The best classes are those in which you get to work on real projects and see your ideas executed. In the Communication department, I get a lot of opportunities to do just that.
My favorite course I’ve taken at TU is the National Student Advertising Competition class. The American Advertising Federation (AAF) hosts this national competition for college chapters across the nation each year so that students can learn the industry by actually developing a full advertising campaign for a national client. This client provides every school with a case study, providing a basic outline of the industry they are in, as well as the history of the product and past marketing campaigns. This case study also introduces the problem that the client wants us to try and solve.
We conduct extensive research on our client, their industry, and their competitors. We come up with a concept or big idea, centered around our specific target market, and designers on our team make the vision a reality with creative executions. We create a “plans book” for the client to outline all that we have learned and created. We also write and memorize a 15-minute presentation.
The best part of the class is traveling to the district competition. Last year, our client was Pizza Hut. In April, we drove down to Dallas, Texas, to compete against all of the other schools in our region. AAF judges and a Pizza Hut representative watched our presentation and hosted a question and answer session with us. Our team came up with a Spin & Win concept for every time you order Pizza Hut online or through the mobile app. The judges loved this idea, and we were awarded Best Promotion. We got to spend the rest of the night celebrating and enjoying Dallas before traveling home with our trophy and feedback from the judges.
This year, I will be leading Tulsa’s National Student Advertising Competition team as we create a campaign for our client, Snapple. It is a lot of tough work, but one of the most rewarding experiences I have had as a student. This competition also provides a great opportunity for professional growth and networking. Two of our presenters were even offered jobs by advertising agencies after our presentation.
I encourage you to take courses that excite you, and especially those that allow you to work on real projects for the community. In every major there are classes or organizations with these types of undertakings, such as Third Floor Design for art majors or Make a Difference Engineering. These are the best opportunities to experience your major in a real-life setting and make contacts that will get you hired!