12 Mar 2015

From Lawyer to Copywriter and a Creative Career

I took the chance and changed my life.

Michael Streiter

michael-streiter-miami-ad-school.jpg

Decision Time:

I absolutely hated being a lawyer. Admitting to myself that my prior career was not going to make me a happy camper was step number one. From there was the big WTF do I do now?

I quit law with very little money in the bank and no plan. Time to brainstorm my next step. I went to a career counselor and took a strange aptitude test that said I should be a musician (I don’t play anything), a corporate trainer (insulting), a psychologist (hooray for going back to school seven years to get my PhD!) or…. an advertiser.

Huh? Advertising, a Creative Career?

What's that all about? I looked into it and saw that I could get paid for trying to get people to enjoy beer and vodka. I found Miami Ad School and this promising career choice that let me live in South Beach for at least the first year at school….the universe was pointing the flashlight in the direction I was meant to go.

The Difficult Part:

Law pays extremely well and I had to come to terms that my first job in advertising was going to probably pay me 1/5 of what I was making. Someone told me "You spend the first half of your career in advertising underpaid, and the second half overpaid." I may not be there yet, but the pay certainly is much better now and enough to make me happy and comfortable. Giving up on a past career that I had invested so much into was certainly uncomfortable, but it was the best decision.

Sharing My Decision:

My parents were cautiously supportive, but both knew how unhappy I was in law. Neither wanted me to be unhappy in life.

I Applied to Miami Ad School:

I tend to be pretty competitive so I do remember evaluating the application and wondering if I was at an extreme disadvantage in getting accepted, never having written copy in my life. I remember being stressed and trying to go overboard to show that "Yes I am the creative you've been waiting for!!!!" It really was kind of over-the-top now that I look back on what I submitted. It probably even made Fudge, the school’s mascot, cover his eyes and howl with disdain. But, it showed my real desire and energy to be a part of advertising. Somehow it worked, and here I am over a decade after graduating still very, very thankful for everything I learned at Miami Ad School! :)



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