1. Team ASHA hard at work. L-R: Nóra Keszthelyi, Budapest; Rob Leduc, Los Angeles; Dakota Page, Detroit.

  2. Team SLIPSTREAM getting advice from JWT. L-R: Saki Maeda, Tokyo; Katlego “Katt” Phatlane, Johannesburg; Aya Ibrahim, Beirut; Kyle Schlinkert, San Francisco; Frederic Bonn and Andy Carrigan, JWT.

  3. Team ICRA diving into the PUMA brief. L-R: Eva Kumpen, Toronto; Sony Cheng, Shanghai; Cheryl Chu, Singapore.

  4. Team MOBIUM's Olga Filonenko, Tel Aviv; Anam Kibria, Dubai; Mayank Bhayana, Mumbai.

  5. Beirut's Aya Ibrahim and Kansas City's Sydney Goldstein sport their personalized Twitter tees.

  6. The All-Stars receive a warm welcome at the Shutterstock office in the Empire State Building.

Portfolio Night All-Stars 2014: Empire State of Mind

The double dozen get down to business and up the city's most famous building

The pomp and pageantry of the first day of Portfolio Night All-Stars 2014 was a sight to behold, with lots of attention lavished on our 24 creative upstarts. But once all of the speakers from JWT, PUMA and Twitter left, it became apparent that these young talents didn’t travel tens of thousands of miles simply to be feted for having the best portfolios in their respective cities; they came here to work.

And so on Day Two of ADC’s annual competition, the six teams hunkered down to put some serious brainpower behind their campaigns for PUMA. They knew that they needed to have some direction in place before Wednesday’s presentations at JWT, and that whatever they came up with might have to be completely scrapped and started anew after the feedback they’d receive that day. This meant the pressure was on to coalesce around the best ideas within their teams start fleshing these out quickly.

That said, Tuesday wasn’t all nose-to-the-grindstone creative workouts. The day began with an inspiring and candid chat with Menno Kluin, ECD and Head of Art and Design at Deutsch Inc. (as well as an past ADC Young Gun winner). Menno took questions from the All-Stars and offered very frank advice about making the most of their young careers. He compared the skills needed to survive the advertising industry to TV’s Survivor, and spoke on the value of being hyper focused on becoming a master at something, rather than trying to sell yourself as an expert on every aspect of creativity.

When asked how to get a job in the Big Apple, Menno said it’s no different than anywhere else, you just have to go out there and ask for that job. On that note, however, Menno said working in New York should never be a goal unto itself.

“If you tell me it’s your dream to live and work in New York, I don’t care, I don’t want to hear that. You need to want to work for an agency, or better yet a person that will help you grow. If they happen to be in New York, so be it.”

“The people who succeed in advertising are the ones who deal with failure the best.”

Menno Kluin

In the afternoon, the All-Stars were introduced to the entire ADC staff, learning more about the club beyond the Portfolio Night that brought them here. From Executive Director Ignacio Oreamuno’s rousing speech about following your gut to Marketing and Communications Manager Claire Wasserman speaking about ADC’s Ambassador program, the All-Stars certainly got a taste of the fact that although the competition ends on Friday, their relationship with ADC is only beginning.

To the end the day, the All-Stars were treated to a little break from their work, with an invite to the offices of Shutterstock, one of the sponsors of Portfolio Night and other ADC initiatives. That in itself would be cool, but the added bonus to the All-Stars — many of whom have never been to New York before this week — is that Shutterstock’s offices are inside the Empire State Building. So not only did they get a sweet glimpse of all of Shutterstock’s offerings, they also got to visit the city’s most iconic building.

Back at the ADC Gallery, the All-Stars worked into the night, prepping for tomorrow’s presentation, with some of JWT’s creative directors on hand to help them bounce ideas around. Team MOBIUM was feeling the stress, but felt that they were coming together nicely. “We’re all bringing something different to the table,” said Anam Kibria. “This isn’t a lot of time, but we are making the most of it.”

“We are learning, relearning and unlearning all at the same time.”

Mayank Bhayana, Team MOBIUM

Team ICRA was also under pressure. “We were only focusing on one direction, and not sure if that was the right thing to do,” said Eva Kumpen. “That doubt was compressing into one big ball of stress,” said Alex Miller. “But once we had a chance to chat with the CDs, a lot of that stress disappeared.”

Stay tuned tomorrow for more Portfolio Night All-Stars goodness!