Student View: Alumni Shadow Day with Sarah Hall, Advertising and Communications ’84

Sarah Hall and I!
Shadow Day! Sarah Hall and I!

Taking part in FIT’s Alumni Shadow Program was a great learning experience. I shadowed Sarah Hall (Advertising and Communications ’84) at her company, Sarah Hall Productions, where I had hands-on experience working on real life accounts. As an Advertising student, it was awesome to learn the process of PR that entailed researching, follow-up congrats, and meetings that involved future clients. One of the biggest take-aways from this experience is something that I learned from alumna Sarah Hall. She said in life there are many opportunities and, in order to be successful, you have to want it. If you want something bad enough, you have to put in the work and effort. Go to the decision maker, network and don’t burn bridges. She gave me incredible insight and advice, and I’m grateful to be part of this awesome FIT network! Check out my interview with her below!

Why did you choose FIT?
I went on a school tour and remember visiting a painting class, where Blondie was playing in the background. I remember thinking how creative the atmosphere was and how it really spoke to me. The students looked so happy and I felt good vibes. Of course, FIT sounded good on paper, but the tour blew me away.

What is your most memorable FIT experience or professor?
One of my professors, an illustrator, who would say to me, “Sarah, a color isn’t a color unless it’s next to another color.” She taught me to look at color in a different way. Also, just experiencing life on campus was one of the greatest gifts. Everyone was unique in his or her own way. The dorms were filled with life and so many different personalities. To be surrounded by so much creativity was the best experience.

How was the transition between graduation and starting your career?
It was an interesting transition. I had a plan. I told myself that my internship would lead to my first job, and this is exactly what had happened. I worked three nonpaying internships, plus three paying jobs all at the same time. I landed a dream job at Ford Models by going to the owner of the production company I was interning at to ask for help finding a job (unbeknownst to me, he was married to Lacy Ford) and I worked there as an agent for the next 7 years. I highly recommend going to the decision maker. Then I worked at the William Morris Agency (and met my husband there), went on the road with a popstar for a year. Came back and started my own PR company, Sarah Hall Productions, Inc., in 1994.

The Sarah Hall Productions, INC. dream team and I in NYC! And a photo-bomb, facetime cameo: Daniele’s magic trick from flats to sneakers!
The Sarah Hall Productions, INC. dream team and I in NYC! And a photo-bomb, facetime cameo: Daniele’s magic trick from flats to sneakers!

What’s a typical day like?
I spend all day signing new business, brainstorming, meeting with clients regarding their campaign, picking out head shots, introducing clients to managers to help further expand their brand. I also travel to LA and London, working red carpets and signing UK clients who want to be well known brands in America. Everyday is a different day.

Who are some of you clients?
Tony Hawk, a skateboarding icon. I’m very proud with helping build his brand from the beginning. He has a multigenerational audience. Gabrielle Bernstein, a two-time, New York Times bestselling author, and Kelly Clark, a 4 time Olympian as well as many others.

What inspires you?
I’m inspired by giving voice to people’s creativity. I’m passionate about representing my clients. My kids are a big source of inspiration. As well as art and traveling.

What’s your favorite city?
London feels like home.

What is your best advice for students and recent graduates?
Few things: Go to the decision maker. Network and try to stay connected to everyone (it takes effort, I know!). Take the job that brings you closer to where you want to be- meaning that not every graduate will get his or her ideal job right off the bat, so be prepared to work your way up. The right opportunity can change your life! Remember to say thank you to the person who helped it happen!

The amazing SPH office, my desk for the day!
The amazing SPH office, my desk for the day!

To learn more about how you can participate in the Alumni Shadow Program, click here and make a difference in one student’s life!

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