Advertising Boot Camp Prepares Marist Seniors for Life After College

Marist College

May 1, 2018 — Earlier this month, three Marist seniors from the School of Communication and the Arts had the unique opportunity of attending a four-day advertising boot camp at R/GA, an advertising agency in New York City.

The students, Carol Ann Asselin, Brianne Linden, and Roxanne Novo, all from the Class of 2018, applied for slots in the highly competitive One Club Creative Boot Camp earlier this year. One Club is an organization of advertising professionals that puts great emphasis on developing students’ skills. Joanna D’Avanzo, Professional Lecturer of Advertising, is involved with One Club and jumped at the opportunity to have students apply for the boot camp experience.

“Our advertising curriculum is really designed to put our students into the world of advertising,” said D’Avanzo. “So, having a shot at an opportunity like this is enormous for professional development.” The three students were the first from Marist to attend.

Ultimately, 70 students from across the country were selected for the boot camp at R/GA, including the three Marist seniors. They were divided into 12 teams and were tasked with creating a campaign for Verizon based on a structured brief provided by R/GA—a very real world advertising experience—during the four-day intensive.

Asselin and Linden stayed in a youth hostel while Novo stayed with a friend in the city. All worked 11-12 hour days during their week at the agency. Though the students worked in groups to formulate their campaigns, a hallmark of the boot camp program is that mentors from R/GA and Verizon met with them daily, as well as professors and professionals from other parts of the industry.

“It was a new experience to be thinking about strategy and not just creative,” noted Linden, an aspiring art director who was on a team with Asselin, a copywriter. “Our team came together with a strong presentation and the feedback from the judges was that our ideas were smart.”

“It was intense,” said Asselin. “There was a lot of juggling, but unlike school where there are multiple things happening at once, this experience allowed us to focus on just one campaign.” 

Asselin and Linden’s team finished in the top three, winning the One Club Creative Boot Camp Award for Excellence. 

D’Avanzo emphasized the prestige with having a One Club award on a resume. “It carries great credibility in this industry.” 

The students were quick to point out that there were times during the week where they missed D’Avanzo. “It was the first time we didn’t have Joanna to turn to,” said Asselin. “That was difficult, but it was good practice for our lives after graduation.”

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