CLAgency Alumni Spotlight: Jack Swift

October 30, 2019

When did you graduate, and what did you study? What were you involved in?

I graduated in 2016 with a bachelor of individualized studies degree with focus areas in advertising, design, and photography. When I was at the U, I worked for the CLA Office of Information and Technology supporting professors with teaching technologies like Moodle, clickers, video projects, and more. I also worked at CLAgency, first as an account executive with the Department of Art, and then as creative director, overseeing creative projects for the agency.

What is your current position? What do you enjoy most about your job?

I currently work at Beyond Impact as marketing administrator. We’re a small IT consulting company that specializes in moving clients to modern IT infrastructure. I’m the whole marketing team, so I’m getting exposure to every area of marketing. That’s the best part of my role. I’m able to get my hands dirty in all things marketing.

What role did CLAgency play in your undergraduate career?

CLAgency played a big role in my undergraduate career. I felt that I left the U with experience in an agency setting that I could translate into my work after school. I had a portfolio of work from working at CLAgency, and I felt that I was able to understand the way agencies and clients operate in a much more in-depth way than just learning about it in a class.

What were your key takeaways from CLAgency?

My key takeaways from CLAgency are balancing time and understanding the agency-client relationship. Student workers who are juggling school, work, social life, and a number of other pulls become people that can handle difficult, complex work and get it done on a timeline. I trust anyone leaving CLAgency is better adjusted than almost all college students for this. 

Next, the agency-client relationship is incredibly important. Even if you go on to work outside an agency (like me!), understanding how the business operates, managing expectations, and showing other groups or departments your dependability is vital to the business world. CLAgency students working in departments or with outside clients will learn this relationship fast.

Any advice for students?

I heard this recently, “Write your stories.” You’ll experience crazy projects, shifting deadlines, scope creep, and an all-hectic environment (along with a lot of fun too). Write those stories down and figure out how to show other people your skills with those stories. Save a huge event at the last second? Deliver creative to a major audience with big results? Write a killer article that shows a professor’s life work? Those are your stories, figure out how to tell them.

Also, view your work at CLAgency as it is: real work. You’re helping to create real marketing material. Don’t be afraid that you’re a student. Your work is real marketing and you get to own that.