Drew Harding

Drew Harding is from Prairie Village, Kansas, and is a senior majoring in journalism with a focus on strategic communication and a minor in history. Harding is president of the School of Journalism’s advertising club. 

KU was my fallback school in high school, but I remember coming up for one of the basketball games that winter and deciding that it was the place for me. My mom and my dad both went here, and my sister is a freshman here, so KU is kind of a family tradition now. 

I thought adjusting to college was a lot easier than adjusting to high school. It is definitely a place more suited for me. I loved how independent I could be here and how I could come out of my shell more here. The journalism school is great for that as well. The smaller classes in the journalism school and the personal relationships that you can create with professors and other students allow for students to create great work. 

My mom was an advertising major here, and she told me thought it would be a great career path for me. I love advertising because it’s an opportunity to create change and to shape people’s minds. Through advertising, you can connect people with products and brands that have the potential to change lives.  

My main responsibility as president of the ad club is I serve as the liaison between the professional community and the club. But we also do two big networking trips, one in state and one out of state. It’s been my responsibility to make sure everything runs smoothly. 

The ad club takes an out-of-state trip every year. It’s a great way to get exposure to some of the largest companies in the world, and it gives students opportunities to connect with alumni and other influential contacts. Cities like New York and Chicago seem to hold interest to college students, and it’s an opportunity to establish that first connection in a city where someone is not familiar. 

It really is who you know and not what you know. Personal connections and personal relationships are going to take you to where you want to be in life and I think the journalism school prepares you for fostering those relationships and for strategically communicating with those professionals. 

I think some of my strongest memories in college would include the New York trips I’ve been on. I was able to bond with people whom I never expected to be close with, and they are now some of my best friends.  

I would like to get out of Kansas City. I think it would be cool to move to Chicago. I love the dedication to work that a big city brings. Everyone is so motivated and driven, and I think that I would fit in well. 

What would I have wanted to know as a freshman? That you’ll be able to do a lot during the four years you’re here so don’t spend your time sitting around. Work hard but don’t forget to have fun. The friendships you create in college are going to last a lifetime, so don’t be afraid to be social.

Something that my dad said to me that hit home was the idea of “why not?” If you see something out there that you can possibly seize or weasel your way into, instead of asking, “What are the chances of me being able to pull this off?” maybe just ask yourself, “Why not?” and just go for it. 

Brenna Boat is from Leawood, Kansas, and is a senior majoring in journalism with a minor in African American studies. She has been involved with the University Daily Kansan as both a copy editor and photographer. After graduation, she will be traveling in Europe for two months and then will return to Kansas and job search.

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