Speed dating isn’t for everyone. But for students in D.J. Min’s Marketing 3580 class at the University of New Orleans, the speed-dating format made for a lively and informative field trip at Peter Mayer Advertising in New Orleans.
Over the course of two-and-a-half hours, 18 advertising students held audience with the agency’s department leaders in account management, strategy, research and analytics, creative, studio, media, development, social media, public relations and finance.
The goal of the visit was to give students ideas about the kinds of careers that are possible within the advertising field. Students had the opportunity to follow a campaign through each department, helping them to visualize up-close what role each player has in bringing an advertising concept to life.
“It really helped students get a better sense and a broader view of what actually happens in a working ad agency,” said Min, assistant professor of marketing. “They were able to see how the things they learned in class apply in the real world, and were informed by professionals about the importance of the things that happens ‘behind the scenes.’”
The visit was made more meaningful thanks to the contributions of five UNO alumni-turned-Peter-Mayer-employees, including: Andy Antunez (B.S. Marketing, ’15), now a digital campaign manager; Michelle Clarke (MPA, ’13), management supervisor; Jeanne Duvic (B.S., Business, ’13), accounts payable specialist; Jay Geiger (B.S. Accounting and MIS, ’97), vice president of finance; and Jennifer Rockvoan (B.S. Marketing, ’99), director of web development.
“Many UNO students are entrepreneurial, hard-working and have work experience before they graduate—which makes them mature and ready to hit the ground running,” said Michelle Edelman, chief strategy officer for Peter Mayer. “Peter Mayer has launched a new program to build relationships and share our marketing insights with area universities. Dr. Min is forward-thinking about the connection between local businesses and universities, so it made sense to start with UNO.”
Min said the alumni offered his students a glimpse of how they can apply their degrees and studies in a real-world environment. “It also simply gave them someone to relate to,” Min said. “In class, although I do try to bring in as many examples as possible, we are more focused on understanding the theoretical aspects of advertising—how does it work, why does it work and so on—and I think it was a great experience for students to be able to see that in action.”
Edelman said that while Peter Mayer’s people present to clients all the time, only a few get to speak about industry trends or our own roles regularly. “We felt this was an appropriate way for Peter Mayer to give back to the community, inspire the future workforce of New Orleans, and convey the career opportunities we hold directly to more motivated students than internship programs might allow,” Edelman said.
Founded in 1967, Peter Mayer Advertising is an independent, integrated marketing agency based in New Orleans with a client list that spans local, regional and national accounts. The firm has represented a host of clients, but it specializes in the food and beverage, travel and tourism industries as well as representing community interests.