College of Media | News

AdCamp Chicago gives high school students hands-on education in advertising and media careers

7/12/2011  9:45 am

This past month, the College launched the inaugural AdCamp, a two-week summer program for high school students that taught them about a career in advertising. Hosted by the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising and the American Advertising Federation, the program accommodated 41 high school students in lectures, industry immersion, and hands-on projects.

“AdCamp expands the academic mission of the Department of Advertising,” said Dr. Jan Slater, interim dean and professor of advertising. “It extends the reach of advertising education to high school students, and provides them with ideas and insights for possible majors and career opportunities.”

Led by Rhiannon Clifton, program director for the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising, and a team from AAF, the program was presented at the Illini Center in downtown Chicago.

Professors from the Department of Advertising and advertising professionals from across the country educated students on the many facets of the industry including leadership, diversity, ethics, and teambuilding, explained Clifton.

“Students also visited top Chicago advertising agencies, corporations, and media companies,” she said. “They applied what they learned and some industry insights to provide solutions to real-world marketing challenges for real clients. This is something that our college students don’t get to do until much later in their academic careers.”

Several corporate sponsors helped make the program a success with tours, teachers, and even scholarships for students from underrepresented populations. Key sponsors included Wrigley, Leo Burnett, Omnicom Group, General Mills, Ogilvy & Mather, and CNN.

AdCamp students heard from representatives from Energy BBDO, Proximity Chicago, Spark Communications, The Chicago Tribune, Google, DraftFCB, and Bamboo Worldwide, just to name a few.

In addition to listening to presentations, students worked during the two weeks on projects for Skittles and Levi’s to get some hands-on experience.

“For the first AdCamp Chicago, we had a tremendous group of talented students with diverse skills, background and thinking,” said Constance Cannon Frazier, COO, American Advertising Federation Wrigley.

The partnership between the Department of Advertising and AAF promises a bright future for engaging high school students in media career preparation. Plans are already underway for a 2012 event as well as more events around the country.

To view all photos from AdCamp Chicago, visit their Facebook page.