Series: How I Got Here: Part 1
Our Team at LoBo & Petrocine knew that we wanted our prospects and clients to get to know us better. What we didn’t consider was that we had some things to learn about each other first. During some friendly office chatter, we tossed out the question, “What did you want to be when you grew up?” Suddenly, we realized it’s a question that everyone can answer— in very different ways.
So, we’ve decided to launch a series on our blog, called: How I Got Here, to discuss the very beginnings of the path that each staffer took to join the advertising business. Stu Kamen, our EVP, Account Development, authors the first installment. Check back monthly to learn more about LoBo Staff members.
Stu Kamen’s Story
When I was in 9th or 10th grade, in my math class, they gave us something called the Job-O test, a kind of career assessment. Basically, it was a bunch of questions where you colored in a circle to select a multiple choice answer about certain scenarios. Do you like working with your hands? Do you like being around other people? Do you like to write? Would you rather get up early and end work early or late/late? All kinds of things like that; dozens of ’em. Many not seemingly related to work at all.
Then they took the test sheet and it went away for a few weeks until they came back with the results (yes— long before internet and cell phones and even copy machines). Turns out, my least likely occupations were meat packer and beautician, and my most likely occupation was working at an ad agency. Which is what I do today.
Ironically, my favorite new show on TV back then was a comedy called Bosom Buddies, starring a then-little-known actor named Tom Hanks. The characters had to dress up in drag in order to live cheaply in their women-only hotel (which has nothing to do with my story, thankfully). But by day they ran their own ad agency.
I used to love watching them come up with creative concepts and pitching them to clients.
So, between that and the Job-O test confirming that I was cut out for this industry, I filed an advertising/marketing career away in the back of my head.
Obviously, my path had a lot of twists and turns. In college, I minored in marketing and had my own column in the campus newspaper. After graduation, I was in the publishing business, spent years freelancing, gained expertise in video and animation production, and so on. But somewhere back early in high school, my true future was revealed. And, as it turns out, I’ve had a successful ad agency career with no need to dabble in either meat packing… or cross-dressing. But, hey, we’ll see what tomorrow brings.