ALUMNI UPDATE: Network with an Advertising Alumnus

Careers in the advertising industry heavily rely on networking opportunities; jobs are often found through referrals, former colleagues, and various industry events and organizations. The Meadows School of the Arts recently conducted research that revealed current students want to engage with fellow alumni but don’t always know how to make the first step. With traditional agency tours, internships, and industry events on pause, the need for student networking opportunities is critical. Recently, SMU launched a new platform, The SMU Network, to bridge the gap between current students and alumni.

Nikki Koenig graduated from Meadows in 2005 with her B.A. in Advertising. She founded Cykochik, a handbag, apparel and lifestyle company, from her dorm room during her undergraduate degree at SMU. Koenig used the tools acquired through her advertising courses to build a successful brand and quit her corporate job to focus full-time on Cykochik in 2013.

While Koenig was an SMU student, she also interned at Group Baronet, now MasonBaronet, an agency owned by Willie Baronet. Baronet, now the Stan Richards Professor in Creative Advertising at the Temerlin Advertising Institute, joined SMU in 2014. Over the past sixteen years, they have remained close; now she regularly speaks to his Intro to Creativity students, and guest critiques many of his creative courses and senior portfolios.

“Koenig has inspired many of my students with her edgy and illustrative designs and her passion for brand building with environmentally sustainable materials,” Baronet explains.

Koenig now serves on the Meadows 2050 Council to engage and connect Meadows alumni with students and serves as a mentor for The SMU Network.

To learn more about The SMU Network or sign up, please visit: https://smunetwork.com/

TAI Students Attend Dallas Networking Events

Last week, both undergraduate and graduate students from TAI participated in multiple networking events making connections with companies across DFW.

Tuesday evening, TAI graduate students went to Ad2Dallas’ Speed Career Connections event. The event had professionals from numerous agencies, including The Company of Others, Inspire Agency, The Richards Group, ReedMitchell, SocialCentiv, TM Advertising and Resolution Media. The Creative Circle also helped attendants by reviewing resumes and providing career guidance.

Attendants at the Ad2Dallas Networking Event Photo credit: Ad2Dallas
Attendants at the Ad2Dallas Networking Event
Photo credit: Ad2Dallas

“I really enjoyed the Ad2Dallas event because it was a fun and casual way to meet working industry professionals,” TAI graduate student Lauren Lombardo said. “They offered some very insightful advice about entering the advertising job market, and it was interesting to hear different perspectives within the industry. It also helped me work on my social skills, and I feel confident now walking up to people and starting a conversation. The Creative Circle even had a resume reviewing station where they offered critiques, which was quite helpful. Overall, it was a great opportunity to network with potential mentors or employers, and I had a wonderful time.”

Thursday afternoon, TAI undergraduate and graduate students attended a Communications Networking Event, jointly hosted by the SMU Hegi Family Career Development Center, TAI, the SMU Chapters of PRSSA and AAF (Ad Club). The event included employers such as Brunswick Group, D Magazine, Omni Hotels & Resorts, Southwest Airlines, The Infinite Agency, TracyLocke Advertising Agency, Weber Shandwick, and more. This event offered students the opportunity to meet industry professionals and make valuable connections for the future.

“The SMU Communications Networking Event was a great experience for me and my fellow peers,” TAI undergraduate student Monica Gonzalez Glenn said. “We got the opportunity to meet some amazing employers from a variety of fields and industries here in Dallas. The employers were very excited to meet us and enthusiastically responded to every question we had. Based on my post-event experience, recruiters have been extremely open to shadowing requests, internship interviews, and willingness to network more.”

A similar career and networking event will take place in the spring on Wednesday, March 1 from 3-5pm in the Hughes-Trigg ballroom. The Temerlin Advertising Institute loves to partner with local Dallas and SMU organizations to provide opportunities for our students to make connections and further their advertising careers.