David asks if some brands work better based on the region where you want to send your book:
“For instance, do you think that New York (and/or Chicago) is more conservative and Creative Directors (and recruiters) would want brands in students book that are a little on the conservative side (as opposed to SF or LA)? Should I be concerned about what type of brand I have in my book and get rid of some (aside from the obvious never to work on - condoms, tattoo parlors, etc)?”
It's a valid question. My answer is you shouldn't over-think your book in that way. A great ad is a great ad whether it's for BMW or the local sandwich shop around the corner. And I don't buy that the East Coast is more conservative than the West Coast. New York has Mother and Walrus. California has Grey, JWT and Ogilvy.
I've seen students make different versions of their books for different agencies. In my opinion, that's an incredible waste of time. You can't second guess what a creative director is going to think. (I saw Dan Wieden review student books once, and I was amazed that he was drawn to such conservative work.)
Basically, do the book you want to do. The agency that appreciates it enough to hire you will be the agency that you'll be happiest with.