Kelly Colbert Adam

Get to know some of our College of Media students! Kelly Colbert Adam is a Class of 2024 advertising major.

What excited you about majoring in advertising here at Illinois?
I was originally undecided. After taking ADV 150: Introduction to Advertising, I realized that this career aligned with a lot of my creative passions. I am glad that I took that course because it not only introduced me to the advertising industry, but it excited me to declare my major. I find it intriguing that advertising has a lot to do with collaborative work, but there is still the opportunity to take on leadership roles. Additionally, the field is very broad and allows me to pursue my own creative interests. The major is also very collaborative, and I get to see how different people bring in their own creativity to different projects. Now that I am an advertising major, I am glad to have found a sense of direction for myself career-wise within advertising, and I am excited to continue expanding my experience within this career.

What has been one of your favorite RSOs or student involvement activities that you have been a part of on campus?
I have been a part of several agencies within the American Advertising Federation on campus. Last year I joined one of AAF’s full-service agencies, On the House. I worked as the account manager, serving as a liaison between the client and our team. I realized that this was something that I enjoyed doing and that I felt like I was good at it. Last semester, I was on the blog team for Hyperlink, writing articles for the agency. I got the opportunity to work on strategizing and collaborating with other people on various projects. Any agency within AAF is a great opportunity for advertising students to dip their toes into the industry. I would recommend AAF to anyone because it gave me real-agency experience and helped me learn to communicate effectively with a client. 

What is one Media class you felt was most valuable for your major and why?
ADV 305: Digital Advertising is a great class as you learn how valuable navigating digital spaces is in relation to advertising. This course also focuses on how advertisements are digitally crafted to cater to a specific audience, and how specific advertisements reach the consumer. Being able to understand how to target your advertisements is essential in order to create successful advertisements. 

What advice would you give to an undergraduate student within the College of Media majoring in advertising?
My advice is to approach the classes you’re taking with an open mind. This industry has a lot to offer and the classes you take will expose you to a variety of fields, experiences, and opportunities. There is a lot of collaborative work that will let you learn from other people and their own experiences. Your classes will equip you with essential skills ranging from communication to problem-solving and creativity. Trust that you will not only become a better advertiser, but most importantly you will become a more well-rounded person. 

—Interview by Emilia Mancero, New Voices Intern

Kelly Colbert Adam