Chicago advertising trip offers students industry immersion experience

Advertising students in Chicago

Eighty-five advertising students traveled to Chicago on November 30 to visit advertising agencies and tech firms to gain exposure to the contemporary advertising industry. In small groups, students were able to visit one advertising agency (DDB, Energy BBDO, Havas, or Highdive) and one tech firm (Adobe, Amazon, or Google). The trip was open to all advertising undergraduate and graduate students and computer science + advertising students. 

The Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising sponsored the trip as part of its strategic goal to give students an introduction to the advertising industry early on in their degree program, so they can see how and where they may fit in the future. Students had the opportunity to tour the offices, meet with Illinois alumni and other professionals, and learn about each of the roles and professions within the industry. Students also enjoyed bonding with their fellow students and faculty and networking with the professionals. 

Highdive ad agency“Going on the Chicago trip helped me to realize that I want to be an account executive, which is not something I knew before,” said Emma Johnson, a dual-degree junior majoring in advertising and communication. “I loved hearing from so many amazing people and also lots of UIUC alumni.”

“The Chicago immersion trip was a unique experience that I was eager to pursue because it gave me the chance to take steps to begin networking and further involve myself in the field of advertising as a freshman,” said Cooper Anderson. “After attending, I am much more confident that a career in advertising is the correct path for me and it excites me to see the opportunities that are ahead of me.” 

Google presentationGeno Schellenberger (BS ’20), senior communications manager at Havas and graduate student in the strategic brand communication master’s degree program, led students on a tour around their agency. 

“The strong alumni connections are part of what’s remarkable about the University of Illinois Sandage Department of Advertising,” he said. “As a proud alum and communications lead at Havas Chicago, we will always welcome future advertising professionals to inspire and solidify their career choices.”

Students also met with alumni such as Pat Burke (BS ’95, advertising), executive creative director at Highdive advertising agency. Burke has created some of the top award-winning Super Bowl ads in 2022 and in 2021. 

Thank you to Adobe, Amazon, DDB, Energy BBDO, Google, Havas, and Highdive for hosting Illinois advertising students. 

See more photos from the trip.