Boston University - Advertising
Classes through Ad House, New York
If you love crafting copy, turning a feeling into words and telling the story behind an image or idea, chances are copywriting is a career that just might be of interest to you. Julia Regan is a copywriter at WONGDOODY, where she’s worked for about three and a half years. You’ve most likely seen her work without even realizing it. She was the writer behind WONGDOODY’s “Gossip Girl” work, as well as many Full Tilt Poker campaigns, including the latest brand campaign. Outside of advertising, Julia is also working on some short fiction projects.
It’s amazing when an idea you’ve created lives out in the world.
How did you discover your current job?
I was ready to move on from my last job, so I went through a headhunter and ended up at WONGDOODY.
What has been your path so far to get you where you are today?
I started out with a really rough portfolio, but I took as many internships as I could and stayed in contact with people I met along the way. Then I worked really hard to get my book to a better place.
Was there any one situation that helped you along your way?
Staying in touch with alumni I met on a trip to New York helped me get a foot in the door. In fact, after college I had an apartment and a waitressing job in Boston. I was halfway through my “Legal Seafoods” orientation when I got a call about an internship in New York, which led to my first job in New York, which led to my current job in LA.
What is your typical day like? Does it ever change?
My day is a little different depending on what stage in the process I’m at. At the beginning of a project, I lock myself in a little room with my art director, a Sharpie and a double soy latte. There, we come up with ideas and draw them on pieces of paper that we stick all over the wall.
Other times, I sit down in front of a blank Microsoft Word document and start typing. I write radio scripts, TV scripts, print ads, Web banners and descriptions of some of the ideas we came up with in that same little room.
Sometimes, I present the ideas to clients who can buy the ideas. Sometimes, I work with directors and editors and production people who can make the ideas real.
If I get stuck, I lurk online. I lurk online a lot.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I love coming up with ideas, learning about industries I’d never know about otherwise and working with different people. I’m really curious, so copywriting is a good fit for me.
It’s amazing when an idea you’ve created lives out in the world. It’s like being a little kid whose crayon drawing gets hung up on the fridge -- except mine goes on a billboard.
What is the most challenging part?
It can be heartbreaking when an idea you love doesn’t get made. As they say, it’s your baby. Then again -- there’s always a better idea out there if you have the patience to sit back down and look for it.
What is the biggest personal sacrifice you have to make because of your job?
I moved to L.A. It started out as a sacrifice but turned into an adventure.
What is one lesson you’ve learned in your job that sticks with you?
Fix it as you go. Also, be nice. I know that was two, but I work in letters not numbers.
What do you feel is the biggest challenge for women today, particularly females in your industry?
People say creative departments are boy’s clubs. I think that’s only true if you make it one. I’m the only female copywriter at my job, but I’ve never been treated differently. Maybe I’m completely oblivious. If anything, being a woman allows me to approach problems from a different perspective.
One year, I went to the Emmys and saw Elizabeth Moss (Peggy Olson from “Mad Men”). I went up to her table and told her that I completely identified with her struggles as a female copywriter. But I had a few drinks at that point in the night.
Who are your role models?
Tina Fey and Miranda July.
Is there a quote or mantra that you live by?
Fix it as you go. I know I’m repeating myself, but it’s saved me in a lot of high pressure situations. I have it written in Sharpie above my desk.
What advice do you have for girls who want to be in your industry?
Keep working on your portfolio, and don’t get discouraged. Find interests outside of advertising. Travel, take different classes and make things. People in advertising love seeing stuff outside of advertising in your book. That’s the stuff that makes you different.