Published on December 3, 2018, at 4:45 p.m.
by Savanna Guitard.
Many college students often fear that their career dreams will never come true. However, University of Alabama graduate Kennedy Studdard is proof that if students work hard, they can get the job they desire.
As a public relations major, Studdard applied to many jobs before she was accepted into Ogilvy’s Associates Program. The program is a year-long job, where recent graduates have the opportunity to do three rotations with different teams at Ogilvy, such as ac
count management or strategy. After the program is completed, participants have a guaranteed full-time position at Ogilvy.
“The Associates Program allows you to learn your strengths and weakness in different divisions of the company,” Studdard said. “It gives you visibility in the company.”
Amy Carton, a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, who went through the program with Studdard, believes it is a wonderful chance for recent graduates to get their feet wet in the advertising and PR industries.
“It’s especially helpful for those (like myself) who may not have a clear understanding of where in the industry they see themselves working,” Carton explained. “It gives individuals a ton of exposure that they may otherwise not have the opportunity to experience.”
After completing the program, Studdard now serves as an assistant account executive underneath the Health and Wellness practice in Ogilvy’s New York City Office. Since she wears many hats as an assistant account executive, Studdard doesn’t have a typical day-to-day schedule.
“One day I could do client work, social media, or work with teams on an initiative. The next day I could be doing internal work for Ogilvy, helping with IT or pitching a multicultural idea,” Studdard said. “My job is all over the page, and that’s what I like about it.”
Working at Ogilvy has provided Studdard with many opportunities to participate in recruiting events for the company, and she has also attended some networking events outside of work. These opportunities to meet new people and work with new clients are what Studdard believes are unique about her start at Ogilvy.
“I have essentially worked on four client accounts and had conversations with six to seven senior-suite executives, which has changed my perception about my job and Ogilvy,” Studdard said. “I have been able to travel, do recruiting events, help with HR without being in HR, and done work for nonprofits as well as volunteered through the company.”
Studdard has only been with Ogilvy for about a year and a half, but she has made her impact on the company already. Carton has been involved in clubs with Studdard at the company and collaborated on projects with her, so she has seen the hard work Studdard puts into her job.
“She truly cares about the work that she’s doing and about the people she surrounds herself with. She has a calming presence that makes her so enjoyable to work with and be around,” Carton said. “She also constantly seeks out ways to get involved in the work community beyond just her day-to-day and has established such a great network of people within the company.”
As a young professional, Studdard is ambitious and has successfully gone through the transition into the real world after college. She understands the hardships recent graduates experience when they enter the workforce.
“When you start working post-college, patience, health and mental health are important. We aren’t taught the burnout aspect for PR and advertising,” Studdard explained. “You have to find outlets and stay positive. The industry is changing, so you have to have an open mind about what’s to come.”
Studdard has used many of the skills she learned in the classroom, but she has also built on those skills as she progressed in her job at Ogilvy. She believes that it’s important for young professionals to get involved and stay involved when they start their first job.
“A tip I have for recent graduates is to be humble. Not everything is easy, but you have to be thankful and be grateful,” Studdard said.