If you’re a fan of Mad Men or know someone in your family who can’t miss an episode of the popular AMC show, maybe it’s made you think about what it would be like to work in advertising.

Photo from AMCSure, the show is set in the 1960s, but those who work in the advertising field say that some of the storylines and characters accurately reflect what it’s like to work in the profession today. If you haven’t watched the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning show before (or discovered the fabulous Jon Hamm), Season 4 will start up this summer, and Season 3 is now out on DVD.

Here’s the connection they make – and it’s good to know if you’re considering pursuing the advertising field.

1. You can’t escape the field, even when the official workday is done. Students need to be prepared to be consumed by advertising, which is such a part of our culture and such a part of the lives of characters like Don Draper. “You think advertising; you breathe it,” says Deborah Chamberlain with Wauwatosa, Wisc.-based Donaldson Media.

2. Mad Men teaches us to see beyond what’s in front of us – to see the magic in the mundane. Creative teams infuse passion and emotion into everyday products that we can take for granted, says Amy Pedersen, an author and advertising and marketing profession who is a consultant for The Coca-Cola Co.

3. The cast of Mad Men shows that advertising attracts some of the most creative, irreverent, quick-witted and smart people who are in tune with the current culture, Chamberlain says. You may not like some of the characters because of those qualities, but if you watch the show long enough, you’ll be drawn to the type of advertising executive you will want to be.

Now’s the time to learn more about advertising schools and how they can prepare you for this type of career field.

-Lori Johnston

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