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Ad Club networks with industry giants in New York City

Dec 13, 2019

Posted in: News

By Taylor Burress, Communications Intern

Group photo of Ad Club officers at the One Club's Here Are All The Black People Multicultural Career Fair
Ad Club officers Madeline Honig, Vice President, Kevin Nguyen, President, Daniel Villery, Treasurer, and Megan Watt, Secretary, at HAATBP in NYC.

In late October, the Advertising Club at VCU attended the ninth annual Here Are All The Black People Multicultural Fair hosted by the One Club. Virginia Commonwealth University students who attend the conference had the opportunity to gain insights from several panels of industry leaders, meet with recruiters, network with professionals and explore internship and job opportunities. Representatives from multiple agencies also reviewed student portfolios. Companies such as Google and Apple were at the event in addition to Richmond-based companies The Martin Agency and Arts & Letters.

There was a combined 650 students and industry professionals at the conference, which had support from 34 sponsors, according to the One Club. Over 60 travel stipends were provided to help students and recent graduates attend. Of the 40 students from both VCU and the VCU Brandcenter who journeyed to New York City, 28 are members of the Ad Club.

Kevin Nguyen, president of the Ad Club at VCU, was thrilled to be there and especially to see the keynote speaker.

"I’m so glad that there was a lot of people that made it, because the keynote speaker was Tariq Trotter," he said.

Trotter, also known as Black Thought, is an American rapper and one of the co-founders of The Roots.

This was Nguyen's second year attending the conference. He appreciated the insightful feedback he received on his portfolio, but one moment he said he'll always remember came from a panel featuring Bruce Bildsten, Best Buy executive creative director; Susan Credle, global chief creative officer of FCB; and Jimmy Smith, CEO of Amusement Park Entertainment.

"There was this part near the end of the panel, when they were talking about all of their lessons learned and they said to us, 'no matter how successful you get, you always have to give back,' Nguyen remembered. "It was really amazing to me to see how humble all of these super talented people were."

Group photo of VCU Ad Club touring Facebook in NYC
Ad Club toured Facebook's NYC office.

While in New York City, the Ad Club got the opportunity to visit and tour in-house creative agencies Facebook, Spotify and Giant Spoon. Nguyen was responsible for organizing the agency tours. VCU alum Joseph Bae strategist at Giant Spoon and Jessica Collins, Ad Club's faculty advisor and advertising assistant professor at VCU helped students live the VCU and Robertson School mantra of “Make it Real” during the New York visit.

Group photo of Ad Club touring Giant Spoon in NYCAd Club at Giant Spoon in NYC.

"Everyone made us feel so welcome, and I’m so glad that it went well," Nguyen said. "Everyone got to learn so much from the panels at each of these places. I left feeling really inspired, and I was so happy to hear that other people had the same experience."

Group photo of VCU Ad Club touring Spotify's NYC officeAd Club at Spotify in NYC

The Ad Club didn’t forget to have fun on the trip.

"My favorite part of the entire experience was just the fact that the entire Ad Club got to spend Halloween together in New York," Nguyen said. "We dressed up and all hung out as a group, and it was so much fun for all of us to be together."

One of Nguyen's goals as president has been to try and make the Ad Club feel more like a family.

 "I think a lot of us would agree that this year’s NYC trip was so much fun because we didn’t travel together as just a club, we went as a huge group of friends," he said.For more information about the Ad Club at VCU, click here. To stay up to date on events and happenings within the club, follow them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.