Camp’s in session: The Robertson School’s Camp ADventure starts summer 2021 with more students and clients than 2020.
Jun 3, 2021
Posted in: News
Camp ADventure is back and bigger than last year with over 160 campers representing 72 universities worldwide. In only its second year, the program continues to provide an opportunity for students to advance their skill sets while earning internship credit amidst a continued disruption to internship programs resulting from COIVD-19. Designed as a six-week advertising internship in 2020, the program features a creative competition for students and recent grads to show off their unique skill sets while working with real clients. This year's camp runs from June 1 to July 16, accelerating the creative process in a virtual team-driven environment designed to challenge students to think, collaborate and build content for clients in need.
“We wanted to open doors for the students,” said advertising professor in charge of the event Jess Collins. “[Last year] the camp opened the door for 60 students to go right into the industry since it gives them something extra on their resume to talk about or on in their portfolio.”
The program was formed to serve a pool of students whose internships were postponed or cancelled entirely as a direct result of COVID-19 in 2020. Collins establishes the program to solve the issue while creating a new space at the Robertson School for students to collaborate virtually while earning credit.
“We thought maybe 30 people would come; we didn't know, and we ended up having over 200 Students come from 64 universities,” Collins said. “A lot of people got internship credit for it from their universities, from VCU so, it just was a way to give back.”
This year, Camp ADventure students are from universities in across the U.S. such as California, New Jersey, Florida, Minnesota, Iowa, Texas, New York, Arkansas and more. This year’s program features international students from Canada and the Philippines.
“Camp ADventure is important because it allows students from across the country to connect with other students and industry professionals in the advertising world,” said outreach intern Natalie Baxter. “We also want it to be a space for safety and inclusivity where students can become inspired and learn from one another.”
The program continues to give students access to internship credits and is expanding its reach to connect with students from community colleges and HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) with smaller advertising programs. Collins describes this as “providing an equal playing field for our students across the world.”
The client this year is Buy From A Black Woman, a nonprofit organization that empowers, educates and inspires Black Women business owners and the people who support them. Founder Nikki Porcher said she is “excited to see what people can do to help our organization.”
Social Media Manager for Camp ADventure, Amy Robertson, said that it is important for VCU and the Robertson School to continue to show support for Black Women and all people of color.
“Many students have probably never considered this point of view before in the marketing world and it’s always important to keep learning and strive to do more,” Robertson said. “We are very lucky that Nikki Porcher and her company, Buy From A Black Woman, decided to work with us this year so we can further help brands that are not getting the recognition they deserve as much as other brands in the same market.”
As CampADventure gains momentum in the coming days, the 160 students have already signed up for the event this year, making 30 teams with 9Rooftops, Capital One, Lewis Media Partners, Fable Branding and Dionne Consulting sponsoring the event.
“I hope [the students] realize how lucky they are to have such caring mentors and worship hosts who want to share their personal experience so they can be better advertisers themselves. The best experience comes from those who have been in your shoes and know exactly what you need to hear to be even better,” Robertson said.
CampADventure is open to VCU students through the MASC 491 class but unlike a typical class, you get more freedom with camp with meeting new people and the light-hearted environment.
“We wanted it to feel like people were going to camp, like we harken back to that fun feeling of packing your bags and going in and meeting new people,” Collins said. “It's a place where you learn a lot about yourself and it's a place where everyone always reflects on coming out of camp.”