Stephanie Wright, a senior majoring in advertising, is originally from Aurora, Ontario in Canada and grew up in Marietta, Ga.
What encouraged you to apply to Grady College? I actually transferred from the University of Alabama to the University of Georgia after I heard about the reputation of the Journalism program and all of the different programs that they offered. I knew that if I wanted to make an impression in the industry, I needed to get my degree from Grady.
What activities are you involved in at Grady/UGA/Athens? I am currently the President of the UGA AdClub and I absolutely love it. I am able to organize bi-monthly meetings with the help of my executive committee by arranging for advertising professionals to come and speak to our students about their experiences in the industry. We also get the opportunity to organize special events for our club members such as advertising agency tours where they get to experience what it's like to work in an actual agency for a day.
What kinds of internships have you been involved in, and what were your responsibilities? During my time at UGA, I have been involved in a variety of internships and opportunities. I worked as a Public Affairs and Communications intern at Coca-Cola Enterprises where implemented community events in the Atlanta area including the Summer Special Olympics, NFL Falcons Summer Camp, and a Boys and Girls Club Renovation. I also served as an Account Executive for The Red & Black student newspaper where I was responsible for curating, managing and budgeting advertising revenue and created marketing campaigns for local clients. Additionally, this past fall, I directed integral aspects of a networking event sponsored by University of Georgia AdClub and PRSSA, BBDO and Porter Novelli Atlanta called ADPR Connection. And most recently, I was given the privilege of conducting research on the Millennial generation and their use of technology for the PHD Worldwide/Grady Creative Collective.
What were the best parts of your internship experiences? I think that the best part of any internship is the opportunity that it gives you to test your abilities as a professional and to learn about how the industry works from your superiors. During all of my internships, I learned that you have to make the most of every opportunity you are given. By challenging myself and always asking what else I could do, I gained knowledge and insights into the industry that were instrumental in my development as a professional.
What part of your Grady experience (classes, professors, etc.) will you always remember? I will never forget my summer I spent studying abroad at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. For three weeks, I lived in Juan-les-Pins, France and was given the opportunity to participate in an event that most advertising professionals only dream of going to as a student. By attending this celebration of imagination, I was able to go to workshops and seminars that were conducted by CEOs and CMOs of Fortune 500 companies and meet the individuals who created these inspirational campaigns that were seen around the world at agency-sponsored happy hours.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering pursuing an Ad/PR program? The Grady College of Journalism is a fantastic school that will prepare you for the real world if you take advantage of all of the programs they offer. Be sure to do your research on all of the different opportunities that are available and make a plan so that you can fit all of the things you want to do into your schedule. Also, don't be afraid to talk to your professors and ask for advice. You'll never know what kinds of resources they might have to help you unless you ask.
What are your career goals and interests? Anything that allows for me to combine my love of the advertising industry while being able to utilize and embrace my love of studying human behavior. Ultimately, I think I would love to be either an account manager or work in the strategy and insights department at an advertising agency.