Interview with Vu Nguyen, Director of Advertising at Residence Hall Association

This week in my Interview Series, we have Vu Nguyen, an advertising student from Lansing, Michigan, talk about his internship experiences, using LinkedIn to network and the importance of a portfolio.

Q1. So currently you’re completing a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising. What was it about the advertising industry that drew you in?

The creativeness of the field! I learned Photoshop my Sophomore year in high school and I thought it was the most amazing thing ever! So coming to college, looking at all of the different majors, minors, and specialization’s was quite overwhelming. After talking to some counselors about advertising, I had found my perfect degree!

Q2. You completed a couple of internships back in 2010, tell us what your experiences were  like?

I was a Freshmen in college at the time and was told I wouldn’t be able to get any internships because of my lack of experience. I managed to get two internships, one as a graphic designer for a realtor and a production’s intern for a government access channel. I learned a great deal about myself and advertising. Having an internship is a great way to receive real world experience, you make a lot of new friends and learn how to work in a team.

3. Did social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn play a part in finding internships?

Social networks did indeed play a huge role. I used LinkedIn a lot to connect with professionals from my city and they were impressed that I was contacting them and that led to a lot of opportunities.

4. How important do you think having a portfolio or blog is as part of a job hunt?

I think having a portfolio is one of the most essential things you could have. It displays your abilities and creativity, things you need in the advertising industry. If you don’t happen to have a portfolio, bring in a sketchbook with different designs or copy to show the company you’re full of ideas!

5. And lastly, what’s the most important advice you would give to a university student looking to get into an internship?

Some important advice I would give to students would be to NETWORK! People are here to help you, talk to friends, counselors, professors, and use university career pages to find employers who are looking for jobs or interns. I also definitely suggest having an online portfolio, it makes things a lot easier for you and the people who want to hire you!

***To contact Vu, get in touch via iBelieve.vu@gmail.com or check out his work at www.vunguyendesign.com and www.behance.net/believe***