Young Alumni Series

Carolyn Rush: Creative mastermind behind Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! ad

Carolyn Rush: Creative mastermind behind Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! ad

“Walking around New York, oh my God, I get new ideas every day.”

Carolyn Rush ’13 graduated from Auburn with a major in Public Relations before heading off to DC. There she blindly reached out to Nicole Aguirre, CEO of creative agency Worn. After claiming her spot as Director of Strategy, she opened up an office in New York.

Worn is a mission-based digital agency that empowers women to lead. One of their more popular accomplishments was for Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign. FLOTUS and her team approached Worn with a challenge to get parents to convince schools to continue providing recess for kids in public schools. This was Rush’s first chance to completely take control of an entire project.

“I went home that night and in the shower, I thought of three concepts for what this could be. And so I wrote them down in an email and sent it over to them— and they loved it!” Rush laughed.

The video was centered around the theme “adult recess” to remind parents what it is like to be re-energized before going back to work. Rush loved leading a campaign that had such a positive message to the community and to the world.

“I sort of feel like I have an obligation as a marketer. If you think about it— we are what learn, we are what we see, we are what we know— right? And that’s the classic case with media,” Rush explained. “I could be doing commercials for Doritos. But yeah, I feel more of an obligation to make content that I believe in and that I think is good for everyone that’s watching.”

Carolyn Rush '13 and Worn CEO Nicole Aguirre in the NYC office

Carolyn Rush ’13 and Worn CEO Nicole Aguirre in the NYC office.

It was not long before people were drawn to Worn and their mission. They now hold conferences, where women will step on stage and talk about a time when they royally messed up.

“We talk about the hard things that women don’t talk about. It’s important to talk about the hard things or we’ll never learn.”

While at Auburn, Rush learned how to be an adult in charge of her own destiny. Not only did it teach her how to be a good person, but she also got to take advantage of the network that Auburn provided her. She left some advice to anyone wishing to pursue their dreams.

“Do whatever you want to do. I know that sounds simple, and I know people have always said that. That doesn’t make it easy,” Rush said. “You have to make decisions that just make you feel alive. You can’t let fear stop you.”

“If you want to do something, you have to say it out loud, you have to say it over and over, you have to say it front of people. That will keep you accountable in the long run. But go and actually do it,” Rush stated. “If you don’t say it out loud, it won’t become real.”

Want to see the Let’s Move! Active Schools video? View here.

For more stories from our Auburn Young Alumni series, click here.