UGA AdPR students gain valuable experiences in NYC Maymester

Students from AdPR 5170 take in the view at Central Park during their NYC visit.
(photo courtesy of Kandace Sweat)

Twenty-one AdPR students gained class credit and firsthand agency knowledge when they participated in a New York City Maymester class. The AdPR 5170 class, which took place from May 15 to June 6, gave students the opportunity to learn about the communications industry, develop case studies, and do a one-week tour of New York advertising agencies to meet and learn from professionals.

“It was truly one of the best [Maymester classes] I've been on in the entire twelve years I've been doing this,” said Dr. Kirsten Strausbaugh-Hutchinson, a senior lecturer in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, and Maymester instructor. “It was an excellent mix of agencies, from large to small, godfather to boutique, and spanned so many relevant areas — from advertising, public relations, culture creation, the spurring of humanitarian movements. You name it, we did it.”

The ADPR Maymester in NYC provided a unique opportunity to see firsthand the diverse landscape of agencies the city can offer,” said Bree Riley, a graduating senior majoring in advertising who took the course and blogged about the experience. “I had no idea that the skill set that I've gained at the Grady College could be lent to so many job descriptions.  We learned about everything from ‘solutionists’ to community managers to positions without official titles.”

Some of the agencies that the class got to visit include Grey Group, McCann-Erickson, Strawberry Frog, 360i, LaForce + Stevens, and Momentum, among others. In addition, students got to participate in UGA-related events, including a reception with the Peabody Award winners and a networking mixer with New York-based Grady alumni.

As advertising continues to evolve and expand with new technology and practices, students in the class said it was important to learn more about the industry.

This type of exposure is not something most people get to experience,” wrote Alexandra Walker, another student who blogged about the trip. “I enjoyed getting to visit the vast group of agencies that we did. It opened my eyes to the wide variety of agencies out there.” 

Students visit with Taxi, a creative boutique agency,
(photo courtesy of Kandace Sweat)
 On one such visit, a student found career advice with Taxi’s executive creative director Dave Clemans, who told the students to chase new work opportunities. 

Taxi was founded with the mantra, ‘Doubt the conventional. Create the exceptional,’ an agency slogan that truly embodies the mentality and creative process at the agency,” wrote Channing Jones, a sophomore advertising and marketing student who blogged about the Maymester class. “Mr. Clemans emphasized that if there is no doubt in the creative process—that the work is not yet extraordinary—then you’re doing something wrong and you haven’t yet figured out the solution and the right creative message.”

This class was one of the best decisions I have ever made,” said Kandace Sweat, another AdPR student who took the course. “I just did not know the level of creativity and hard work of these agencies. It was quite inspiring.”

“It was an incredibly informative week,” said Dr. Strausbaugh-Hutchinson. “And I think the takeaway for the students was that there are a myriad of career paths that are open to them and that the New York market really is accessible to UGA grads.”

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