Isabelle White ’17, AdLib Media and Brand Strategy “The conference is a great way to meet and network with alumni, and a leadership role with AdLib allows more opportunity to speak with and gain valuable advice from alumni in my interested field.”
“After AdClass finished, I realized that this sort of branding and media role was something to I wanted to continue doing, on campus and after college, and AdLib has been a great outlet for me to do that.”
What first interested you in AdLib? How did you first get involved?
Because I was in AdClass last year, the AdLib conference was something that our whole class got to participate in. Attending the conference and seeing all of these successful alumni coming back to W&L to help students in pursuing any sort of career, not necessarily just advertising, got me involved and interested in helping out this year. After AdClass finished, I realized that this sort of branding and media role was something to I wanted to continue doing, on campus and after college, and AdLib has been a great outlet for me to do that.
What is your current role in the organization, and what are some of the challenges and rewards you’ve found in that role?
My current role is to work with Liz Tarry and Camille LeJeune to find a brand strategy for the conference. Basically, we want students, faculty and alumni to know what AdLib is, that it is not just for people interested in advertising, and to promote involvement in the conference when it comes up in March. I am also involved in the way we get the word out, mostly through social media. It has been challenging to create one cohesive brand image of the conference reaching three separate groups (students, faculty and alumni), and we are still working on that, but we have a great group and the people are fun to work with.
If you share the role, how do you and your counterpart divide the responsibilities?
I will be taking over more of the front-end work of getting the word out and making sure everyone understands AdLib, while Liz and Camille will be working behind-the-scenes to put on a great conference. Their roles are more event planning-based, but when the time comes, I’m sure we will be all hands on deck with whatever is needed.
How would you characterize your experience in one word? Why?
Excited. The work we put in all of this semester and next culminates into the two days that will be the AdLib conference, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
What has been the most rewarding experience with this organization?
The conference is a great way to meet and network with alumni, and a leadership role with AdLib allows more opportunity to speak with and gain valuable advice from alumni in my interested field. It has also been a great experience working with faculty and staff in the Business school.
What has been the most challenging experience?
I would say the most challenging experience will be how to get students involved that may not be interested in advertising, faculty involved who may not teach business or journalism courses, and alumni who work outside the advertising realm. The conference is about much more than just the ad industry—we have alumni come back in consulting, PR, and marketing, plus others, so we want to expand our reach in terms of interest from alumni participants or student and faculty attendees.
What have you learned about leadership in this role, and what other lessons will you take with you going forward?
The leadership in this role is pretty self-starter, meaning that there isn’t someone holding our hand during it. Professor Bower is a great mentor and advisor in the process, but we are all figuring out what needs to be done as we go along.
What advice would you give to students who may be interested in getting involved?
Definitely get as involved as you can in the conference this year—go to the networking lunch, the panels, the speakers—get as familiar with the conference as you can to see what goes into it.