Tag Archive for 'Graduates'

Getting to Know UWO Accomplished Alumni: Jeff Griffith

This past week, I had the honor of speaking with a fellow UW Oshkosh Alumni, Jeff Griffith. Currently working as Creative Director of Advertising and Marketing at Men’s Health magazine in New York City, Griffith formerly worked at a variety of advertising agencies around the country, and helped save the Gettysburg National Military Park and Battlefield from a proposed casino in his spare time.

Career Services: What is your current job title and some of your responsibilities?

Griffith: I’m currently Creative Director of Advertising/Marketing at Men’s Health magazine.

My job is to provide creative and strategic thinking and executions for our advertisers as well as any Men’s Health-sponsored events or activities. That includes ads, advertorials, videos, tablet enhancements, banners, rich media units, and any graphics needed for our numerous triathlons, the Men’s Health Cooking School, summer socials, and our signature event, the Men’s Health Urbanathlon in three cities nationwide.

My team also provides carefully-designed sales materials for our marketing managers and sales team within the Men’s Health brand.

Career Services: What was your career plan when you graduated UWO? Did you always want to work for Rodale-Men’s Health, or a specific company?

Griffith: My major at UWO was Journalism with an advertising emphasis. And a TV/Radio/Film minor. My goal all along was to work in an advertising agency. My first job was at an agency in Honolulu, then moved to Atlanta, then New York City. I worked at ad agencies my entire career and even had my own agency for three years called Jugular. In 2011, I jumped over to the publishing side and absolutely love it.

To answer your question, no, I had no plans to work for a magazine. But you never know what opportunities arise. I create more 360 degrees of design/advertising here than I ever would in a major ad agency. In an agency, you’d hand things off to a specific department. Here, we ARE the department.

Career Services: What is one of your greatest achievements that you are most proud of?

Griffith: In 2010, after I left my ad agency Jugular, I became passionately involved with a grassroots group out of Gettysburg, PA that was trying to stop a proposed casino a half-mile from the Gettysburg National Military Park and Battlefield. I found the group on Facebook.

Over the course of a year, I donated my spare time in creating all of their print advertising, billboards, bus shelters, T-shirts, brochures, and website to fight a local millionaire and his quest for a casino near hallowed ground. I produced/directed a collection of videos and personally enlisted several celebrities to present at the statewide hearing to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Filmmaker Ken Burns, Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough, Sam Waterston, Stephen Lang, Matthew Broderick, international strategist Susan Eisenhower and Medal of Honor recipient Paul Bucha were videotaped telling their personal connections to Gettysburg and why it should be saved. Famed composer John Williams provided the music for all my videos. ALL whom donated their time and talent to the cause. Even Steven Spielberg himself gave us approvals to use music from “Saving Private Ryan” for some of the smaller videos.

Long story short, the videos and advertising campaign made the casino proposal a national issue instead of a local issue and the casino proposal was soundly defeated.

As a lifelong history buff, I can proudly say that I personally played a role in saving Gettysburg from urban growth. Wonderfully, as a result, I began working with the Civil War Trust who helps preserves ALL the Civil War battlefields in the US. So now I design their quarterly magazine called “Hallowed Ground” which goes to all their membership.

Career Services: What advice would you give to young UWO students who will be graduating this week, as they prepare to take their next steps in life and pursue careers?

Griffith: Your learning is just starting. No, you don’t know everything yet (sorry). And you never will. Be confident in yourself but pay attention to others who have done it before.

Have a goal of what you’re looking for. Don’t look to potential employers to provide that answer for you.

Turn your cell phone off now and then…listen to conversations, shake hands, meet people even if it’s just to be nice or for reference or possible friendships. And keep in touch!! You NEVER know whom you will meet down the road or where your world’s will connect again. The world is very small.

And one more thing, never ever forget where you came from no matter how successful you become. Come back to UWO and visit. Everybody’s story is different and it’s all interesting. Share your experiences. Give back and pay forward. 

Career Advice from Jeff GriffithCareer Advice from UWO alumnus and Men’s Health Creative Director, Jeff Griffith

 

Griffith has an impressive creative portfolio that displays a wide variety of the work he has done in the past, including his achievements with the Gettysburg Park preservation. Through his campaign contribution, including multiple videos and ads made the local issue something of national importance and the idea of the casino construction was dropped.

From College To Career

You’ve just come back from spring break and the realization that only a few weeks stand between you and graduation is suddenly a terrifying thought because… that means you have to get a grown-up job! The fact that you can no longer roll out of bed and rush to class in the comfort of your sweatpants is bearing down on you HARD. You find yourself staring at a blank computer screen unable to absorb that it’s actually happening. The time to take the next step towards finding employment is upon you. You might even panic at the realization that you have procrastinated in your attempt to take the preparatory steps of post-college career life. Here are a few suggestions to help you get the ball rolling as you dive into the professional world and seek out your career path.

  • Check your school resources! Your university wants you to get employed upon graduation, because it reflects the ability of the school to help you reach your future goals as a result of the education you have been provided. Most schools have a Career Services office to help you prepare your resume, cover letter and even guide you in your job search.
  • They also may offer opportunities directly from employers that are looking to hire for open positions by utilizing Career Services access to an abundant student database. Here at UW Oshkosh, these open job and internship opportunities can be found on Titan Jobs.
  • Talk to your professors and advisers for advice or networking connections that they may have developed with previous students. These days, networking is absolutely essential to building a reputation that may help you get your foot in the door.

Career Services Creating Connections in Reeve Ballroom on March 2nd, 2013.

Don’t leave it at that! The most important part of the job search is being persistent. Apply, apply, apply. Make sure to research the companies you are applying to, and always include a cover letter as well as a follow up inquiry pertaining to the receipt of your application (generally the Monday following a full two weeks after your original application date). This shows employers you are genuinely interested in working with their company.

There are an infinite number of job search sites out there and many of them are tailored directly to recent college grads. For more opportunities check out: AfterCollege.com


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