Speed Dating Meets Mentoring at Portfolio Night

Jackson Spalding’s Creative Director Mike Martin and Senior Copywriter John Spalding joined industry professionals from all around Atlanta to participate in the prestigious Portfolio Night, a global event billed as “The World’s Largest Advertising Portfolio Review.”

Hopeful young student creatives were paired with seasoned creative directors in a speed-dating type format – 15 minutes per student – looking for feedback on their work, taking advice and discussing perspectives on the evolving industry.

Jackson Spalding Portfolio Night
Mike Martin and John Spalding proudly sporting their reviewer badges.

“Fifteen minutes is a very short amount of time,” said Mike Martin. “Not every student sees every creative director, so one of the most valuable parts of the evening is the networking and discussion that takes place between sessions where CD’s talk about students that left an impression.”

Said John Spalding, “One of the students I met with already had landed a job, so in her case it wasn’t about critiquing her work, but more general advice on how to succeed as a junior creative.”

One of Spalding’s recommendations: “You can’t always be brilliant. But you can always be useful. Ask for assignments. Make yourself visible. If you do that, you won’t be a junior creative long.”

Martin offered students his thoughts on success: “Take the project no one wants to work on. If you crush an assignment for a brand with a long history of doing stellar work then you’re simply meeting the bar and continuing a legacy of solid work. But do great work for a tough brand or difficult client and your stock will rise tenfold.”

This was the 16th Portfolio Night since its inception in 2003. It was sponsored by The One Club, an American non-profit organization that recognizes and promotes excellence in advertising. Founded in New York City as The One Club for Art & Copy, The One Club produces four annual award competitions: One Show, One Show Design, One Show Interactive and One Show Entertainment.