It’s LOVE of money that’s the root of all evil. The money itself is fine.

Dear Students,

I address those of you from 2nd year, a week after graduation.
Those of you in 1st year are welcome to listen if you can stand it.

I wish to speak about the careers you’re itching to hurtle yourselves into.
I mean to take some of the piss out of your vinegar.

Although 99% of you won’t be able to learn a thing from the telling of my experience, it’s possible half a line may find lodging in a brain or two.
Greater than I have taken up poorer odds.

Forget about the

Yes, that’s the message. (most of you can tune out here)
Sure there’s

in advertising.
And I know that after committing a bundle of moolah to a VCU AdCenter education you’d like nothing more than a fat envelope of green to appear under your pillow tomorrow morning.

Forget about the

Pretend it doesn’t exist.
Go about starting your career as if there isn’t a paycheck every other week.
Make your new job choices without asking about salary.

Don’t worry.
That you have what it takes to get through AdCenter may not yet assure you it’s time to pack for the trip to NY to be inducted into the Art Directors’ Hall of Fame, but surely it cannot be difficult to believe you have come into possession of the mere competency required to pay back your loans.

Forget the

Always remember this: forget the

Go get a job in advertising because somewhere along the line the tango of words & images dancing together called you.
Get into this business because great advertising can lift up the weak and destroy evil.

It’s hard work making ads.
I don’t know what drives people who do it because there’s

in it.
I do it because nothing else feels as much like fun when you’ve done your work well.

Don’t go into advertising if you haven’t been called.
Don’t go into advertising if your goal is to have martinis at the Mondrian with Joe Pytka.
There isn’t enough power in wanting that to make it happen.
At least not in the way you’d want it to happen.

You know without me making much of it you’ll make enough

for the things you need.
But, not as much if you chase it as there is when you chase ideas.

Forget the

Pay no attention to it.
Go after what your inside wants–the work.
Love the making.
Screw the mammon.
You can’t eat it.
You can live on work. You’ll see.

“Screw Fenske. He’s an idealist.”
I can hear you think it.
You’re right.
I’m out of bounds idealistic here.
You have to be.
Don’t do this if you aren’t.

p.s. i’ve read the only money in Lincoln’s pocket when he was assassinated was a worthless $5 confederate bill (issued in Richmond) like the one above