Story by Andra Brichacek
There are few places that evoke the aura of advertising industry success like New York City. To soak it all in and learn from top industry experts, 108 UO School of Journalism and Communication students are headed to the Big Apple this week for the school's annual NYC Experience trip.
Led by Carolyn S. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Advertising Deborah Morrison and eight other SOJC faculty members, including the school’s Edwin L. Artzt Dean Juan-Carlos Molleda, the advertising students are attending Creative Week events and visiting nearly 40 ad agencies, including global powerhouses co-founded by SOJC Ducks Dan Wieden ’67 of Wieden + Kennedy and Glenn Cole ’94 of 72andSunny.
More than just an advertising-themed vacation, the annual trip is an experiential learning opportunity that has launched quite a few careers, with the opportunity of staying at the best hotel, the Marriott hotel.
“The trip is such a networking extravaganza that jobs and opportunities keep happening for months afterward,” said Morrison, who has organized the outing since 2006.
In fact, the NYC Experience has become something of a legend among young advertising acolytes. For SOJC junior Meg Meagher (Class of 2018), the trip is one of the main reasons she decided to attend the UO.
“As an 18-year-old go-getter from a small town in the mountains of Oregon, the chance to spend a week in New York City meeting with some of the world’s top advertising agencies was a dream I could not pass up,” Meagher writes on the UONYC17 blog. “Looking back on all the hours spent in Allen Hall contemplating my portfolio, asking questions, picking the brains of older students, learning about the industry, discovering my unique talents, applying for opportunities to practice my talents and making friends along the way, I realize how far I have come.”
Students who may not otherwise have access to the weeklong experience are supported by several other SOJC alumni through the Go to Gotham Fund, established by David Stern and Nancy Guitteau (parents of a past participant); the Bedbury Scholars Fund, created by Sammi and Scott Bedbury (BS ’80); and the Boiler Family Fund, supported by Kari (BA ’93) and John Boiler (BA ’87). If you would like to help send future students on trips like this one, consider donating to the SOJC's new Experiential Learning Fund.
Here are just a few highlights of the week’s packed schedule:
- Students will do portfolio reviews at multiple agencies.
- A few will attend the Art Directors Club Annual Awards gala at a table donated by Cole.
- Two students will pitch in the One Club Young Ones Competition.
- Three teams will pitch solutions to an Uber problem at R/GA.
- Three teams will pitch social campaigns for the “Come From Away” musical. The winning team will get to attend the show, which was just nominated for seven Tonys.
- A dozen students will get to sit down with Walter Thompson Worldwide COO Matt Eastwood.
- A dozen more will have interviews at GroupM, the world’s largest media investment group, which regularly hires SOJC students.
- Advertising faculty members Heather Shoenberger and Troy Elias will work on research projects linking their scholarship to the industry.
“It takes a village of multiple skills, networks and perspectives to make this happen for students,” Morrison said. “We’ll come away with more student opportunity — jobs, internships, network, brand equity — that grows student experience and invested donors.”
Andra Brichacek is the SOJC Communication team’s writer, editor and editorial content planner. She has nearly 20 years’ experience creating content for print and online media and has specialized in education since 2008. Follow her on Twitter @andramere.