by Sarah Merza
Alumni Tyler Loebig and Madeline Christensen, both from Kearney, NE, were honored by AAF Lincoln as the Ad Rookies of the Year.
Christensen graduated from UNL in 2017 with a degree in Journalism and Graphic Design. Loebig graduated from UNL in 2020 with a degree in Advertising and Relations, as well as Graphic Design.
They were both working at Pixel Bakery, a local ad agency, when they were selected by AAF Lincoln as the Ad Rookies of the Year. Christensen has worked there for over two years, and is currently the Associate Creative Director. Loebig worked at the agency for over a year and a half, most recently as a Multimedia Designer.
“To stand out coming from a small agency and being so young in our careers, I think is really awesome,” Loebig said.
The Nebraska Advertising Awards were held virtually this year. The duo stepped up to help with branding and transitioning the Awards online. They also worked with the streaming and graphics for the Awards. Christensen also amounts much of her success to being surrounded by people that support her and are good mentors.
“Huge shout out to Kelli Britten again, because she was the one that approached us with this opportunity and if it wasn't for her, none of that would have happened for us,” Loebig said.
Classes and other opportunities at the college of opportunities have also contributed to Loebig and Christensen’s success. Loebig said that the most impactful classes for him was his JOMC 131 module course.
“I remember working on a project in Illustrator and something just clicked for me where I was like, I absolutely love this. I want to be doing this every day,” Loebig said.
He is now an instructor for this course at the College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Christensen said in her reporting class she was given lots of advice about writing that still sticks with her today. It was a basics of After Effects course, which she took as a last minute class before graduating, that really pushed her into her job at Pixel Bakery.
Loebig and Christensen were also involved in several on campus organizations, and held a variety of internships in their time at UNL. Loebig was on the NSAC Team, worked at Jacht, interned at the Great Plains Museum, amongst other things. Christensen worked at the Daily Nebraskan, wrote freelance for the Lincoln Journal Star, was an intern in the marketing department for the Lied Center and was involved in several other organizations on campus.
“My biggest advice is just to say yes to any opportunity that comes your way. And also, don't get caught up in thinking that you're not experienced yet to do it,” Christensen said.