This New Ad Award Aims to Help Students With Great Work Actually Land Jobs

'Young Shits' is about more than a trophy

Advertising award shows are a staple within the industry, and nowadays most have expanded to include a division dedicated solely to celebrating student work. Yet as Droga5 copywriter Kathryn Kvas and art director Vignesh Seshadri found out, winning a nice looking trophy doesn't correlate to getting a job, especially if you're an international student. 

The creative team wanted to provide a way to help students make connections with people in agencies to eventually help them land a job after graduation. The duo created a competition, called Young Shits, with that sole purpose in mind.

"Most competitions, you win something and you never hear from the judges. You come out of them and don't really feel like you had a connection with any of them," Kvas said. It makes sense that high-profile award competitions don't provide a ton of feedback as most judges are at the CCO or ecd level. They don't have the time to go through and respond to every student winner they judge.

As international students—Kvas is from Canada and Seshadri from India—hoping to score a job and a visa in the United States, the duo found that it's much easier to make connections with mid-level creatives with under five years of experience.

With that in mind, Kvas and Seshadri laid the foundation for the Young Shits competition. To kick things off, the duo found two young creatives, Dan Litzow from Droga5 and Fanny Josefsson from Deutsch New York, to come up with their own briefs. Students could pick one or both of the briefs and come up with a killer idea to submit to the competition.

Five winners are selected for each brief and those five people receive personalized feedback from the judge. The winners awarded face-to-face meetings or phone calls. If judges feels so inclined, they may even recommend the winner for a job within their agency. 

Kvas and Seshadri came up with the name for the competition after taking a look at some of the other student ad competitions out there. "Young" is an ironic nod to the fact that almost all student competitions these days have the word young in it. The "Shits" part of the name comes from the fact that Kvas and Seshadri wanted the competition "to be no bullshit," Seshadri said. "[Young Shits] gives something meaningful to the students, not just the shiny award. The shiny award is great and awesome in your book … but we want something for the students that actually gets them the job," he added.

The Young Shits competition announced its first round of winners on Sunday, and has already opened up the next round. First round winners include Dan Flora and Alex Krahling for one brief and Chenglei Wu and Max Mitrani for another. In the near future, Kvas and Seshadri hope to expand the competition by working with judges from all over the world, as entries are already pouring in from students all over the world.

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