Advertising Man Finds His True Calling in the Arts

Born in Jamaica and raised in Morristown, NJ, Andre Woolery had only one thing in mind when he enteredDuke University’s brick walkways: major in computer science and make his parents proud. But, like most college students, his dreams changed long before he walked across the stage at Duke’s Wallace Wade Stadium. “I basically told my parents, ‘I’m going to change directions, and I want to work in advertising. I want to do something a little more fun,’” says Woolery of his decision to switch his career focus.

After graduation in the summer of 2003, Woolery got hired as an Assistant Media Planner at New York advertising firm Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners [KBS+P]. But understanding that the “digital [world] was emerging,” he started taking night courses headed by art and creative directors, and soon developed an interest in graphic design. Nine years later, Woolery is now the Associate Digital Director of KBS+P, representing clients such as TD Ameritradeand Kodak. “My role is basically finding interesting ways to use digital technology to build a brand [and] build campaigns,” he explains.

Despite his ascension up the corporate ladder, Woolery felt his creative energy wasn’t being fully utilized. Not wanting to be someone who got “trapped by his paycheck,” Woolery decided to save up some money and take a month of unpaid vacation to further explore his imagination and relish in his untapped artistic side. “I’ve been spending so much time doing things for other people, trying a whole bunch of different things, having a whole bunch of different ideas, and never spending the actual time to see how it all panned out,” he says. “I knew I was going to get an unpaid month off, but I realized in the grand scheme of my entire life, one month of not getting a paycheck is really nothing and ultimately it paid off really well.” Read the rest of the article here: