David McClay talks to Scholars to College students about working in advertising - McKinney

David McClay talks to Scholars to College students about working in advertising

March 22, 2013

McKinney copywriter David McClay was one of 20 professionals who volunteered to talk to Emily K. Center students at Career Exploration Night on March 20. Each volunteer sat at a small table in the Center’s gymnasium and talked for 20 minutes at a time to small groups of students who had shown interest in that particular field.

One of the youngest professionals at the event, David was joined by a local FBI agent, a biomedical engineer, a banker and a surgeon, among others. All volunteers were asked to participate based on the interests of the roughly 50 Scholars to College students — currently enrolled Durham-area high schools — who attended.

During the hour-long event, David met with three groups of students who were, at times, accompanied by their Emily K. Center program counselors.

“It was like speed dating but slower,” said David. “Two to four kids would sit with me at the table, and I’d explain a typical day as a copywriter at McKinney, the types of college degrees those who want to work in advertising usually get, and how ads are made. They were surprised at how many moving parts there are in the advertising machine, and by how much work it takes to make one ad.”

He also answered their questions. “One student asked how we come up with our ideas. She was basically trying to get tips on brainstorming, so it led into a discussion about ideation, which I wasn’t expecting,” said David. “It was a great conversation.” Another student asked how stressful working in advertising is, to which David replied, “Well, there are deadlines and sometimes there are long hours.”

The Emily K. Center Scholars to College program ensures that academically focused high school students maximize their potential to become well-prepared, college-bound students as graduating seniors. Those at Career Exploration Night are well on their way.