The market for creativity

Mohawk Graduate, Sarah Quinto ‘13 has helped to promote and modernize organizations with innovative campaigns that can be recognized by thousands of Canadians.

By Emmett Steele ’22 (Journalism)

Creativity is one of the best resources that anyone can have to offer. For Sarah Quinto ’13, harnessing her creativity comes naturally. Sarah graduated from the Advertising program at Mohawk College in 2018 and has since built a career on her creative wellspring.

Sarah’s career started with an internship at TBWA\Toronto, an advertising agency in Toronto, and it didn’t take her long to make a good impression. “I got a three-month contract for an internship, and after the first month they offered to hire me on full time,” said Sarah.

After spending six years working with Juniper Park\TBWA (which changed names in 2015 after a merger), Sarah was ready for a change. She took a position as an Art Director at Zulu Alpha Kilo, where she has worked for the last three years. Now, after almost a decade of agency work, Sarah has accepted a position as an art director at Hudson’s Bay.

Sarah’s position as an art director allows her to take full advantage of her creative abilities. “As an art director I conceptualize a lot of different marketing campaigns and marketing ideas depending on the agency,” said Sarah. Through her work she has been involved in some commercials you may recognize.

“At Juniper Park\TBWA we had CIBC as a client which was pretty fun, it was at the time that there were penguins in their ads,” said Sarah. “It’s just cool to be a part of the behind the scenes of what people actually see, that’s what I like about being in advertising.”

Penguin, CIBC mascot, celebrating holidays and events

While Sarah’s work centers around advertising, that doesn’t mean she’s always working with for-profit companies. “I get to work with a lot of feel-good companies too,” said Sarah. “I’ve worked on Accessible Media Inc., which is a television channel for people who are blind. It was interesting to be exposed to something where I learned how people who are blind navigate through media.”

One of the projects that Sarah is most proud of involved the Girl Guides of Canada. “When you think about Girl Guides it’s all about cookies or polite girls,” said Sarah. “We wanted to bring it to now where there’s a lot of girls who are very powerful and very badass.”

Sarah and her team started by tackling one of the most iconic parts of the Girl Guides: the songs. “We took the typical campfire songs and then modernized the lyrics, to make them more encouraging and catchier,” said Sarah. “We also made really cool music videos for them.”

Sarah is thankful for the incredible projects she has been a part of so far in her career, and she believes her time at Mohawk is what helped to make it all possible. “My time in the Advertising program for sure helped my career,” said Sarah. “I don’t think I would have known what I wanted to do if I didn’t go to Mohawk. I don’t think I could have pushed myself without the encouragement of my professors.”

According to Sarah, one of the most valuable learning opportunities was the experiential learning provided through Mohawk Colleges in-house agency organization, The Agency.

“At The Agency we learned how to really listen to the client and talk to the client, creating a relationship outside of the creative team,” said Sarah. “It was a small taste of what it would be like outside of school. Some people even made connections with those clients.”

While on campus, The Agency provided Sarah with a place to channel her creativity. “That was a great space for creating all the projects that we needed to do, conduct meetings, and to learn from our professor Jef Petrossi,” said Sarah. “He was always there, and I really liked how he guided us.”

Throughout her career, Sarah has continued to be thankful for the encouragement and support her professors provided. Sarah hopes to pass some of what she’s learned with advice to current students in the Advertising program.

“When you’re in school, really take it in,” said Sarah. “Take everything as a learning experience. The program always invites people who are in the industry. Listen, talk, make connections and present yourself – don’t be shy. People are nice, and even if you don’t get a job right away, at least you learn something and get to meet someone new.”