Advertising Capstone Students Pitch to Real Clients

Finding a job is no longer simply about having a college degree. In today’s working world, graduates’ resumes need to be overflowing with experience if they hope to get hired. ADV 486: Integrated Campaigns serves as the capstone course for advertising students at MSU, and is providing that experience. 

For the capstone, students are divided into teams and given a brief from a real-world client. Then, they develop a campaign and pitch it to the client, just as they would in a true advertising agency.

“This class is the culmination of their college careers,” said Dave Regan who is one of the AD+PR Department professors teaching the capstone course.

Students in each section of the capstone course work with different clients each semester. During the fall semester, Regan’s students worked with Ally Financial — an entirely online banking service. 

Senior Director for Enterprise Marketing at Ally, Bridget Sponsky said she believes, “this is one of the most successful mentorships and partnerships that Ally has had with the university to date.”

Nerves were running high before the student pitches began. People were studying slides, reading scripts, and hurriedly whispering final thoughts to their fellow classmates. But, when the presentations commenced, things ran smoothly, and everyone conducted themselves with a high degree of professionalism. Sponsky said she was blown away by the caliber of talent from the students. 

Students appreciate the unique value of the capstone course. 

“This is the most valuable class I have taken at MSU so far, because it is the most professional experience I have had,” said Caroline Kordell, a senior advertising management student. “ I will actually be able to use the skills and resources I’ve developed in this class in a real job.”

Real-world experience, like students receive from the Integrated Campaigns class, is king in today’s industry. By providing this experience, the capstone course is another reason MSU’s advertising program is uniquely valuable and ranks as one of the top programs in the world.

By Marlee Talbot