Wisdom forges new talent

Los Angeles-based creative leaders immersed at Stan Richards School

Los Angeles-based creative brand engineers Amy Moorman and Jason Sperling brought their experience and expertise to the Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations in March.

Both are veterans of the advertising firm RPA. Moorman serves as director of creative services and Sperling as chief of creative development. Through their careers, the two have worked with brands such as Apple, Honda, Farmers, Acura and Quickbooks.

They immersed themselves at Moody College of Communication as part of the Richards School creative-in-residence program, which launched in 2018.

The innovative program invites industry luminaries to spend a week mentoring students, delivering lectures, critiquing student creative work, leading group discussions and visiting classes. These interactions are designed to inform, motivate and inspire students who strive for success in the competitive world of advertising.

“We are thrilled to expand and continue our creative-in-residence program at the Richards School as invited industry luminaries generously give their time and talent to the next generation,” said Director JoAnn Sciarrino. “Our friends from RPA also get to experience the depth and quality of the Richards School by spending four days with our outstanding creative talent.”

Both Moorman and Sperling launched their careers in advertising like most do: from the bottom up. She began as a telephone switchboard operator while he climbed the ladder as a junior copywriter.

“Get in—get in however you can—and into an agency that is doing work that speaks to you on a visceral level that you’d like to be a part of producing,” Moorman said. “And when you get in, do the absolute best job at whatever that role is and be open to learning with a focus on where you want to go from there.”

Sperling agreed that an extremely strong work ethic is vital to making it in the competitive environment.

“Do it—do it over—get used to subjectivity, feedback and negative feedback,” Sperling said. “And continue to brush off any failures and ultimately…do better.”

In their time at Moody College, Moorman and Sperling visited workshops and groups in addition to classes taught by Sean Thompson, Ryan Romero, Matt McCutchin, Sean LaBounty, Lee Ann Kahlor and Lisa Dobias.

Sperling provided several campaign case studies detailing clients and the trials and tribulations of each one. He also encouraged students to download his free book off Instagram titled “Look At Me When I’m Talking To You: Building Brand Attraction in an Age of Brand Aversion.” Given in bite-size form, the book provides nuggets of knowledge paired with video animation in a format that’s entertaining and easy to follow. It can be found on Instagram @lookatmebook.

“The working professionals that come here walk away not just knowing we are the No. 1 advertising and public relations program in the country, but experiencing all the positive and creative energy we have in the Richards School,” Sciarrino said. “Everyone wins because it emboldens our reputation at these companies, and it provides a two-way street for students, industry creatives and recruiters to meet.”

Marc Speir
Senior Content Producer