There comes a time in every working professional’s career where one feels the urge to give back to the community that helped shape them. This could be done in a multitude of ways. Mentorships are always the go-to option—taking someone under your wing and teaching them all that needs to be taught. Whether that be design tips or passing down the ins and outs of talking to clients. Pro bono work is also a great way to give back. There is always a deserving cause in your area that could use some care. Pulling together the collected strengths of your agency and crafting something beautiful and oh-so helpful can be beneficial to everyone involved.
This brings me to why I have stuck with Ad 2 Tampa Bay over the last few years.
What is Ad 2 Tampa Bay
Ad 2 Tampa Bay is a growing collective of like-minded and wholehearted young professionals pushing the Tampa Bay advertising industry forward. We are an organization dedicated to helping young students learn about and break into the industry, putting professionals in a position to teach and mentor, and giving back to the Tampa Bay community through advertising industry-driven initiatives—Education, Gatherings, Government Relations, Diversity, Public Service, Membership, and Communications. Though I’m now an Art Director for the Tampa Bay chapter as a whole, I started my Ad 2 Tampa Bay journey as a member of the Public Service committee, helping create a pro bono campaign on behalf of a deserving local cause.
Giving back to the community is at Ad 2 Tampa Bay’s core and the Public Service initiative fulfills this with sole dedication towards creating a strategic and beautiful campaign. Every year, we combine the unique talents of our members and experience stemming from agencies of all shapes and sizes across the Tampa Bay area. For the 2016-2017 season, my team and I chose Where Love Grows. This organization operates as more than a food bank, as they provide cooking classes and programs for food-insecure children in Hillsborough County. Through this program, children become empowered to cook for themselves and their families. We created the Nourish. campaign. Nourish. is a social campaign that aimed to shed light on how the Tampa Bay Area is deeply affected by childhood food-insecurities. We connected Where Love Grows with other community business leaders, such as The Blind Tiger Cafe and Buddy Brew Coffee, who wanted to help the cause.
Other Ways Ad 2 TB Gives Back
Being a member of Ad 2 Tampa Bay is beneficial in more ways than one. I joined this nonprofit network organization around two years ago with hopes of filling my portfolio and finally landing that full-time agency job I had been searching for. Almost immediately, I knew I was doing work for something so much bigger than that. I was using my skills as a designer to better an organization that gave opportunities to feed and teach the children of the Tampa Bay Area. My fellow Ad 2 Tampa Bay members were empowered to use their skills to teach classes at USF, host internship speed-dating nights to connect students to opportunities, agency tours, and a whole lot more. We were all using what we learned in school and in life to better the community and the people around us. That’s the beauty of the organization; you can join to land an internship, build a new set of skills, network, or just to benefit the community and there will always be someone there who can champion you and help you to achieve your goals.
Ad 2 and You
Recently, Ad 2 Tampa Bay put on their annual Ad 2 + You event, where directors and organization leaders introduced the club and our initiatives to nearly 100 advertising professionals under 32. All in different stages of their career, some were students, some young professionals, and some with a few years of experience. Each had a different wealth of knowledge and different expectations of what they wanted from the organization. A group of us went to Rock Brothers Brewing to attend the event and while I was busy snapping photos, my coworkers were connecting with committee directors who broke down what the organization does and how they help the community.