Meet Our May Alumna Spotlight: Jillian Mullin
Our May Alumna Spotlight, Jillian Mulin, shares what she has been up to since graduation. Just a few weeks after Jillian gaduated from Mizzou, she moved to Dallas, Texas to work for an advertising agency where she found her footing in her career. After three years in Dallas, she took a risk and moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a lifestyle and opportunities she always dreamed about! She has been in Los Angeles now for two years and says she loves it more and more everyday along with her new job where she has been working on some amazing campaigns for very well known brands!
Jillian is loving the work she does now, but has dreams of designing album artwork for bands, starting a business, learning Portuguese and more. Continue reading below to learn how Jillian has got to where she is now, where she is going and how her journey in Theta impacted her path.
Name: Jillian Mullin
Theta pledge class: MC ‘13
When you graduated from Mizzou: May of 2017
Major/Degree: Journalism – Strategic Communication
Hometown: Lenexa, KS
Where you live now: Los Angeles, CA
Where do you work right now/what have you been up to since graduation?
A few weeks after I graduated from Mizzou, I moved to Dallas, TX to work for an advertising agency as a Junior Art Director. It was the perfect first step after college where I found my footing in my career and learned how to be an adult.
A year after graduation, I met my now fiancé while on vacation in Alaska and we are getting married this summer!
After three years in Dallas, I decided to move to LA to pursue a lifestyle and opportunities I’d always dreamed about. It was a risk filled with many uncertainties, but one that has blessed my life more than I ever imagined.
I’ve now been here in LA for two years and I love it more every day. I’m currently an Art Director at a creative entertainment advertising agency called Hi5.agency. We work mainly on TV and movie properties, music and podcasts, and video game franchises. My day-to-day client is Spotify where I create original social content for Spotify’s exclusive podcasts. I’m also currently working on campaigns for TNT, Nike, Google and DeLorean.
At the moment I’m deep into planning my wedding, watching my nieces and nephew grow up, volunteering at my local church, and enjoying this beautiful city.
What's your favorite thing about your job?
So many things! Hi5 is a tight-knit agency stacked with innovative, creative talent. I believe LA really brings the best of the best so it’s an honor to even be part of it. I love working with fellow creatives who have such a cutting edge perspective for design and innovation. It challenges me and inspires me to bring my A-game to the team, and doesn't allow me to settle for mediocre. It’s refreshing to feel really proud of all the work we’re putting into the world. Also, working in entertainment means creating things that such a large audience sees and cares about, and I’ve never experienced that in previous jobs. I still get a little shocked seeing something I created on a large platform. It’s very rewarding.
This job has raised the stakes for what I believe is possible for myself and my career. When I was still in school, I dreamed of creating things for the clients I’m working for now.
What's your favorite thing about the city you live in?
My life exploded with opportunities when I moved to LA. Anything you could ever want to do, eat, see, experience, work for, or be part of is possible here. It feels so rich with possibilities every day. One thing I particularly love is that people here live with a lot of purpose and intention. As LA is not necessarily an easy or cheap place to live, most people moved here and stayed here for a purpose or a dream, and they live in a way that reflects that. That motivation and zest for life is really beautiful and contagious.
Also, as a born and raised midwesterner, there are things about LA that I don’t take for granted: beautiful weather, living 10 minutes from the beach, hiking on the weekends, and having plenty of opportunities to see my favorite artists in concert, to name a few. I hope to live here for a long, long time.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about making my creative visions reality. As an Art Director, I see life through a lens of making things beautiful. I always have a big picture creative vision and I put meticulous thought into bringing it to fruition. This mindset applies itself in every area of my life. Whether I’m designing something for a client, decorating my apartment, picking out flowers, planning my wedding, or shopping for clothes, nothing I do is random. I find so much meaning in the little details and how they ladder up to the big picture. For example, when I needed new furniture for my apartment, I spent weeks creating mood boards and mock ups of my space to determine my vision. I’d Photoshop different pieces into my environment and consider what details I would add to make the pieces cohesive. When planning my wedding, I individually chose the color and style of each outfit in my wedding party by laying them out together and making sure they fit together and within my vision for the day. I even redesigned my own dress with a local seamstress. When designing something for a client, I’ll get sucked into my computer for hours uninterrupted, being intentional with every detail. Like a composer carefully selecting each note, I get so much joy seeing the details of my vision come together the way I saw it in my head. It’s a passion so ingrained in who I am that I couldn’t live life any other way if I tried.
What do you do in your free time?
On an ideal day, my free time is spent eating a casual brunch, hiking Griffith Park with my friends, browsing local stores, watching the sunset on the beach, and enjoying live music with my fiancé. Since I spend so much time during the week at home working on my computer, I love to spend my free time just relaxing, recharging, and getting outside.
Other future career/life goals:
I imagine myself doing so many things in the future. I would love to design album artwork for bands. I can see myself starting a business. I have aspirations to learn Portuguese. I picture myself living in Europe at some point. I dream of buying and renovating a home. I would love to get more into the world of creative production. I’ve always been a very future-oriented person so this is something I think about a lot. I barely go a day without picturing myself 5, 10, 15 years from now. Recently, a leader I really admire told me something that will probably always stick with me. He said the person I am today only has a certain capacity to dream what could be possible in the future based on my current reality. He said as I grow and evolve and my circumstances change, my capacity to dream what could be possible in the future will continue to evolve with me. At this point in my life, I have so many aspirations, but I always want to reevaluate them and give myself permission to dream bigger as life flourishes.
What do you miss most about Mizzou?
I distinctly remember having this feeling during my entire time at Mizzou that there was always something fun and exciting right around the corner: a football game, a date party, a parent weekend, True False, a favorite class, a Greek life event, a friend’s birthday. My schedule felt constantly packed to the brim with fun activities on the horizon. It was an incubator of excitement and I embraced every opportunity with open arms. While I love my current season of life and have never looked back, life naturally falls into a more steady routine after college and building in things to look forward to requires a little more effort.
What do you miss most about Theta?
Theta was one of the first times in my life that I remember feeling comfortable being fully and authentically myself. Before Theta, I always felt like I had to hold back or change myself in some way to fit in anywhere. But Theta really embraced and celebrated people for who they are and I think that is really beautiful. It gave me confidence to go into the post-college world feeling comfortable being myself. Also, I have so many fun, hilarious, beautiful memories just hanging out at the house: getting ready for date parties, late night chats over cereal, rehearsing dances for Homecoming, and spontaneous plans with my favorite people. Not a day went by without hanging out with friends, laughing hysterically, sharing quality time with people over a meal, or having a meaningful conversation. After I graduated and went out on my own into the world, I realized those day-to-day interactions with friends are just less frequent. Friends move all over the country, lives evolve, schedules get more strict. Post college, it took a while to adjust to the new lifestyle of not doing daily life with my girls. I’ll always cherish those four precious years of memories in Theta. I realize now that it was such a special and unique opportunity.
What is one thing you took away from being a part of Theta in college that has shaped you into the woman you are today? (AKA: What impact has Theta left on you?)
Theta was the first place I routinely saw women in leadership. Before Theta, I had a really limited understanding of what a female leader looked like. I thought in order to be effective, a woman had to be forceful, demanding, cold and loud. I just hadn’t yet experienced many women in leadership. During my time in Theta, I saw so many diverse examples of effective leaders. I was especially impacted by the women who were so effective by being kind, gentle and understanding. I observed how well people responded to this approach and how safe it felt to voice concerns with them. It set an important example for me. I’ve always considered myself a kind, understanding, and affirming person and Theta helped me realize this could be my power as a leader, not my weakness. I’ve applied this lesson in every professional setting and it has always served me well.
Do you have a specific favorite Theta memory?
I was part of the Theta dance team all four years and those memories are priceless to me: Performing at Jesse, having way too much fun at rehearsal, choreographing dances with my friends, and winning RAMS Rock It. I love how it brought together members from every class and how supportive the entire house was of the dance team. I was always so proud to represent Theta in front of the Greek community.