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School of Advertising's Creative Bootcamp a Huge Success

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School of Advertising students working together at the Creative Bootcamp. Photo courtesy of Jim Wojtowicz.

At a recent event hosted by Academy of Art University’s School of Advertising, students got a taste of what it’s like to work under the notoriously tight deadlines of the advertising industry. The Creative Bootcamp event was sponsored by the One Club—a renowned international organization dedicated to promoting excellence within the industry. The School of Advertising has hosted the prestigious event for the last four years and continues to grow its relationship with the One Club.

On the first day, Creative Director Mark Krajan from the event supporting agency Butler Shine, Stern and Partners, a well known Bay Area ad agency in Sausalito, introduced the creative brief to the enthusiastic crowd of 75 students. This year’s client was Greyhound Bus Lines and the strategic goal was to get more millennials to travel by bus.

After the creative brief was introduced, students were assigned to teams and got to work immediately. Soon after, industry mentors from different agencies across the Bay Area began visiting the teams giving feedback on their strategic and creative direction. This intensive direct feedback lasted throughout the day and continued for the next two days. Students worked from the morning into the evening and enjoyed catered breakfast and lunch courtesy of the One Club. 

When asked about the experience, School of Advertising art direction student Daisy Serafini shared: “Bootcamp is super intense; it moves incredibly fast. I’m so happy I participated this year and wish I could do it again next year. I feel better prepared for the deadline-driven world of advertising and am thrilled to walk away with a new piece for my portfolio.”

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Photo courtesy of Jim Wojtowicz.

On Sunday, Oct. 23, it was showtime at the famed San Francisco ad agency Goodby, Silverstein and Partners. Students presented their campaign ideas as a team to a panel of nine industry judges, who critiqued the ideas and the presentations of the 14 teams involved. Afterwards, the judges went on to pick the first, second and third place winners. This year’s first place team won a swag bag of goodies, bragging rights, resume fodder, a free pass to Creative Week in New York this spring and an interview for an internship at Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners. 

The Creative Bootcamp offers not only terrific creative growth potential, it also has career launching benefits as well. After winning the coveted first place prize several years ago, previous School of Advertising student and Bootcamp participant Mary Wuensch was selected for an internship at Butler and has since leveraged the internship into a full time job as a copywriter. 

Overall, students walked away with a much better understanding of the industry and insights into how to work under pressure as a team to get to a smart solution. Plus, there was a healthy dose of fun and networking. Saint Chateakcharoen, a graduate student in the School of Advertising, summed it all up: “Our team didn’t agree on everything, but we found a way to work together and use our strengths to develop better ideas and executions. I would do it again in a heartbeat—it’s great training that you can’t get anywhere else.”