At 45, copywriter Julie Bowman is looking for an opportunity to stay relevant in the industry to which she’s dedicated the last two decades of her life. To do that, she feels her best option is to go back to school and learn the technologicalskills she needs to increase her career’s longevity.
The 13 coveted spots at Wieden + Kennedy’s experiment W+K12 ad school might seemed better suited toward young creatives who looking to get their start in the industry, someone like Kate Digilio who demonstrated her web design skills by creating a faux-version of the school’s website. It’s expected now that everyone who wants to start their career must have the sort of digital marketing prowess, something that gives increasing value to young college kids who grew up regularly using the Internet. The road to a career in advertising is a journey that Bowman began traveling in 1989, and 20+ years in an industry known to swallow people whole (and be prejudiced toward women) might seem like a stunning success to middle-aged people looking to leave the industry to start a second career. Not Bowman, who says “I want to keep doing it. And as long as I do, I want to be the best at it.”
In a world where marketing is dominated by 20-somethings who tend to burn out by Bowman’s age, why not help her dream come true? Interested parties can sign this petition which aggressively asks W+K execs, “Let Julie in!” How much does Bowman want this? “I’ll have another 25 years before they try to make me retire,” she says. “I’m not done yet. I don’t want to go quietly.”