Sydney is pursuing a career in advertising
What is your major and what made you decide to pursue it?
I’m majoring in Strategic Communications with an emphasis on advertising. Going into college, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in advertising, but didn’t know what to major in to get there. I originally planned on majoring in Marketing, even though numbers and business classes sounded like something I would dread. When I learned about the Strategic Communications major, I looked at the required classes and I knew it was a perfect fit for me. I was able to customize the major to fit my creative interests.
What has been your favorite part of your experience at the Hubbard School?
My favorite part of my Hubbard School experience was attending the Spring Showcase last spring. It was a great opportunity to meet and network with alumni and represent my student group, Women in Sports Media. All of the donors and alumni were so open and supportive of student’s work. It was also an incredible experience to hear from so many successful alumni and how they’re making an impact in their field. I left the event feeling inspired and excited for my own career.
What journalism class or professor has had the biggest impact on you?
Digital Strategy in Strategic Communication with professor Craig Pladson is a class that impacted me greatly. Through this course, the class was challenged to develop an app or new digital product with a team, from start to finish. The class took part in brainstorming sessions and design sprints led by industry professionals Craig invited to our class. It was a great chance to use imagination and creativity while practicing real techniques for developing a product consumers will be interested in. Instead of a final exam, each team presented their final product, explaining their logic and process. It felt so rewarding to present an idea we had been working on all semester.
All of my professors have been so influential in different ways, it’s hard to pick just one that had the biggest impact on me. They’ve all taught me so many career and life lessons that will stay with me well beyond college.
What minors, internships, or activities are you pursuing outside of your major? How do you think these enhance your studies and/or your future career plans?
I’m pursuing minors in both Interdisciplinary Design and Sport Management. Having these minors allows me to explore my passions and specialize in different areas of my career. I’m also able to take what I learn in one area and apply it to my other courses.
I currently work as a student graphic design intern for Gopher Football. This position gives me hands on experience in the sports industry and a chance to learn from top-tier Division 1 designers. I’m able to apply what I learn at work on projects for my classes, and vice versa. Being able to practice what I learn in classes in a professional setting is an exceptional opportunity.
I’m also a founding member and the Social Media and Graphics Coordinator for Women in Sports Media. This student group has allowed me to connect with other students who are interested in the same industry as me so that we can encourage and support one another in our academic and career pursuits. The group has also helped me network with female professionals in the industry. Through this group, I’ve been able to learn skills that will help me in my career and build my portfolio.
I’m so lucky to have the opportunity to be so involved. I know that I’m more equipped for my future career because of my minors, job, and extra activities.
What course would you recommend for other students in your major?
I would recommend JOUR 3745 Mass Media and Popular Culture for other students. I think this course is important for anyone who uses social media, especially students interested in journalism or communications. Learning about media bias, how culture is created and viewed, and how mass media is consumed is a valuable and relevant skill.
What is your dream job?
My dream job is to be a graphic designer for a professional sports team, and work my way towards becoming a Senior Creative Manager or Director of Creative Services.
What advice do you have for future Hubbard School students?
My advice for future students is to get involved! There are a lot of great student groups and clubs through the Hubbard School that will allow you to connect with your peers and get practice in your field. They're not only super fun, most of them are great for portfolio building, too.
What is one aspect of your major that surprised you?
Before coming to the University of Minnesota, I had no idea what a Strategic Communications degree even was. I never knew that it would cover so many areas, such as media design, digital strategy, and event management. You can customize your Strat Comm degree to fit your interests, whether that’s creative, management, or planning based.
What do you wish you had known about your career path before now?
I wish I had known how important it is to build your network for a career in advertising. Before I began taking major-related classes, I didn’t know why it was so important to network and build strong connections. Luckily, many of my classes have had guest speakers and agency tours that provided me the opportunity to network with professionals in the industry.