Professor Panel Recap

By: Ryan Baldwin

Last night during our Professor Panel, we were able to gain insights from our very own GVSU professors on how they view the world of advertising. One big takeaway from the event was hearing about their journey into the world of advertising and public relations. There were two common themes of how our professors got into the field.

Most of our professors transitioned from one field of study to advertising later in life. For instance, Professor Beth Dornan started her career as a journalist, and then she soon realized the job entailed “too much heartbreak. She used the writing skills she had learned and brought them to the ad world. Professor Adrienne Wallace started off as a field biologist and slowly made her way into PR through health communications. Professor Fang Yang experienced a shift in occupation aspirations, as well. With an English degree from her home country of China, she wanted to move to America and pursue a studio design degree. She found a happy middle ground in advertising—she could still be creative while not having to go to studio school. 

robin hands

Even if some professors went in a roundabout way to land in advertising or public relations, there were some that went right from college into our field. Such professors as Robin Spring and professor Jonathan Snedeker knew from the beginning they wanted to work in the field of advertising. They both agreed that advertising is fun, as it allows a balance of business and creativity. However, no matter how they got into advertising or PR, it was clear that they loved the field they were in and wanted to share their knowledge with us. 

Near the end of the panel, the professors shared some advice. They told us to keep up to date with events happening in advertising and always continue learning. The industry is always changing, so you can never know everything. They also mentioned pursuing jobs and internships you’re genuinely interested in—don’t compromise. Whether it’s creative or project management, there are plenty of jobs out there perfect for you. Professor Snedeker dropped a memorable quote from the night,  “when looking for a job, stay true to who you are.”


A huge thank you to all the professors who spent their night with us and thank you to everyone who showed up for making this a great night for both staff and students.

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