Online Learning Grad Hired By Chicago PR Firm
Brooke Lampert graduated from FIDM with her A.A. in Social Media Marketing in June of 2018, and her B.S. in Business Management in September 2019. She was hired by Monika Dixon Public Relations in Chicago just before the COVID-19 crisis. She said she can’t wait to get back to their offices in River North, once this crisis has passed. We caught up with her to find out more about her online learning experience at FIDM and her budding career in PR.
Tell us about your role at Monika Dixon Public Relations: I started at Monika Dixon Public Relations (MDPR) just a few months ago. It is a Chicago-based boutique communication agency, despite its PR title. The team includes my incredibly inspiring boss, Monika, and two other women who have taught me so much as a newcomer to the company. Primarily, I work on a variety of accounts that fall under different categories. At the moment, my clients especially pertain to wellness, fashion, and home design.
My work includes designing graphics, branding, helping build digital marketing strategies, and communicating objectives to our clients and their consumers. I began this job right before the pandemic enforced lockdown, making for a strange transition into a new position. Regardless, I have already learned so much and am loving working with MDPR. I am so looking forward to getting back to their super cute River North, Chicago office.
Tell us a little about yourself: I am 23 years old (24 in July), living in Chicago, and currently quarantining with family in Houston. I lived in Chicago up until my freshman year of high school when I moved to Houston. I have a lot of great friends in Chicago, and my brother and boyfriend I get to annoy regularly. My mom lives in Houston, and my dad and his side of the family are in Chicago. There is a lot of back and forth—I consider both home!
When I was living in Los Angeles attending FIDM, I adopted a rescue pup from Vanderpump Dogs in West Hollywood. His name is Benny, he is a Maltese-Terrier mix, four years old, and basically attached to my hip.
I have a passion for all things related to fashion, media, lifestyle, and design. My creative nature is rooted by my mom's incredible sense of style and home design. My dad and his whole family are also insanely creative, proven by their four-generation family jewelry business in Chicago, Lester Lampert.
Why did you choose FIDM? I actually started out my college career at the University of Arizona. After being there for two years, I decided that I wanted to go in a different direction. I became frustrated by the overwhelming amount of required general ed courses, which spoke nothing to my interest. I also felt that my environment (Tucson, specifically) did not spark much motivation towards my career/creative goals. I was seeking a lifestyle and education that was no longer what I was getting there. Personally speaking, I am so glad that I had the experience that I did at U of A. It was undeniably fun. More importantly, it enabled me to see what works for me, what does not, and build the confidence to make a necessary change.
I wanted to turn my distractions into a career. I realized I was spending so many hours on Pinterest, collecting magazines, and watching art/fashion/design documentaries, why not do something with that? I was excited by the concept of creative courses directed toward my interest. My love for fashion and media was evident, but I was worried that my career goals were not as clear as most students. After reviewing the FIDM course catalog, I became confident in knowing that FIDM would serve as a great foundation to help me find my creative niche along with teaching me the right skills to go with.
How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? I am always surprised by how much of what I learned from FIDM appears in my everyday life. For starters, a lot of the classes I took at FIDM promoted open interpretation rather than closed-ended answers. The room to justify my answers, opinions, and reasons through conversation, writing, art forms, etc., gave me confidence in the work environment I didn’t know I had in me. I found the value of my voice and perspective, which has become so reflective in who I am. I can list so many things I have learned from FIDM. In my Social Media Associate’s degree, I learned how to build aesthetic, design, construct my creative process, and all other technical skills and knowledge required with what I am doing today. In my Business Bachelor’s degree, I learned the fundamentals of business, which is how I have learned to apply the skills I gained prior. Some required courses, such as graphic design, I felt surpassed my skill set. To my surprise, years later, having graduated, I am pursuing what I felt was one of my most challenging subjects. My job currently requires me to create graphics, and I even make designs for fun on the side! I recently just started an Instagram page where I share some of my personal works @threesplenda.
What went into your decision to enroll in FIDM's eLearning program: I completed my Associate's degree on the LA campus. I then did my first quarter of my Bachelor's in person as well. I decided that I wanted to complete the rest of my Bachelor's degree in Chicago. I just knew where I felt I needed to be, and was confident that I would have equal success taking my classes online there. I enjoyed in-person courses, being in the creative atmosphere of FIDM's campus, surrounded by such unique individuals. I learned so much from my classmates. Though as a transfer student, I had a few extra years to catch up and felt I had already done what felt like the right amount of time in an actual classroom. I was anxious to relocate to the place I envisioned my next phase in life and career. FIDM’s online program was built to make that possible.
Tell us about your online learning experience -- what was the best part? I got to be where I physically wanted to be, and still complete my degree in full capacity. I always felt the FIDM spirit from a distance. Online classes enforce teachers to post all required texts and notes, making all materials so much easier to have immediate access to. There was much less room for any confusion this way. This helped me stay organized. Online classes also eliminated a lot of drama and tension amongst other classmates, making it easier to focus solely on the work. At first, I was nervous about how I would go about asking someone that I cannot pair a face with to be my partner for group assignments until I realized most people in my shoes felt the exact same. I learned how to efficiently collaborate from a distance over technology, which is clearly valuable considering our current reality with this pandemic.
Any advice for current FIDM Students who are experiencing online classes for the first time? Online learning does mean giving yourself an extra push of motivation. I was really my own motivator when it came to time management. Sometimes, rewatching Elle Wood’s spunky grind in Legally Blonde for the thousandth time was my best source of inspiration. Create a home set-up that inspires you. Keep all your books, notes, and slides in one place. Order cute school supplies to get you organized. Use this time to make school your main focus. Treat it like a personal project, there is not much else to really do right now! Mindset is everything, even if you were planning on taking online classes regardless of Coronavirus, just be positive. Your other classmates are in the same boat, so work together and forget being shy. It is much easier to start out strong then going back and making up for your mistakes.
What is your biggest goal right now? My ambitions are always high, despite never really having the most concise career goals. I have always been frustrated by this. Instead of forcing ideas on myself, I am working on being present. That is my goal. I know with that, ideas will come, and my creativity will expand. With all this time being home, I have become more patient and willing to explore projects I give myself for fun. I am really excited about my new interest in graphic and digital design. It feels nice to explore and find new skills without having a clear consensus of what I want to make with that. Better yet, just playing around and seeing where the wind takes me is something I want to continue.