Murray State advertising, PR students rise to the challenge at Omnicom
Advertising and public relations students at Murray State University have had much success in landing internships through one prominent company in the last couple of years – so much so that company representatives have raised this question:
“What is in the water at Murray State?”
Bob Norsworthy – recently retired executive vice president of Diversified Agency Services, a division of the Omnicom Group Inc. – said a human resources director made the comment to him after 24 MSU student-interns in 2013 earned high marks on their evaluations from Omnicom supervisors.
All joking aside, there are reasons why Murray State students have excelled at Omnicom.
“We stress work ethics, and it shows in our students who intern at Omnicom,” said Norsworthy, who also is the executive in residence in the MSU Department of Journalism and Mass Communications. “Our students know if they don’t have work to do, they ask for work.”
Omnicom Group is a global holding company that owns some 230 organizations engaged in advertising, marketing and public relations. These companies across the United States include Cone Communications in Boston, Mass.; The Zimmerman Agency in Tallahassee, Fla.; Direct Partners in Los Angeles, Calif.; DDB in New York; Integer in Denver, Colo.; and BBDO China, among other prominent names.
Gill Welsch, head of the advertising major at Murray State, said students must go through an interview process with him, Norsworthy and Bob Valentine, a longtime faculty member who specializes in many communication areas, before they are recommended to intern for an Omnicom division.
Valentine said the interview process not only helps prospective student-interns but also Omnicom employers.
“Once we tell the companies about the process, we’ve had agencies take more interest,” he said. “That means more internships for our students.”
Ten MSU students are employed at Omnicom because of the internships.
“We don’t get them a job. All we do is open the doors for them,” Norsworthy said.
Students who major in any of the programs offered in the department should consider an internship sometime during their college career.
“It’s more than just good grades,” Welsch said. “If you think you want to go into creative, you have to start producing now.”
The intern selection process begins in late autumn and continues through spring. The JMC department continues to seek internship opportunities for students in all majors and welcomes alumni suggestions and references.
For more information, email Gill Welsch.