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Media Tour Presents Students with Career Possibilities

Published: November 19, 2007
Inside a small, dimly lit room at Tampa Digital Studios, a crowd of students gathered around a bank of computer monitors to watch a series of short films. The films are eye-catching pieces complete with digital animation and motion-picture quality sound promoting local interests like the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The group watched the pieces with interest as a company representative explained that any student with the right combination of talent and skills could potentially become a part of the team that created the various media pieces.

The visit was one of several stops students made recently during AD2 Tampa Bay’s Student Media Tour – a yearly event in which students from area colleges and universities go behind-the-scenes at some of Tampa’s advertising-related businesses. University of Tampa students accounted for about a third of the roughly 40 students present for the all-day tour, which also included stops at advertising agencies Pyper Paul + Kenney, OAI, and The Dutcher Group.

Participating students represented a wide range of majors from digital arts and communications to advertising and public relations.

For UT Senior Jordan Chariton ’08, a communications major, the tour provided an important glimpse at various aspects of the advertising and public relations industry.

“I went on the tour because I’m not really positive yet what I want to go into,” Chariton said. “Obviously in college you learn in class, but at the same time you have to get out there and see what’s out there and collect people’s business cards to see how you can use what you’re learning.”

Chuck Egnaczak, assistant professor of art, and Beth Eschenfelder, assistant professor of communication, both promoted the Media Tour to UT students.

According to Egnaczak, the tour is designed to not only provide students with valuable networking contacts as they prepare to enter the job market, but also to show the real-world application of many of the skills students learn in class.

“Studies tell us that 70 to 80 percent of what students know comes from outside the classroom,” Egnaczak said. “So for them to see it and see where they might be sitting is invaluable. It’s what we do best is show them what’s out there. It’s up to them what they do from that point.”

Egnaczak and Eschenfelder both served on the Education Committee of the Tampa Bay Advertising Federation, which works closely with AD2 Tampa Bay, an organization of young advertising professionals.

The Media Tour is just one of many professional resources that AD2 Tampa Bay offers to students at UT and other schools, Eschenfelder said. Following the tour, students attended a networking social at the Tampa Bay Brewing Company in Ybor City, where they met with various industry professionals.

For UT senior Joseph Nammour ‘07, a digital arts major, the trip to Tampa Digital Studios was among the more impressive stops on the tour, providing valuable contacts for potential job opportunities.

“I gave them my resume and met with them at the end of the day at the networking social,” Nammour said. “I’ve worked in that kind of environment before, so I knew that you could have a business like that. But to see how successful they are was a new experience.”