"Find Something You Love To Do And Find A Way To Make Money Doing It"

On Monday, February 18, 2008, Kim Donaldson, Program Director of the Advertising Course in the School of Business, Media and Creative Arts at Cambrian College, appeared as Robert Kirwan's special guest of the week on THE LEARNING CLINIC INSIDE EDUCATION.  

Kim spoke passionately about the world of advertising and marketing, indicating to all listeners that this would be one of the most exciting and satisfying careers they could ever imagine.

Kim Donaldson was born and raised in Sudbury and attended Lasalle Secondary School before eventually pursuing her diploma specializing in advertising at Cambrian. 

"I think I always knew that I was going to get into the advertising business," she explained. " I was always interested in anything that was artistic and musical. From the time I was very young I liked to rewrite jingles and sing. And I loved to read. I read everything I could get my hands on and my parents made sure that we always had books around the house."

After graduating from Cambrian Kim worked for a time at MCTV and Rogers Radio before ending up in her current position as a Professor in the School of Business, Media and Creative Arts at Cambrian. Now she provides instruction to young aspiring advertising professionals and shares her experiences and wisdom. Her passion for this line of work is evident from the moment you begin to talk to her about marketing and advertising.

"When it comes right down to it, the skills you need to be successful in the world of advertising are the most transferable skills you will find," Kim commented as she outlined some of the important skills that one must develop to do well in advertising.

  1. You must love meeting people. In this line of work you meet all kinds of people from all walks of life. You end up doing a lot of networking to develop relationships and make contacts that may be helpful to you later on.
  2. You must be organized. At times you may have several projects going on at the same time so it is critical that you be able to keep everything straight in your mind and focus on what has to be done for each client.
  3. You must be a good time manager. This is not a 9 to 5 job. You must be available to meet and work with clients according to their schedule. This means that you must at times change your own plans on a moment's notice.
  4. You must be dependable and reliable. When you have deadlines to meet and responsibilities to fulfill, you must be able to meet those commitments every single time. 
  5. You must be able to work well with other members of a team. In the world of advertising you must work with people from other departments to bring everything together in a project. You work with sales reps, creative writers, technical specialists and a host of other professionals. Each of you has an important role to play in the success of your project and in meeting the objectives of your clients.
  6. You must have excellent communication skills. You must be able to communicate both in writing and orally. Perhaps your oral communication skills will be the most important as you will be required to present your ideas to both clients and team members. You can have the best ideas and products in the world, but if you can't communicate their benefits you will go nowhere in this business, or any other business for that matter.
  7. You must develop sound "critical thinking skills". In the world today it is "buyer beware" so you must be able to critically examine every aspect of your client's business and market. Your client is depending on you to provide him or her with good, sound advice on how to best advertise or market his or her product.

Kim stated that there are three very important questions you must ask your clients when you are selling them advertising. Those questions are:

  1. Who is your market?
  2. Who is your customer?
  3. Who do you want your customer to be?

When you have the answers to those three questions you can develop a creative advertising and marketing program designed to meet the needs of your client.

Kim warned young students to be careful when choosing their career goals. "The key to being successful in work is to find something you love to do and then find a way to get paid for it." 

In fact, Kim almost found this out the hard way. Despite the fact that she was always interested in creative arts, writing and reading, and felt that she loved advertising, when she took career aptitude tests in Grade 10 she began to have second thoughts. "Everyone said that I would be a good lawyer. So I started thinking about that as a potential career. Eventually I decided to go for the thing that I had always been interested in and choose a business / advertising career. And I am certainly glad I did."

Kim sees the internet playing a huge role in the future of advertising. "The internet allows every other form of media to blend together and create a very effective impact on the target audience. It also allows you to create your advertising to appeal to a specific target in a way that develops interaction and meaningful relationships. People can customize and personalize their purchases with the internet."

Regardless of where the future is heading, you can expect to see Kim Donaldson right there in the middle of it making things work for her clients and for her students.


The Learning Clinic is The Private Practice of
Robert Kirwan, B.A. (Math), M.A. (Education), OCT
4456 Noel Crescent, Val Therese, ON P3P 1S8
Phone: (705) 969-7215    Email:    rkirwan@thelearningclinic.ca

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved by
Infocom Canada Business Consultants Inc.