Mohawk Advertising Grad Gold Award Winner tells his story 2014

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Curtis Denomme (Advertising 2013) tells us about his amazing first year in the industry which saw him win GOLD at the National Advertising Awards, and receive a trip to Cannes France.

"Back in August 2013 I was offered a 2 week freelance opportunity at Agency59. I was paired with a copywriter named Aisling Penco, who just finished up her internship at the agency and was hired on afterwards. After the 2 weeks past I was asked to stay a little longer, and eventually was placed into a more full time role with added responsibilities. Soon after, CCO Brian Howlett dubbed us the new Jr creative team - and "Curling" was born.

In March, Curling entered into the many creative competitions - all which boast a free trip to the Cannes Lions Festival in France, if you won gold. One idea we, and our creative directors, were really excited for was our entry for the National Advertising Awards for the digital category. We went to the Gala with confidence in our work, but we were a little uncertain with other leading professionals, and their work, surrounding ours. All doubts were quickly erased when our names were called for Gold. The rest of the night was a blur to me. We were given a business card and told to wait for flight details, took some pictures with the head honchos at S.C Johnson, and was greeted and congratulated from a familiar face: Jef Petrossi - who was there to cheer on his students, who also took home some Gold and Silver hardware.

Cannes was an amazing place to be especially this early in ones career. I wish every student could have the chance to go because it's as eye opening as it is expensive. Apart from tanning on the beach you'll get to hear inspirational speakers - and with talks from the likes of Google, Kayne West, and Neil Degrasse Tyson; it's almost impossible not to be motivated. You'll go to the huge award shows, with red carpets, bright lights and a huge stage, it's basically the Oscars of Advertising, and it's unreal to be apart of. Last, but certainly not least, is networking with professionals from all around the world, seeing what these people and places are like, possibly wanting to move and work there yourself. We ended up rubbing shoulders with professionals from the US, England, Columbia, and Russia. The Russian was looking for a creative team to recruit to BBDO Moscow, but it's safe to say Russia is not a place we're interested in.

After 4 days of motivation, inspiration, sunburns and hangovers it was time to head home. We had better knowledge on the industry and felt more excited than ever before. Although we were sad to leave, we wanted to get home to get to work on some briefs. During the 8-hour flight the same thoughts echoed in our heads, "We need to be here next year". But not as visitors, we want our own Gold Lion and obligatory selfie on the big stage. I hear it makes for a pretty good Facebook picture. "

Curtis Denomme, Advertising Graduate 2013