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Going Back to Undergrad: Mintz + Hoke Team Members Guest Speak to University Students

Recently, a few Mintz + Hokers, Becca Sheehan, Associate Media Director and Ben Cadwell, Account Director spoke as featured guests at Quinnipiac University and Bowie State University. While Becca shared her story about launching a successful paid media career utilizing an unexpected degree, Ben spoke about agency process and strategy. We asked them to reflect on their experience.

headshot of ben cadwell and rebecca sheehan and the Quinnipiac and Bowie State logos

From Ben’s POV: I was asked to join a class at Quinnipiac University to talk about my background and experience, Mintz + Hoke as a whole, and how we applied our process and strategy to the brand identity development project for the newly merged Connecticut Food Bank and Foodshare. This opportunity came as a request from one of the organization’s board members, Andrea Obston. Andrea is the professor of this course and runs her own public relations and communications business here in Connecticut.

About the course

  • Course Description: The Agency is a student-run, interdisciplinary firm in which students produce professional work under the direction of faculty. Specializing in Public Relations, Graphic and Interactive Design, and Advertising and Integrated Communications, students collaborate on teams to manage and produce visual, written and digital work for a variety of clients in the communications field. Students apply different research methodologies, tools and techniques, and tactics to achieve desired strategic outcomes and present their projects to clients.

Ben’s Takeaways:

  • One of the biggest takeaways for me is that I wish I had the opportunity to take a course like this when I was in school. I was a Communications major and although in many of my courses we talked about the agency business at a high level, there was never something as hands-on and directly focused on how an agency runs. It’s so beneficial for students interested in pursuing a career in this field to explore real examples of projects, how agency capabilities can support those, the importance of client engagement, and what an agency account service role consists of.
  • The course is comprised of students with different backgrounds/majors (PR, design, general comms, journalism, advertising, etc.) who are grouped together to work on a real-life client. Similar to the above point, collaboration across different areas of expertise and learning those skills is key to doing great work at an agency. This exercise echoes some of the training that our junior employees have participated in to further hone these skills, proving that hands-on experience reigns supreme.

From Becca’s POV: My friend Horacio is an associate professor at Bowie State University (BSU) in Maryland in the Language, Literature and Cultural Studies Department. He asked me to speak to his senior seminar class given my minor in English, and background in media. Horacio knows how passionate I am about my career and that I would be more than happy to speak to students about how an English degree can provide more opportunities than many think possible.

About the course

  • Course description: Senior Seminar hosts a “Career Conversations” series wherein students meet with young professionals to discuss how they can use their college degree to launch a successful career. All BSU students are welcome to join the conversation and learn how these professionals used the skills they acquired in college to find meaning, purpose, and financial security at work and in their personal lives. 

Becca’s takeaways

  • The students that attended my session asked some really great questions that I was prepped with prior to the discussion. They were insightful and really got to the heart of what the world outside of college can be like.
  • Similarly to Ben, I wish I had had the opportunity to attend a course like this when I was in school. I really admire and appreciate my friend, too, for shaping such a great course to prepare students for what lies ahead following their senior year. Especially now, the real world can be daunting, so I loved talking with the students and telling them about my experience while also promoting our internship program (wink, wink!)

  • It seemed like all the students were engaged and excited to talk about the world of advertising – I talked about how most people know and understand the “sexy” side of advertising (creative), but do not always get exposure to the behind-the-scenes work that we do in media.

Connect with Ben or Becca by filling out the form below.


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