepared Brun for her work in advertising. She said she really gained the foundation that she needed in her undergraduate courses and then built on that during her time as a graduate student in advertising.
“I’m still always learning so much on the job but the foundation that I gained from the U. of I. gave me the confidence and knowledge base I needed to succeed,” Brun said.
Brun said that there are a few distinct aspects of the advertising department in the College of Media that really help it to stand out. She appreciated the many opportunities for group projects and team building that offered a realistic look into the agency world, but she thinks that most important part of the department is that it is grounded in communications and media rather than strictly business and marketing, as is the case with some schools.
“It’s truly one of the best programs out there,” Brun said. "The fact that our advertising program has so much history and gives us perspective on so many diverse aspects of the communications field gives us insights that put us a step ahead in the professional world."
by Ellyn Newell '11 JOURN
Published Fall 2009