After we questioned the screening process of Portfolio Night the folks from ihaveanidea wanted to clarify a few things, and contacted us with a more detailed description of how they decide who attends. Seeing as we’re an equal opportunity blog, of course we agreed to post it (plus we were way afraid that the drummer from Burn Back would come after us if we didn’t):
When someone is unsure of their work and sends it in, it goes to the editorial staff at ihaveanidea. It gets reviewed by us, who in addition to running ihaveanidea also work in advertising or have experience in it. We then let the student know if we feel they would benefit from the event.
Most times we encourage them to come out. But there are some instances when we advise the student that there is just far too much work needed on the portfolio to attend the event–and then we explain to them where those weaknesses are and suggestions on addressing them. At the end of the day a Creative Director can only do so much in the 15 minutes they will spend with each student. We try to ensure that the students who attend are the ones who will benefit the most from those 15 minutes, whether it be in suggestions to make a good book great, or a possible job offer.
So there you have it, and although we don’t agree with a screening process at all, we’d like to point out that 15 minutes is plenty of time to dispense life-changing career advice. Really, how long does it take to say “Is there a reason you printed your ads out backwards?” (6 seconds) or “Have you considered a career in copywriting instead?” (5 seconds) or “Don’t worry about your book, advertising is really more about the ability to drink heavily throughout the day. Wild Turkey?” (10 seconds)