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Written by Stacy Shrader and Amanda Tinkleman

PRISMites headed up to New York City on October 11th to start their 7th annual trip. They traveled eight hours in vans eager to visit high-profile advertising agencies. Each year the trip gives members the opportunity to explore career paths in agencies while leveraging new skills and feedback received from alumni and professionals.  During the trip, PRISM visited six agencies, Candyspace/Kinetic, FCB, ScreenVision, Etsy, Droga5, and McGarryBowen.



Shortly after arriving, the PRISMites had dinner with PRISM alumni that live in NYC. The alumni gave PRISM significant insights on careers, life in the city, and much more. They represented a number of large companies such as Carbone Smolan, Grey Groupe, SalesForce, PwC, and more.



Our first stop was at Candyspace and Kinetic. PRISM alum Tara Petrucci led the PRISMites on a tour around the office. One of the highlights of the visit was trying out Candyspace’s interactive Spiderman game for their client, Dell.

Next, PRISM headed to FCB, where we got to hear from PRISM alum Lauren Guididas, current New Business Coordinator. Last year, FCB suggested that PRISM needed a one-liner describing who we are. This year we were able to present our rebranding and new tagline, “A student-run ad agency.”

Our final stop of the day was at Screenvision. Hokie Alum Matt Arden showed PRISM examples of product placement and pre-shows for movies they have worked on.

Afterwards, the ladies of PRISM headed to Pamplin’s 8th Annual Women In Business Event at Morgan Stanley. An hour of networking with NYC-based alumnae was followed by a panel discussion with three strong women and one male, Charlotte Ryland, Julie Talbot, and Tracy Castle-Newman, and Mandell Crawley.



On our last day, PRISM started the day with visiting Etsy. Lindsay Vellines, a Hokie alumni, gave our members an inside look on the culture at Etsy and their goals in the marketing department. From learning about their no-waste cafeteria--”eatsy-- to seeing how their core mission serves their entire organization, Etsy was a true learning opportunity!


Our visit to Droga5 gave PRISM the time to explain how our student-run agency functions, while Droga5 gave the team feedback based on their agency model. Droga5 also included PRISM in a panel of recent graduates that shared information on the advertising agency and careers.

PRISM’s last agency visit was with McGarryBowen. During our trip we heard from their Chief Integration Officer, Phil Gaughran, on their company’s purpose in advertising. He outlined the company’s recent transition to a more succinct value system.

Kelsey Stoner, PRISM’s Account Manager of FutureHaus, stated, “I loved how the CIO took the time to help PRISM pinpoint our purpose and values. It was helpful because McGarryBowen has recently realigned their values so it gave us great insight.”



Bright and early on Saturday morning, the PRISMites packed up and headed out on their long journey back to Blacksburg. The 7th annual NYC trip was definitely a jam-packed few days that left PRISM with a lot to think about and ideas to implement for our own clients.