Duncraig Class of 1993’s Alan Jennings knows the perfect way to send a message.
As managing director and owner of Key2 (a creative force for good) he specialises in working with people and organisations to communicate and connect. He says it’s easy to be passionate about what you do when there’s a clear purpose “and a ‘for the better good’ dividend”.
“It’s kind of like getting to do what you love to do – and being paid twice,” he says.
Alan says he is lucky to lead an amazing team of passionate and creative thinkers, designers and makers at Key2. His initial plans to become a primary school teacher after graduation were short-lived and a change in direction to start a fine arts degree didn’t feel like the right fit either, so instead he jumped into a role as a junior designer at an advertising agency and built his career in an industry he loves.
“I eventually took a leap out of being actively involved in day-to-day design of the end product into the management and strategy side of the industry, working in a range of roles until I found a home with my current agency and team as an account director/brand strategist,” he says.
“After some years of working with clients and the Key2 team like I owned the place, myself and some other key staff members bought the business, and I became managing director.”
Alan says he has always had an interest in creative arts, an ability to soak up knowledge and a keen interest to use that knowledge to make a difference.
“But I certainly didn’t start out with a clear picture in my head that I wanted to own and run my own creative agency, that was perhaps brought about through a good measure of hard work with a solid dash of good luck.”
“And my interest and focus on supporting community and not-for-profit organisations grew over time as both an initiative led by heart and strategy for our business.”
Alan has worked with a diverse range of clients across his career, but in recent years the focus on brand, strategy and campaign work with not-for-profit organisations makes him excited to head to the office each day.
“Our team specialise in assisting community focused not-for-profit, government and for purpose business with strategy, brand, design and communications.”
“This area of focus sees me working across all areas of the community, from healthcare to homelessness, domestic violence to disability, aged care to education and beyond.”
In his spare time, you will find Alan on the Swan River wakeboarding, not too far from home in Booragoon. He also loves getting into the garden to relax and unwind and spending time with his family.
He says it’s not the academics he remembers from his school days, but the friendships, teacher moments and playing in the band.
“I was never an academic whilst at school, at best I just scraped by. But St Stephen’s helped me to develop as a person, with a strong sense of self, confidence, community, and a drive to make the world a better place.”
When asked if he has any tips for current students, he says education is not all about grades and degrees.
“It’s all about you – enjoy the ride, change your mind, follow your heart and do your best most of the time – and you’ll be fine.”