William Hohe

Get to know some of our College of Media students! William Hohe, Class of 2025, is pursuing a dual degree in advertising and photography.

What made you want to major in advertising? What's your favorite thing about the major? 
I chose to major in advertising as a way to complement my studies in photography (BFA). As a dual-degree student pursuing a BFA and BS at one time, my studio art concentration and technical skill within the arts will help me as I pursue a career in the fashion-adjacent fields of creative advertising. Advertising was a way for me to get outside of the studio and into the business of art while also learning about the psychology and strategies behind visual consumption. My favorite thing about the major is the vast amount of opportunities that influence my education.

What class has been your favorite so far? 
My favorite class thus far has been ADV 290: Social Media & Personal Branding. Most, if not all, of my knowledge of social media and personal branding has come from outside the classroom and through trial and error. It was refreshing to get the perspective of research and psychology from visiting associate director of the Brand Hub, Susan Muirhead. I was happy with my experience in this class, the rapid nature of this eight-week course, as well as the takeaways that I brought to my personal branding and social media presence through my photography (@williamslenses). 

What is your favorite part of the College of Media?
My favorite part of the College of Media is the approachability of all the professors and TAs. I am happy to have professors on all sides of my education who are not only invested in what I am doing but interested in the trajectory of my career plans. 

What are you involved in?
Some of the most notable clubs/RSOs and events that I'm involved in include The Fashion Network, Circular Fashion Expo, and American Advertising Federation. I am currently serving as the president of The Fashion Network (TFN), UIUC's premiere fashion club and creative community on campus. At TFN, we host a multitude of educational/creative-based workshops, socials, and events, contemporaneous with four photoshoots a semester that culminate in a semesterly publication. With over 500+ members, TFN is one of the largest RSOs on campus. I am honored to be working alongside fellow advertising/Media students and I am beyond proud of the shared vision and collective efforts we have made in taking strides to expand the club and accommodate the growing creative, arts scene on campus.

I am the co-founder of the Circular Fashion Expo. In this RSO we emphasize living a life committed to sustainable fashion by stopping the spread of fast fashion, and rather finding creative ways that both don’t break the bank and are accessible and sustainable.

Last but definitely not least, I am the AdLab director of the American Advertising Federation Executive Board. AdLab is one of the agencies in AAF that focuses specifically on creative content creation. Everything from Adobe Suite to social media scheduling, videography and studio portraiture is taught at AdLab. As AdLab director, I am focused on creating a space for like-minded students to ask creative questions without judgment and to up their game in terms of personal branding and creative output. Beyond that, I am a freelance photographer through my personal brand, WILLIAMSLENSES, and conduct a myriad of photoshoots and creative projects on campus for myself and my own visions, as well as for clients, RSOs, and other student brands. 

What advice would you give a Media student?
DO NOT WAIT ON ANY OPPORTUNITY.  “The cost of procrastination is the life you could have lived," is a quote I hold myself strongly to. One thing I do not want to walk away with from college is any "could have." In that same realm, any freshman or incoming student, I would advise you not to wait. The time is now and the world, campus, and those around you will not wait for you. If you want something, go for it.  Media is very much a blank canvas, at least in my experience. The general nature of the core classes not only gives you the flexibility to pursue other minors and concentrations within the media, but also carve your own path within the media field.

What are you most proud of? 
I am most proud of the blossoming fashion scene and creative visions that I see arising on campus. Coming off the back of COVID-19 my freshman year, I noticed that the creative community felt overwhelmingly decentralized, due to the mass impact that asynchronous learning and living had on the Urbana-Champaign area as well as on UIUC. It is refreshing, inspiring, and motivating to see so many new students, graduating seniors, and everyone in between, as well as support and leadership from community members, banding together for creative visions and creative progress, whether it be through galleries and house shows, on campus events and exhibitions, or through mass meetings and runway shows such as Circular Fashion Expo and The Kat Walk. It has been both a joy and a privilege playing a small role in leading The Fashion Network and the Circular Fashion Expo in contributing to this vision as well as allowing my own personal artistic practice to become completely transformed by this wider community. I look forward to continuing to play alongside many other phenomenal students, designers, artists, and creatives at UIUC to elevate, emphasize, and energize artistic interpretation and creative direction for the whole campus and broader community in years to come.  

—Interview by Emily Campos, New Voices Intern

William Hohe