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New campus club, DU-Ad gives students professional experience

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BY LEO MCGRATH 

Drake University has seen the coming and going of many on-campus advertising clubs, but Drake Ad-Vantage (DU-Ad) believes that the group is going to be the one to stay.

Though there have been similar organizations in the past, DU-Ad is breaking the streak of inactivity by once again forming a group to help students pursue careers in advertising.

DU-Ad stands out by not only as an advertising club, but also an advertising agency.

But the club isn’t focusing on getting client. Instead, their main goal is to help students, and they believe this is what will make DU-Ad successful.

“We don’t want this to be just another ad club in the books, we want this to be the ad club,” said Kate Kurka, DU-Ad secretary.

DU-Ad will help students by bringing in guest speakers, provide networking opportunities, portfolio and resume reviews and other opportunities.

“It’s almost like a mini-internship,” said DU-Ad President James Jolly. “You’re given tasks, real-world tasks, and you do them and then you see the results.”

Because DU-Ad is also an advertising agency, members will have the chance to get real-world experience with the help of more experienced club members.

“The art director is basically in charge of approving the designs that come through, so I’m going to oversee what people are doing, and I’m of course going to help the designs themselves,” said art director Emily Bagg.

DU-Ad first began in May of 2016, though not to the scale of what the club is now. The first meeting was intended only to gain interest and move on from there.

At that time, they were not reaching out to clients, or even advertising themselves, only looking for members.

Since then, the club has taken hold. The club has recruited new members, including some leadership positions like digital media director, content director and art director.

“We held it last semester, and basically we had one meeting where everyone talked about their strengths and the position they wanted, and then the next meeting we held the actual voting and elections,” Bagg said.

DU-Ad has also found some clients, with “a lot of community outreach, and a lot of word of mouth,” Kurka said.

“As of right now we have three clients who are very interested in our services,” Kurka said.

Two of these clients are Drake based, and the third is an outdoor gear company called Pingora.

“Nonprofits around Des Moines will reach out to Drake’s advertising classes and sometimes when those classes are filled up, professors will reach out to ad clubs,” Jolly said.

“And something we’ve found that’s lacking is if you’re not in one of those classes, sometimes you don’t really get that experience, and it’s hard to find an internship,” Kurka said.

Despite the fact that they are part of the club, Drake Ad-Vantage is fully committed to its advertising agency.

The group is focused on their professionalism, and consider themselves to be advertisers before students.

“There’s a level of expectation that we have that they’ll be doing stuff, they’ll be producing work, that they’ll actually be engaged and involved,” Jolly said. We don’t want people to show up every week and be like, ‘I’m at ad club.’”

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