RETURN TO SCHOOL AND WELCOME CLASS OF 2023
We kicked off the fall semester at the end of August and welcomed students back into the building. While we’re still wearing masks, all Brandcenter classes are in-person this semester, and the basement is already busy with student meetings.
We’re excited to welcome the newest class of students to the Brandcenter. The class of 2023 represents 22 states, 2 countries, and a variety of life experiences, with 77% of this year’s cohort joining us with prior work experience. The incoming class is 32% racially/ethnically diverse and 62% female. Read more here. Special thanks to our alums at Arts & Letters Creative Co. who spoke at Orientation, sharing sage advice and providing an inspirational start to the semester.
Cara (CW, 2022) and Laura (AD, 2022) at their internship with VCCP NY.
SUMMER INTERNSHIPS AND JOB PLACEMENT
During the summer, many of our rising second-year students participated in paid internships across the country, both remote and in-person, at a variety of agencies, companies, and brand/innovation consultancies. We handed over our Instagram feed to a few of these rising second-years, providing a glimpse into their internship experience.
As the economy has rebounded over the past few months, jobs in our industry have also picked up. While most recent grads are working for prominent agencies and brands, a record number of them chose to work for brand/innovation consultancies like frog Design, Red Antler, Deloitte Digital, and SYLVAIN, just to name a few.
Martin's CEO, Kristen Cavallo, and Chief Culture Officer, Carmina Drummond, leading a session for BCX.
BRANDCENTER EXECUTIVE EDUCATION
BCX recently concluded a six-week Strategic and Cultural Leadership series for alumni and industry professionals to learn about leadership, empathy, conflict management, and more. The final sessions were hosted virtually and in person at The Martin Agency, led by Martin's CEO, Kristen Cavallo, and Chief Culture Officer, Carmina Drummond. Hunter Ellis (ST, 2011) participated in the series and said that it was “a wonderful way for alumni to engage and share their own experiences and challenges.”
Our custom programs will continue throughout the year, and the bulk of our open enrollment courses will take place next summer. What future BCX courses, topics, and programs would you like to see? We’re interested in hearing from alumni—reach out to set up a meeting if you or your team is interested in professional development, or sign up to be notified about upcoming BCX programs.
PROFESSOR TOM SCHARPF NAMED VCU OUTSTANDING MENTOR
Tom Scharpf (AD, 1998), Art Direction and Copywriting Concentration Chair, was named a VCU Real Outstanding Mentor—an honor bestowed upon just ten faculty/staff members university-wide. The award recognizes those in the VCU community who have made exceptional contributions to students’ professional and personal development through experiential learning. We’re grateful for the tremendous impact Tom has made on our students in such a short time. He’s rightfully earned the nickname “Brandcenter Dad.”
ALUM CREATES VIDEO SERIES ABOUT BRANDS AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE
Jen Clinehens (CBM, 2013) is the Customer Experience Strategy Director at Havas CX helia in London. In addition to her “day job,” she started a YouTube channel focused on digging into customer experiences and analyzing ways that brands like Netflix, IKEA, Walmart, etc. are employing behavioral science and psychology (sometimes on purpose and sometimes unconsciously).
ALUM WRITES & ILLUSTRATES CHILDREN’S BOOK
In Two Gators in Waders, Mark Maziarz (CW, 2003) tells the story of a pair of alligators, a dad and his daughter, who decide to ditch their swampy home in the Florida Everglades for a fly fishing adventure out west.
PETCO REMINDS US PETS HAVE FEELINGS TOO
We’re all aware of the effects the pandemic has had on humans, but Petco’s latest campaign reminds us of the effects on our pets. As we start to return to the office and other activities, our pets may experience social or separation anxiety; Petco has solutions to help. Here’s a spot from the campaign created by Richard Langhorn (CW, 2011), Zack Madrigal (AD, 2013), Chase Kimball (CW, 2014) and their team at Droga5.
Huge thanks to the 800+ alums who participated in our Alumni Salary Survey. We're in the process of analyzing the results and the report will be shared later this year.