Advertising Students Gain Insider Industry Glimpse with NYC-Based Alumni on Annual Trip

Students in the Temerlin Advertising Institute embarked to NYC for their annual trip, where they got to go behind-the-scenes with several alumni working in advertising and creative industries.

Advertising students listen to founder of a boutique creative agency speak on the industry
Deacon Webster, CCO and Co-Founder of boutique creative agency Walrus, talks to students about the advantages of being small and independent in a world of larger agencies.

Every spring, students and faculty from Meadows’ Temerlin Advertising Institute (TAI) embark on an annual trip to New York City where they have the opportunity to learn more about the industry and connect with alumni living and working in the field of advertising.


The trip, which has been part of the program since 2005, allows current students to see what types of occupations their advertising degree could lead to in the real world. This year, the group visited Momentum Worldwide, a global experience agency, where they heard from TAI alumni and Momentum employees Jordan Chlapecka (B.A. ’11) and Allie Hartman (B.A. ’20) about the experiential advertising work they’ve done recently for American Express at Coachella. They also went to Ogilvy, one of the largest ad agency networks in the world, where alumni Morgan Hoff (B.A. ’17) and Helen Rieger (B.A. ’17) spoke about the work they had done for Ogilvy in the past year, including the Verizon Super Bowl commercial featuring Beyonce.


A new out-of-the-box experience came from Mike Reidy (B.A. ’00), who is the Senior Vice President of Advertising Sales at NBCUniversal. Reidy not only organized a VIP tour of NBC studios, where students had the chance to go behind-the-scenes of the sets of Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, but also organized a discussion panel led by several members of NBCUniversal’s internal creative team.


Advertising students pose during a behind-the-scenes tour of NBCUniversal in NYC
TAI students and faculty members pose during their behind-the-scenes tour of NBC studios.

“I wanted students to understand that there is no one path in advertising, there are many,” says Reidy. “It is important for them to have exposure to diverse opportunities and job functions within the advertising industry to help widen their view of what roles are available and interesting to them coming out of college.”


The Q&A panel shed light on the different journeys one can take to get to the positions the internal creative team are in today. For example, Reidy started his Meadows experience as a theatre major first, communications major second. Though he credits his comfortability with public speaking to his acting classes, it was an opportunity his senior year that truly helped define his path. Reidy worked on the marketing plan for the new football stadium that was set to open for the Fall 2000 season and was tasked with raising awareness and attendance amongst students, alumni and the local community. This experience taught him the importance of using data when devising a communication plan, which is especially poignant in a rapidly changing industry like media.


“How we watch content has changed; therefore, the who is watching and how they are watching is important to know,” explains Reidy of his current role at NBC. “My team works with advertisers to ensure their message and how they communicate with our audiences is relevant and aligned to the content and platform where they are watching.” 


The opportunity to learn about the vast variety of jobs available for those with an advertising degree, at companies both big and small, is a primary focus of the trip. In addition to Momentum Worldwide and Ogilvy, students visited boutique creative agency Walrus as well as Google’s new NYC-based campus.


Advertising students pose outside of Google's brand new NYC campus
TAI students pose outside of Google’s NYC campus, where they heard alum Amol Rana (BBA ’05, B.A. ’06, MBA ’13) speak about his career path.


“It was a great experience for our students to see people working in creative careers outside the world of traditional advertising agencies,” says senior advertising lecturer and Creative Program Director Mark Allen, who accompanied the students on this year’s trip. “Our students made lots of connections on this trip, many of which will lead to jobs and internships.”


In between agency visits and company tours, students got to visit some of NYC’s best museums including the Whitney and the MOMA. The week-long trip culminated with an alumni networking and karaoke event that was attended by dozens of TAI alums who have graduated spread out over the past 20 years, highlighting their long-standing connection to the program. To learn more about Meadows’ Division of Advertising and the Temerlin Advertising Institute, click here.