“Treat this week like a job interview.”
This advice from Robin Roberts, the founder of Washington Media Scholars Foundation, rang in our ears after arriving to Washington, D.C. for the final round 2019 Media Plan Case Competition.
That may sound like a lot of pressure, and it was. When teams can receive a combined $16,000 in scholarships, a multitude of connections at top-tier media companies, and a greater understanding of opportunities for your media career, the pressure is worth it!
Our Media Scholars journey began in fall 2018, when our professor and mentor, Dr. Linwan Wu (University of South Carolina) shared information about the competition. Entering would be a big decision; we had already committed to participating in the National Student Advertising Competition, which meant we would be taking on 2 competitions with heavy workloads in the spring semester. Our decision to apply meant pushing ourselves further than we’d ever had. We knew we would need to bring our A-game.
Fast-forward to the second round of the WMSF competition. We had learned a lot about policy-driven media planning and political contract campaigns. The casework was time-consuming and intellectually challenging, but it was also interesting and based on real-world scenarios. In April, we received news that our team made it to the week-long finals round of competition in Washington, DC. It was at that stage that we heard, for the first time, “Treat this experience like a week-long job interview.”
The idea of a week-long job interview was compelling and overwhelming. Yet we understood that it meant that the competition would represent a major career opportunity for us. For employers, Media Scholars finalists are vetted entry-level candidates. Even teams that make it to finals but don’t win the competition leave DC in a great position to get jobs and internships through the connections you make. Truly, every finalist team wins.
Our DC itinerary included visits and job shadowing opportunities at a variety of companies including Google, NBC, CNN, FoxNews, iHeartMedia, Politico, Axios, The Washington Post, i360, National Media, GMMB, E.W. Scripps, CoxReps, Centro, to name just a few. With each meeting, our understanding of the professional media landscape grew and we formed new connections. The week-long job interview concept proved true.
After a week of learning, professional development and networking, teams presented their casework to an expert panel of judges at Washington DC’s famed Newseum, before attending a networking reception with over 400 industry professionals eager to meet (and hire) the finalists.
We have 3 key takeaways from the Washington Media Scholars Foundation Media Plan Case Competition.
Suzanne Green (USC ’19) is now a digital strategist at National Media Inc. Noah McGill graduates in December 2019. Their team won first place in the 2019 Washington Media Scholars Case Competition.
Undergraduate students who apply will have the opportunity to win a portion of $60,000 in scholarships. Click here for more information on how to apply.
Congratulations to Iowa State University students Emily Belloma and Mia Guion, winners of the 2017 Media Plan Case Competition. Each will receive a $5,000 scholarship award.
Carley Newman and Ella Sciocchetti, Ithaca College students, also received $3,000 scholarship awards as the first runner-up team.
The winning teams were announced during a Networking Reception held at the Newseum in Washington, DC. Over 500 media industry professionals from around the country attended the annual event.
Excerpt taken from the Iowa State News article.
Two recent Greenlee School graduates showcased their knowledge of political media planning in Washington, D.C.
Emily Belloma (’17 marketing, advertising) and Mia Guion (’17 advertising) won the 2017 Media Plan Case Competition, earning the National Excellence in Media Award from the Washington Media Scholars Foundation. Each also received a $5,000 scholarship.
The competition is the cornerstone of the foundation’s Media Scholars Program, which challenges students to apply their knowledge by developing public policy advertising campaigns.
After an initial qualifying round, 30 teams of semi-finalists were invited to participate in the program’s case competition. Of those, only six teams were selected to present their final media plans in person at the Newseum on June 8 and participate in a week of networking and educational opportunities at top advertising, media and broadcast firms in D.C.
This year, the case focused on the campaign of Herman Cain, a 2012 U.S. Republican Party presidential candidate. Competitors were asked to develop a media planning strategy if the early frontrunner had continued his campaign after it became engulfed in controversy and his poll numbers dropped.
Belloma and Guion focused their hypothetical $5 million budget and two-month time frame on tactics that would help Cain win the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.
“Honestly, I think being in Iowa helped me prepare in general. A lot of people don’t understand how important the Iowa caucus is in the campaign, and I think the fact that we focused on the Iowa caucus made our plan stand out,” Belloma said.
Read More in the Original Article on the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, at Iowa State University, website.
Two Indiana University Bloomington students participated in the inaugural Media Scholars Week and Washington Media Scholars Case Competition in Washington, D.C. The competition challenged college undergraduates to create the best strategic media plan for a hypothetical public policy campaign.
Political theory and constitutional democracy senior Laura Kovacek had no public relations experience a few months ago. She had no practice with market campaigns or strategies.