31 January 2006


I just joined. I chose the least expensive plan, because I wouldn't have time for more anyway (plus, it is the least expensive plan). Hopefully I'll have time to clear my head more regularly now.

My first queue -

1. Super Size Me
2. Belle de Jour
3. Amelie
4. The Virgin Suicides
5. Ghost World

EDIT I replaced Amelie with Coffee+Cigarettes, as I've seen Amelie around 3 times (though I could see it 30 more), and I've been dying to see C+C since the NYTimes reviewed it.

30 January 2006

the best Johanna I can be

One-on-ones with Charlie this semester. He is - along with the 3 larger assignments - tailoring things to each of us. He is customizing our final semester. The list of assignments I got is unique to me, and in the end... hopefully these will help shape me into the best strategic planner (and candidate) that I can be. I have to go to New York. NEW YORK OR BUST.

I told him that I wanted help with interviewing. So, here is the first one:

  • Find 4 alumni with 5 years of experience or more, and have them interview me - one every 2 weeks. Get feedback after each interview, write a note /blurb about how each went. These can't be informational interviews. I have to pretend that I'm trying to get a job at the particular agency.

    YIKES. scary. That's the point though, right? Fear motivates.

    He asked me about the type of place I'd like to work in. I mentioned Naked, and he said:

  • If I were a planning director at Naked, looking at Johanna's portfolio, what would I want to see in it? What would I be looking for? Write a couple of paragraphs.

    a great, slightly objective way of putting myself in that kind of environment.

  • Make a list of 5 blogs that Charlie should read regularly. Include my own blog in there, too.

    This is why I started this. I have a blog, but it centers more on my personal life, posting photographs of my friends, etc. This will be almost the same, but a little more focused on my thinking, my passions, etc.

  • Make a list of 5 hobbies I would like to do that DON'T require a lot of time.

    I had mentioned wanting to enrich my experiences, so I'd have more to feed INTO what I do. Because when I'm at Adcenter, I tend to get immersed in it, and forget most other things. I'm already working on this... I've been playing the piano a lot lately. and reading non-ad books. Like Murakami's The Elephant Vanishes.

    HERE IS SOMETHING WORRISOME. Charlie told me that based on my personality /energy /life /attitude, he would want to hire me, just so he could work with someone like that. But on the other hand, he might NOT hire me, because I could come off as being all over the place, young, and immature. YIKES. I never EVER thought of it that way. But I guess he's right. So...

  • Come to our one-on-ones dressed like he's the client. Prepare an agenda, e-mail the day before confirming, telling him what to bring and be prepared for, etc. This isn't about business, he said, but about mature leadership. This will help me come off as having that great attitude, but with a more seasoned, mature business outlook.

    This is my favorite part. I think this will really help me.

    He wants me to present myself as a cultural maven, because he thinks that I am one, but don't project it enough. Which brings us to:

  • Each meeting, bring one thing that's culturally interesting to share.

  • Keep up on my brand education. what's going on with different brands around the country. SCOUR the Wall Street Journal, Brandweek, and ONE other publication of my choosing that focuses on brands. This might force me to cut down on some other blogs, which is fine.

  • Start keeping a journal of connections - things I start seeing as I'm reading all of this stuff (and include them in the blogs). You guys will see some of this here, then.

  • Edit my Daily Candy brief (by hand, on the brief) and make it better.

  • For Segway and C-SPAN - ask those creative teams if they're going to use the work in the books at all. It needs to be refined.

  • Bring the KangaROOS work of last semester, printed out.

    I have my work cut out for me. My meeting is on Wednesday afternoon. I guess the first step is to find an alumnus and set up an interview with them.

    I love challenges. No wait, this is an opportunity.
  • Brand You

    The first big-ish assignment in portfolio this semester is called Brand You. Charlie paired everybody up. We have to learn about the other person - everything about them. likes, dislikes, values, what makes them tick, what makes them laugh, what they eat, etc. Next month, we have to give a presentation about our partner, as if they were a brand.

    My partner- Kevin. I don't know him well, and that's what Charlie's aim was. We went to lunch last week, and it was awesome. We have so much in common and I had no idea. The biggest similarity I noticed was how we feel about Adcenter and planning. We get frustrated to hear that some people are here because it "sounded fun." We bleed strategic planning every day, feel like we've won the lottery, always look around, thinking we'll be "found out," because we think it's so fun and amazing. Like we're cheating, or something. The idea of a Groundhog Day "career" TERRIFIES us.

    We asked each other a lot of questions. I am going to suggest we watch Lost in Translation together, because he asked to borrow it, and it's my favorite movie.

    There is a segment in Blink about finding out about certain aspects of a person's character and personality by looking through their living space. One study showed that this - as opposed to spending lots of time with the person - can be more telling, in some instances. So we're going to snoop through each other's apartments. I'm going to make note of what he keeps in his fridge. how he organizes his movies. whether his bed is made. the colors he uses. I already know he has a collection of old Russian communist posters. I'll have to ask him about those.

    What else... oh we'll be looking through each other's Adcenter applications. It'll be great to see how we responded to the questions /assignments differently. It'll give me a peek into how his mind works, a little.

    I already know that we have identical communications styles (feeler /intuitor, then intuitor /feeler under stress).

    I'm excited. What a cool and effective assignment. Maybe I can put his branding of me into my portfolio. We should go to ColdStone, so I can see how he deals when there are a million choices of something. I know he likes ice cream, too. Maybe I'll write a Kevin creative brief, get a team to do an ad or something, or get an art director friend to design a logo for him.

    I'm excited.

    26 January 2006

    spring 2006 couture

    Couture has been exploding. I've reviewed lines on my fashion journal.

    covered: Jean Paul Gaultier, Elie Saab, Anne Valerie Hash, Chanel, Christian Lacroix, Revillion, Dior, Valentino and Armani Prive.

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