As a marathon runner Rebekah Raleigh knows something about stamina. That staying power may explain the big things she’s accomplished since earning a bachelor’s degree in art history from Wesleyan University in 2001. Raleigh has it all: a huge talent for photography and years of experience as a photojournalist worldwide; a pending master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia; and a stimulating job as a multimedia specialist at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. But in 2012 she added one more star to her resume: a certificate in Advertising for Creatives from Northwestern University School of Professional Studies.
“My boss is a designer and thought the art direction program at Northwestern would help me understand the work I do,” says Raleigh, who, despite her impressive experience, had never done big commercial photo shoots. Raleigh also wanted to showcase her skill as a creative director by amassing a portfolio of her work, the capstone project of Advertising for Creatives. “Everyone in the program wanted to work in advertising,” says Raleigh, who began the cohort program in fall 2011. “You’re building a network you can call on later.”
Raleigh’s classroom was the Chicago office of global advertising giant DDB Worldwide, where students worked with associate creative directors Jonathan Richman and Alex Zamiar on the core sequence of classes. “Jonathan and Alex were patient and helped us understand the creative process with clarity,” says Raleigh. On Northwestern’s Chicago campus she took an elective course in graphic design, where she learned to use Adobe Illustrator, “a huge takeaway.” Raleigh completed the program with a portfolio that earned her the opportunity to work on a public service campaign encouraging younger voters to participate in the 2012 Presidential election. The campaign was featured in both Adweek and The Atlantic. “The program made me a more competitive candidate,” says Raleigh. “It gave me the credibility to translate my skills out of editorial. It provided an incredible segue.”