I recently gave a presentation to upperclassmen at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication. We discussed the evolution of bringing a brand to life, from initial client conversation to concept to launch and all the milestones and stories along the way.

It was great fun to meet these engaged students whose thoughtful questions reminded me why this is the best business there is. There’s nothing more exhilarating than bringing new ideas to life and shifting the way brands present themselves to the world.

Coincidentally, the night before the presentation, as my spouse and I were preparing our house to go on the market, I came across a box loaded with career-building work samples—articles from journalism school, marketing plans and materials from scores of campaigns and initiatives, and other relics from my past as I navigated through agency life.

Every item in that box sparked a memory of late-night presentation rehearsals, client pitches and steadfast rationale that left no doubt that this was the best marketing program to push that client’s business forward.

The next morning, throughout my presentation at the U of M, I kept coming back to that collection of memories. I wanted the students to understand that great work does not come easily, that there will be detours and challenges along the way, that no two work days are ever the same—which means you can usually toss your to-do list into the recycling bin before 9 am. At the same time, I also wanted them to know that there’s nothing better than working with your team and your clients to create something incredible.

So, did I keep that old box of work samples? You bet.