Next Creative Leaders: Alyssa Georg

Posted on Nov 02, 2016

What's your "How I broke into advertising" story?
I got into advertising in a very traditional manner. I did a summer internship at Mullen, Boston. At that time, Mullen was of the school where everyone works on everything, so I got a lot of opportunities to grow and learn. I was a design intern, not an art director intern, but proved myself as a creative thinker through many nights and weekends. I knew I was really lucky to have this opportunity so I worked hard and was offered an Art Director job when the summer ended. You sometimes don't get in the door with exactly what you expect, but it is best to just get in the door.

What made you put yourself forward for Next Creative Leaders?
I read an article this year about a woman quitting advertising because she just couldn't take the sexism in this industry anymore. I've endured harassment and sexism in the past and I don't think that will happen if we had more women in leadership positions. That's why I really appreciate initiatives like The 3% conference and what they are trying to do. I believe it's important for women leaders to keep putting themselves forward to make it more comfortable for all of us to be successful in advertising.

What piece of creative work are you most proud of and why?
I did a spot called "Done" for the NCAA that I'm proud of. It felt good to create a female empowerment spot that tried to end female empowerment spots.

What do you want your legacy to be?
I'd like people to think of me as someone who does good work and is nice to people. And I'd love it if at some point people say "Oh didn't she do that one spot? That was brilliant." Oh yeah, and I want to be one of the MANY woman creative directors in advertising.

Tell us about the first person that invested in you.
Allie Hughes, I will never forget. She is a very talented designer and was my mentor at Mullen. Now being more experienced, I understand just what it takes to find work for an intern and have the patience to help them grow. It makes me appreciate her mentorship that much more. She was such a respected voice at Mullen and I know her influence had a lot to do with getting me the full time position that started my career. I will always be thankful to her for that.

What inspires you?
I know a lot of people look outside of the industry for inspiration, and that is great, but nothing inspires me more than when someone does that work that makes me think "Damn I wish I did that, that's really smart." I had that feeling when I saw the HBO Awkward family campaign from SS+K and now I work with those creatives.

What's it like working in a smaller shop?
Working at a small shop is extremely under rated in this business. I love the responsibility I have at SS+K and ownership I have over my work and my clients. I feel it has helped me grow at a faster rate than some of my peers at bigger shops. Overall there is less bullshit, less layers and less time wasted. And you feel a bigger sense of accountability in the success of the agency...something that's harder to feel when you're somewhere bigger and have no idea what's going on upstairs.

What are you working on right now?
Since my goal is to become a creative director and do better work, I have been trying to really listen. Listen to my CCO Bobby when he is fighting for an idea. Listen to clients and try to figure out what they are really asking for. I sound like Hillary Clinton on a listening tour. But I find that is the best way to learn. Listening...and really hearing before you react.

At SS+K, you've worked on political creative. What has that experience been like?
It kept me up at night. The responsibility is so much greater when you're working on an election versus your average client. The results don't just affect that client, but our whole country. No pressure there. But I will never forget the experience and hopefully what we did helped and had a small part in getting our first female president elected.

What you do to support other women in your agency?
I bust my ass so they can see what is possible. By not backing down, making sure my voice is heard in a room, and having a strong point of view, not just as a woman but as a creative, I can lead by example. I always wish there were more women for me to look up to, so I want to be that for others.

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