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Faculty Spotlight: Jessica Collins, advertising

Jan 5, 2021

Posted in: News

Professor Jessica Collins.

Jessica Collins is an assistant professor of advertising and the adviser of the Ad Club at the Robertson School.

Tell us a little bit about where you are from and where you worked or studied before joining the Robertson School? 

I am a Wahoo that earned my BA in Spanish and BS in Commerce from The University of Virginia. I received my Master's from the VCU Brandcenter. As a Strategic Planner, I worked for The Martin Agency for many years as well as for consultancies and research companies, touching almost every CPG brand in the world. I have worked on brands big and small, started a Strategic Planning Department, and ran an Immersion Session Department.

What's your favorite class to teach and why? 

Hands down I love Completeness. It's become my baby. Every time I think about taking a break, I come right back to it. It's real-life experience, and I love the risks students take in class. The amount of student progress that is made from the beginning of the semester to the end is astounding. It's tough but oh so rewarding.

How do you keep current in this ever changing media environment? 

I read a lot. I immerse myself in current trends and apply them to the classroom. I reach out to other professors and professionals to see what they are doing to inform what I should be teaching my students. I don't rest a lot. Ask my students.

Why should students come to the Robertson School? 

The Robertson School is constantly pushing boundaries and creating an international name for itself. The faculty and staff don't rest on the past to keep things going. There are new programs, new job opportunities, new curriculum. It's ever changing. And exciting. And the students are remarkable here.

Which area do you focus on in your scholarship?

I focus on consumer/brand qualitative research to inform brand positioning, advertising campaigns, and audience communication. I am always looking for ways to innovate in the land of qualitative so that I capture real-time insights.

Tell us a fun fact about you. 

Besides the fact that I don't sleep a lot? I am an adrenaline junkie. I have skydived, cliff jumped in Jamaica, done triathlons and run a (very slow) marathon. I like pushing the boundaries to see what I can do mentally and physically. I like to say that I have no cruise control. Either I'm at 180 mph never sitting still or at 0 binge watching Bravo TV. There really is no in between for me.