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Taking the Ad World by Storm

By Amanda Rider

Three promising SJMC alums have found promising career paths in the advertising world.

For Jason Reed '02, being named one of the Advertising Association Federation's "Most Promising Minority Students" during his senior year in the SJMC wasn't just an award, but an experience. He traveled to New York to accept the award, met the 24 other undergraduate winners from schools around the country, and networked with executives from top advertising and public relations agencies.

Jason ReedThe experience had a profound effect on his career path, which began at Ogilvy & Mather in New York and has now landed him at McCann Erickson, working on several healthcare advertising accounts. "Winning the AAF award was beneficial in many ways, but particularly because of its focus on minority students," says Reed, who is Asian-American. "American advertising agencies need a multicultural face," he adds. " America is multicultural, and we need to market to that entity."

AAF's "Most Promising Minority Students" program is the premier advertising industry award program to recognize and recruit outstanding minority college graduates in the areas of advertising, marketing, media, and communications.

Nominees must be U.S. citizens or resident aliens of African, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Pacific Island descent, have a current cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 on a 4.0 system and a minimum 3.25 GPA in their major, and demonstrate the strong desire to work in the advertising, marketing, media and communications industry and the talent to succeed.

Reed was the first of three SJMC students in the last four years to be honored with the AAF award. Most recently, Toni Thompson '04 and Gloria Delgadillo '05 were given the honor, and both are as appreciative as Reed about the opportunities the award--and the trip to New York to accept it--afforded them.

Toni Thompson"The most rewarding part was meeting 24 other students in New York who shared similar backgrounds and were so committed to their careers," says Thompson, who won the "Most Promising Minority Student" award in 2004. After graduation, Thompson parlayed an internship at Minneapolis advertising agency Campbell Mithun into a full-time position working with H&R Block. Thompson also credits her work with SJMC's Ad Club (she was the president of the organization) and on the National Student Advertising Compeititon team with helping her launch her career.

Gloria DelgadilloDelgadillo, who graduated from the SJMC in May of 2005, also enjoyed her trip to New York to accept the AAF award in February. "I met a lot of great people who gave me a sense of what it is really like in the industry," says Delgadillo, who hopes to land a spot in the Interpublic Group's two-year rotating public relations internship program. Like Reed and Thompson, Delgadillo was active on SJMC's NSAC team, and credits those activities and the atmosphere in Murphy Hall for her success: "I've always been impressed with what the SJMC offers and I found my classes really interesting," says Delgadillo. "Students here are really passionate about what they do, and I think the SJMC does a lot to foster that enthusiasm."

Howard Liszt, SJMC senior fellow and NSAC adviser, knows all three students well and is proud of their success. "The fact that our students have won this award three of the past four years says that our faculty is successfully preparing our students to be leaders in the field," Liszt says. "When the AAF selects these students and says that they offer promise to the industry, they're absolutely right."

"Minority students succeed in our program," Liszt adds. "I hope this will be a signal to minority students around the state--and around the country--that the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota is an outstanding place for you to reach your potential."