AdPR Alumni Spotlight - Sarah Armstrong (‘05)

Sarah Armstrong
Sarah Armstrong currently works at Arnold (NY) as an Account Supervisor.

What was your major and when did you graduate? I graduated Cum Laude in May ‘05 with an ABJ in Advertising.

What activities were you involved while in Grady/UGA? Though I graduated with a degree in Advertising, I was initially a PR major so my activities spanned between both areas of communications.  I was a member of a sorority for four years and during that time I served one year as the PR chair.  One of my favorite activities was being a Hoop Girl for the Men’s basketball team for 3 years. And during my senior year I became involved in the Ad Club (since I finally picked my major!) and came to New York City for the annual Ad Club trip.

What are you doing now and how did you get there?  I’m currently an Account Supervisor working on Unilever at Arnold.  Right after graduation I came to NYC with a friend - neither of us had jobs but we were determined to make it work.  I had a PR internship the year before and used that experience to secure a position at a leading PR agency.  After a few months, I decided to switch to advertising and joined JWT, where I worked on a few J&J and Diageo brands for 4+ years. Ready for a change, I came to Arnold 3 years ago.

What is your day-to-day like at your job? (Any interesting projects that you can share with us?) On any given day I'm doing whatever I can to make the account run smoothly. That could mean pulling together a presentation for a creative meeting, visiting the clients' offices, attending focus groups or even a shoot somewhere exotic (or in Queens for that matter...) Right now I'm working on a project that will simultaneously relaunch a brand in some global markets, launch a new product and help the brand become relevant to millennials who may have passed on it in the past. So, I've got my work cut out for me!

What part of your Grady experience (classes, professors, etc.) has been helpful in your career today? The passion of my professors in Grady is what drew me to Advertising. Learning about all aspects of communications (research, art direction, strategy, media and even law) gave me a solid base of knowledge.  Not to mention it allowed me to try my hand at different roles within communications to get a sense of where I excel (leading a team, making killer PPT decks) and where I'm perhaps not so gifted (Photoshop, writing newspaper articles).

What is your favorite Grady memory? Definitely the Ad Club NYC trip. I met so many wonderful people, visited a ton of fantastic agencies and got to see all that NYC -- my home now of 8 years -- had to offer. It gave me the excitement and confidence I needed to make the leap to move here. In a nutshell, that was a life-changing trip.

What advice do you have for current AdPR students? 1) Don't be shy! Network and meet people. We all got our start from meeting someone on the inside who was kind enough to listen to our dreams and offer a way in. 2) Ask thoughtful questions and let your passion and personality shine through, especially when interviewing for that first job. 3) And once you have that first job, remember you have a lot to learn. Grady is fantastic at preparing you for your career, but there's nothing like good old fashioned experience that comes with time, and the wisdom that comes from working under seasoned mentors.

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