Aniruddha Pai

Get to know some of our College of Media students! Aniruddha Pai is a Class of 2023 computer science + advertising major.

What excited you about majoring in CS + Advertising?
I always wanted to study computer science, but I wanted to do something unique and exciting. I stumbled across this unique program of CS + Advertising at UIUC and I found it very interesting. This major combines two fields of study that are becoming tied together in our ever-changing media landscape. I find it very relevant as it prepares to address today’s digital advertising world.

What has been one of your favorite student involvement activities here?
One of my favorites is the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC). Majoring in CS + Advertising, I have taken part in many activities, extracurriculars, and internships mainly focused on CS. I really wanted to get involved in the advertising side of my major. This is when I came across NSAC—an American Advertising Federation committee. As a member of the NSAC team, I got to work with creative, strategy, media, and research teams to build an effective full advertising campaign for a real client. Being a part of this team gave the most true-to-the-industry experience outside of a real advertising agency.

What is one advertising class you felt was most valuable for your pathway?
I have enjoyed all the advertising classes I have taken so far due to the variety of different content each of them covers. If I were to pinpoint one class that would be the most valuable for my pathway, I would say ADV 461: Computational Advertising. I feel that this class lies at the heart of my major and is very important to understanding methods of computational advertising. 

What advice would you give an undergrad student in the College of Media?
The College of Media offers great opportunities and resources for you to build upon your skills and knowledge, allowing you to grow in the industry of your interest. Due to its small size, it provides a personal level of interaction with the faculty and advisors, which I believe is really important. Be sure to make use of all the resources and opportunities in the form of RSOs, research, and other activities, as they can help you learn more and further your interests.

Interview by Jake John, Graduate Assistant for Media Career Services