College for Creative Studies I Advertising: Design
What Jenna Przybycien found most valuable from her education at CCS wasn’t how to create the flashiest ads or use trendy buzzwords. She learned how to cultivate ideas—a lesson that has helped her find success as a copywriter with McCann Worldgroup and inspired her to start her own business.
“I remember one of my professors, Greg Moy, telling me that advertising was all about understanding people and capturing personal experiences that we can all relate to,” recalled Przybycien. “I have taken that to mean living and doing as much as possible. I have found that the best ideas are out in our everyday lives and in new experiences…not behind a computer.”
Initially, Przybycien wanted to become an art director, but during her internship at Doner she decided to specialize in writing—a longtime passion. There, she worked on campaigns for Odwalla, Minute Maid, Great Wolf Lodge, Cox and Sleep Inn. Now at McCann Worldgroup, Przybycien is working on travel campaigns for Colonial Williamsburg and Pure Michigan.
“I love writing for Pure Michigan,” said Przybycien. “It has been inspiring, especially to work with the people who were part of it from day one. And it's pretty cool to hear words I wrote on the radio coming from Tim (Allen). He has a way of making them sound even more charming.”
But Przybycien’s success didn’t come without its challenges.
“While some of the work I have been doing has been exciting, it all takes time,” she said. “Even when I don't want to give it. And it sometimes hurts to let ideas go, especially when I think they’re great.”
As an escape from advertising, Przybycien recently started ninj & ninj, a design studio, with partner Niki Kinney, who she met while working at Doner in 2009. Since launching their company at CCS’ Noel Night last December (2011), most of their projects have focused on wedding invitations, company logos and creating more work for their upcoming show at Art in the Village in Clarkston (Przybycien’s hometown).
“When we were working at Doner, Niki and I used to sign all of our ideas 'N&J,'” explained Przybycien. “Our boss deemed us team ninja, and the name stuck. We started calling each other ‘ninj’ for short, and when it came time to name our company, we had to go with it.”
Przybycien credits CCS as a huge influence on her journey as a professional and a person.
“CCS trained my eye and opened up a lot of opportunities for me.”
“But more importantly, CCS helped me embrace who I am. A weirdo who refuses to outgrow the kids’ table and stop climbing trees.”