Many students enter college with no idea what they want to major or have a career in. This can put a lot of students behind when it comes to graduating on time. However, if you’re one of the lucky few who has a good idea of what you want to do then you might even be able to graduate early. TAI student Paige Brown will be graduating this May, an entire year earlier than expected, with an Advertising (Digital Media Strategy) major and a French minor.
Brown came into college undecided on a major. She only knew that she had strengths in English and the humanities, and did not want to pursue math and science.
“I briefly considered being a markets and cultures major,” Brown said. “I also contemplated applying to Cox Business School to study marketing, but decided against it. I did not want to spend money or time on learning a lot of general business prerequisites, such as accounting or economics, and only taking a handful of actual marketing classes. I chose advertising because it is a more specific, creative alternative without all of those excessive prerequisites.”
After deciding on advertising, Brown took the required courses and applied for the advertising program in the Spring semester of her freshman year. Once admitted into the major, TAI’s advertising program is designed to be completed in two years – four consecutive semesters. With good planning and foreword thinking, Brown was able to finish her requirements for graduation in three years.
“I was officially accepted into the school the summer before my sophomore year,” Brown said. “It is only a 2-year long program, so I knew I would be able to complete my major studies by 2017. After double-checking to make sure I could also fit in my French minor, University Honors Program, and general UC requirements I went into my academic advisor’s office and changed my graduation date. For other schools besides TAI, I may have needed to take J-term or summer courses to accomplish everything in time to graduate early but I was able to get everything completed in the fall and spring semesters. This was extremely helpful because I used winter and summer breaks to intern.”
Throughout her years in the advertising program, Brown has had the opportunity to connect closely with fellow advertising students as well as getting to know her professors on a more relatable level than most.
“My favorite part about the advertising program was the people,” Brown said. “The faculty members are so inspiring, and care deeply about your future. There were several instances when my professors shared job opportunities with me, set up interviews, wrote recommendation letters, nominated me for scholarships and awards, and encouraged me to apply for Ad Team. Not only did they do this, but they all took the extra step and continually followed up with me to ask how things were going or if they could do anything to help me. The peers in my digital advertising classes also became my friends as we spent hours with each other every day and bonded over group projects. The class sizes were small, you always felt engaged and present, and it was extremely motivating.”
Her advertising courses provided her with a strong skillset to succeed in previous internships, as well as her future endeavors.
“My advertising classes have prepared me by covering real life case studies, terminology, and know-how,” Brown said. “One of my favorite classes was about how to behave and communicate in an agency setting. All of the courses are very practical and can be easily applied to your career if you are going into digital advertising. There were countless times at my internship where someone would introduce an idea or task to me, and I would already be familiar with it because of prior class discussions and projects.”
This past summer and fall semester, Brown interned with digital marketing agency Wpromote, acting as both SEO & Social Intern and Client Success Intern.
“My internship experience was incredibly relevant, and made me feel like I am ready to enter into my advertising career this upcoming May,” Brown said. “I was assigned real work, had a number of helpful mentors from various departments, and created and presented a full digital campaign to the VP and other agency leaders. I now have working experience with SEO, social media, paid search, content creation, and client services. I feel confident and well-equipped for my future in digital advertising.”
With internship experience and her advertising degree in hand, Brown is planning on starting a career in the advertising industry post-graduation.
“I’m leaning towards [working at] a full service digital agency because of my degree’s digital specialization and my previous internship and work experience,” Brown said. “Digital is what everyone is using now, and will continue to use for the foreseeable future, and it’s always changing. I love that advertising in the digital space is a valued expertise that challenges you to keep up and continue to learn.”