Sunday, July 5, 2015

What do PR Recruiters REALLY want?


An early morning focus group of industry PR pros organized by BIC Board Member Donna Renella gathered on Thursday, June 25th, to discuss the most current and desirable recruitment profiles for in interns and full-time hires. This lively discussion was hosted by Danielle DeFabbio at DeVries Worldwide and included PR experts Maya Kalkay of Burson Marsteller, Sheridan Falco of Cohn Wolfe, Kristen Pairano of Golin, Shazzia Khan of Havas, Elizabeth Adams of Ketchum, Allyns Melendez of Quinn, Keri Watkins of Ruder Finn, Bryn Davis of Weber Shandwick as well as CCNY Professors Lynn Appelbaum, Angela Chitkara, and Nancy Tag. There was great agreement that ideal candidates needed to have passion that was not just displayed during the interview, but in the work itself. Outstanding candidates also must have an ability to discuss industry trends and how they relate to specific agencies, positions, and tasks -- in other words, a clear ability to "connect the dots." Because BIC is a portfolio based curriculum, participants exchanged ideas for style and substance of student portfolios as ways for BICsters to distinguish themselves from other graduates receiving more a more traditional public relations education.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

BIC Program Directors use Creativity to Advance the Goals of Medical Research

With funding by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant shared with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, BIC Creative Track Director Gerardo Blumenkrantz and Program Director Nancy R. Tag are developing a social media campaign to increase awareness and utilization of the HPV vaccine for children. 

Read the full story plus an interview in the CCNY feature article, Creativity and Research in Progress: Spotlight on the Humanities and Arts.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Stephanie Cruz joins ADCOLOR Futures Class of 2015


Stephanie G. Cruz has been selected to be in ADCOLOR Futures Class of 2015! Stephanie (BIC class of 2016) is an Assistant Account Executive at BBDO. 

A graduate of CCNY's Ad/PR Program, Stephanie is joined this year by another CCNY/MCA alum, Jerry Louis, who was recently a junior copywriter at Y&R and is now an IPG fellow. Stephanie is our second BICster to win this honor. Amber Lynn Jackson was a member of ADCOLOR Futures Class of 2014.

The 9th Annual ADCOLOR Industry Conference and Awards will take place in New York City for the first time this year at Pier Sixty (61 Chelsea Piers) from September 16-19, 2015.

ADCOLOR is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to celebrate and champion diversity in the advertising, marketing, media, PR and entertainment industries. Its aim is to help individuals and organizations RISE UP, letting their accomplishments and ideas shine, then teach these new leaders and would-be-mentors how to REACH BACK and find others who deserve to be noticed and promoted. The goal of ADCOLOR is to create a community of diverse professionals who are here to support and celebrate one another. Learn more at Adcolor.org.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Donna Dei-Baning (BIC '16) Receives LAGRANT Scholarship & Attends 3-Day Festivities in Chicago

Donna Dei-Baning attends the
2015 LAGRANT Scholarship
ceremony in Chicago.
The LAGRANT Foundation’s (TLF) 2015 scholarship recipients Donna Dei-Baning (BIC Class of 2016) and fellow CCNY student Kai Simmonds were recognized during the 17th Anniversary Scholarship and Donor Recognition Reception in Chicago on June 8th. In addition to receiving the scholarships, TLF provided Donna, Kai, and fellow winners with airfare to Chicago and lodging to attend career-building events with top communications professionals and networking opportunities over the course of three days. Now back in NYC after the whirlwind event, Donna wrote in to share pictures and tell us all about it! Here's what she had to  say.

I'm back from Chicago! 
I had an amazing time with the other LAGRANT Scholars. We started with a welcome dinner on Sunday evening hosted by Pam Edstrom of Waggener Edstrom Communications. Her transparency on issues such as diversity in the workplace and gender bias was a breath of fresh air.

We spent all day at Golin on Monday where we heard an amazing (and I mean, amazing) talk from the CEO, Fred Cook. We also had an opportunity to work on a project for one of their clients. Golin ended the day with a panel on diversity with a few of their employees. From Golin, we then headed over to Google for the main event--our scholarship ceremony. I was surprised by the number of industry-leading executives who were in the room for us that night. I was able to talk to Pat Ford, Burson-Marsteller's Worldwide Vice Chair, Chief Client Officer and Regional Chairman of Asia-Pacific (say that 3x fast). He was so interested in learning more about my interests and career aspirations. The amount of support we have as LAGRANT Scholars is really uncanny! 
Donna with fellow 2015 LAGRANT Scholarship winner Kai Simmonds.
Tuesday was Y&R Chicago/Wunderman day. We learned about the company, their workflow, had sessions on creative ideation and consumer context planning, took a look at case studies, and worked on projects for a few of their clients. I was also able to get connected to Adrian Fogel who is the Planning Director there (and also was excited to hear that I had Belle Frank as my Research Professor). I'm excited to pick her brain about account planning. 
Our jampacked schedule didn't leave much room to explore Chicago, but I had a wonderful time and came back to NYC feeling inspired.  
Kai Simmonds and I represented CCNY well. 

~ Donna

             Donna Dei-Baning
             M.P.S. Branding + Integrated Communications
             City College of New York, 2016
             www.linkedin.com/in/donnadb
             http://about.me/donnadb

Monday, June 8, 2015

Gustavo Stecher joins BIC Board


Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Gustavo Stecher is a graphic designer who currently manages consultancy and strategy fields for corporative clients and institutions in Buenos Aires, Miami and New York. The studio he founded in 1996, Menos es mas, was responsible for designing the national exhibition at the Venice Biennale, London and Tokyo, the identity and wayfinding of the Justice Center in Santiago, the Science and Technology Museum and the Jewish Museum in Buenos Aires. Towards the end of 2009, Gustavo won the national contest for the Argentine Bicentennial brand icon that transcended the festivities for Argentina's 200 years to become a patriotic symbol. In 2010 he created the first official coin ever designed by a branding studio in Argentina's history: the current 2 pesos coin. They also developed the TEDx Río de la Plata image and the InnovatiBA event (singularity university) and the Latin American Entrepreneur Icon, presented at WeXchange.

Having received awards in various design contests, his work has been published in major specialized media in the country and the world. With two of his own books published, the last one, IDARG, selected in 2008 by the Association of Graphic Artist, AIGA, to be exposed in the USA during the months of June and July. This project is a particular vision of the Argentine identity expressed through iconography.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Announcing the BIC Alumni Association (BICAA)


In true go-getter fashion, the inaugural class of BIC has officially announced the establishment of the the BIC Alumni Association (BICAA). BICAA Executive Board President, Amber Lynn Jackson, shared the news during the BIC Graduation + Recruitment Party held on May 27th. "Our goal is to share ideas and work together to strengthen the BIC program. It's our way to support current students in the program. It's a way to stay in touch with alumni as they graduate." The 2015/2016 BICAA Executive Board has already chosen its members.

President - Amber Lynn Jackson 
Vice President - André Ory
Treasurer - Christopher Villanueva
Secretary - Kiera Walker
Media and Design Chairs - Vera Golikova and Debra Jones
Membership Chair - Ruth Ogbeab
Mentorship Chair - Javier O. Garcia
Recruitment Chair - Maxime Menant

We'll share more news and developments as the BICAA plans future programming.

Monday, June 1, 2015

First Class. First Graduation. First EVER.


In Fall of 2013, BIC's very first class of students took a leap of faith and joined our newly launched graduate program. Together, these intrepid, risk-taking, innovative students not only helped shape our program, but redefined themselves. In the past two years, many presented at industry conferences, earned prestigious fellowships and scholarships, and won competitive contests. They learned from the pros. Pitched work to powerhouse companies. And taught us all a thing or two. 

And now...The City College of New York's Branding + Integrated Communications Master's Degree Program presents its first graduates: the incomparable BIC CLASS OF 2015!

Following BIC's Graduation + Recruitment Party on May 27th, "BICsters" embarked on careers that will transform the communications industry, already securing positions at some of the world's most coveted companies, such as GREY, SS+K, DDB, Rabin Martin, Circle Line, and TBWA. There's so much more in store for this multilingual, multicultural, and multi-talented group of students, all poised to influence the evolving global perspective in media and communications arts.  

BIC salutes the Class of 2015: Noha Ahmed Fouad, Batikan Aslan, Edmund Graham Balogun, Carol Burns, Luz Corona, Yanin De Jesus, Jacques Epangue, Frederick Garcia, Javier Garcia, Vera Golikova, Raj Gomes, Fang Guo, Amber Jackson, Jaruwijit Jaruthiphayakhantha, Debra Jones, Nehal Mahmoud, Maxime Menant, Ruth Ogbeab, André Ory, Alexandra Suazo, Chris Villanueva, Kiera Walker, Anthony Washington. 

View pictures from Graduation 2015 in our gallery.

Friday, May 29, 2015

The BIC Portfolio Defense

After the BIC graduation party, and just before commencement, the BIC Class of 2015 had to meet one last criteria before receiving the MPS degree: the Final Portfolio Defense. Each student presented a body of work exemplifying their two year study at BIC. These timed presentations were held on May 28th before panels of industry judges who based their scores on three criteria: content, storytelling, and showcase. Our March Portfolio Bootcamp as well as yearlong portfolio checks, tweaks, and presentation practice all paid off -- every single student passed! 


Many thanks to industry colleagues who served as Portfolio Defense Judges and mentors: John ColquhounMichael DoodyJake KahanaChad OliverDavid OlsenWill ParkerBrian PlumbRichard RappDonna RenellaMichelle RowleyMonique TapieLuba Tolkachyov, and Yury Vargas. Their invaluable feedback and constructive criticism will surely enhance each student's portfolio as they develop them over the course of their careers. 


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Announcing The Desmond Maxwell "Cause + Charisma" Scholarship

A few weeks into the 2015 Spring semester, BIC received the devastating news that beloved BICster, Desmond Maxwell, had passed away. As part of the inaugural BIC class, Desmond was a caring friend and mentor to classmates, faculty, and BIC administrators. His dynamic personality, good nature, and commitment to good causes was admired and appreciated by all. 

In his personal life, Desmond was a proud Harlemite and father. He was a graduate of City College who became a media and marketing professional after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was extremely enthusiastic about receiving his Master's and being a member of BIC's inaugural class. 

Shortly after the news of his passing, BIC Program Director Nancy Tag and the Class of 2015 embarked on a fund raising campaign to establish a scholarship in Desmond's honor. The Desmond Maxwell Cause + Charisma Scholarship was officially unveiled on May 27th during the BIC Graduation + Recruitment Party, with a fund raising achievement in excess of $50,000. This scholarship in honor of Dez will ensure that future BIC students will be able to benefit from the college that he so loved. 

A web page is under development where our AMAZING list of donors will be acknowledged and where contributions can be accepted.  


Monday, May 25, 2015

Spring 2015 Capstone Client: Univision

On May 21st in Shepard Hall, BIC Class of 2015 pitched their 360-degree integrated marketing communications campaigns to its for-profit capstone client, Univision Communication Inc. (UCI), the largest Spanish speaking network in the world. Students were divided into three competing teams to build on existing brand equity and develop compelling communications materials to attract first time advertisers to UCI. 




After months of intense research, strategic mapping, and campaign development, representatives fromUCI were invited to hear each pitch and judge campaign presentations. Among those in attendance were Diana Terry Rojas, VP, Brand Development and Corporate Marketing, and five UCI colleagues across marketing, brand development, and communications. The UCI representatives were invited to evaluate all three campaigns and after a long deliberation declared team Roundtable's "Imagine a World" campaign the winner. 




View more photos from the 2015 Capstone Presentations in our Gallery.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Big BIC Welcome to Professor Angela Chitkara

BIC is excited to announce the appointment of Angela Chitkara as MCA Assistant Professor and BIC Public Relations Track Director. With graduate degrees from City University in London and Columbia University where she received a Master of International Affairs, her background as a journalist and public relations practitioner makes her perfectly poised to lead BIC students into the future of cross-disciplinary and global communications. She has been able to align her broad skills and expertise to guide her transition into the robust and relevant world of Public Relations on a local, national, and global level.  

Her work has taken Angela to the far corners of the world and back. It brought her to her ancestral land, India, to work as a journalist with CNBC.  It then brought her back to the USA where she became an entrepreneur, starting her own PR firm, which included non-profit work in the village where Angela's maternal grandfather started a grammar school after the partition between India and Pakistan. As she states it: "This is globalization."

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

BICsters Win Honorable Mention in CCNY Human Rights Competition

BICsters Andy Kwan, Himani Gupta, Naushika Perera with
BIC Professor + Creative Track Advisor Gerardo Blumenkrantz.
Last night, three BIC students were awarded Honorable Mention during the 2nd Annual Human Rights Poster Contest ceremony organized by the CCNY Human Rights Forum. 

Andy KwanHimani Gupta, and Naushika Perera were each honored with certificates during the awards ceremony held at CCNY’s Center for Worker Education. Their human rights themed posters will become part of the permanent gallery at the center.

For the past two years, CUNY has sponsored the Human Rights Poster Contest to highlight the inherent value of each person based on principles of dignity, equality and mutual respect, which are shared across cultures, religions and philosophies. The competition calls for poster submissions from across the entire CUNY university system that address the general topic of human rights or any one of the 30 articles comprising the The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Vince Boudreau, Dean of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership
presents certificates of honorable mention.

BIC students Andy Kwan and Himani Gupta (BIC 2016) joined the #whyistayed #whyileft conversation by focusing their poster on domestic violence.  

Naushika Perera (BIC 2017) invoked the right to clean water and sanitation with her powerful image of a child.
























You can view past submissions and winning posters created by CUNY students in support of human rights issues on the CCNY Human Rights Forum website.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

BICsters submit to D&AD

D&AD is a global non-profit organization that fosters a community of creative thinkers by celebrating and stimulating the finest in design and advertising all over the world. Its New Blood Award  aims to inspire the next generation of creative talent and stimulate the creative industry to work towards a fairer more sustainable future. And that's exactly what happened. BICsters Andy Kwan, Naushi Perera, and Marika Bailey responded to its Airbnb brief and created a campaign to increase travelers sense of belonging through truly authentic experiences by defining a whole new class of vacationers called "The Embedded Traveler." Judging is currently ongoing. Winners will be announced in May. Here's a look at part of their presentation. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Clean Sweep for BICsters at CCNY Grad Symposium

On April 23rd in CCNY's Great Hall, BIC students placed first, second and third at the CCNY 8th Annual Graduate Research Symposium. Nehal Mahmoud was awarded first place prize for her presentation on the importance of internal communications to activate employees as brand ambassadors for CVS Health. Andy Kwan and Himani Gupta placed second for their multi-media campaign for New York Water Taxi ("Not the Only Ride You Wish Was Longer"). Megan Fullagar received the third place award for her examination of Chipotle's mission-based approach to advertising, leveraging social media and gamification. 

The CCNY Graduate Student Symposium is a platform for graduate students to gain recognition for their work by faculty, students and potential employers. It raises awareness about the wide gamut of programs housed at CCNY and helps distinguish the college as one of the premier higher learning institutions in the CUNY system.

Twitter's Global Head of Marketing Comes to Campus

What does Twitter's Global Head of Business Marketing do when she's in New York City for a conference? She stops off to speak to BIC students, of course! Thanks to an invitation from BIC Professor Madonna Deverson, Head of Intelligence at Ogilvy & Mather, Daina Middleton gave an inspiring guest lecture in last Monday's Brand Experience class. Afterwards, she autographed copies of her book Marketing in the Participation Age.

Prior to her position at Twitter, Daina was CEO of Performics, the performance marketing division of Publicis Groupe. A pioneer in the digital marketing space, Daina is known for creating a new “participant marketing” lexicon. Prior to joining Performics, she served for as SVP of the Sunao division at Moxie Interactive. Daina spent 16 years working at Hewlett-Packard in key marketing communications positions across the company’s $28 billion global Imaging and Printing Group. Daina serves on a number of industry boards and is a regular industry speaker at events including ad:tech, BlogHer, Conversational Marketing Summit, VideoNuze, and WOMMA.

Fall Admissions Deadline EXTENDED to May 5th

Haven't hit that SUBMIT button yet? Top reasons why INNOVATORS choose BIC: 
  •    BIC is located in the media and communications capital of the world. There is no parallel to studying at the nexus of your discipline.
  •    BIC faculty include active industry pros, such as the Head of Intelligence from Ogilvy, EVP of Research from Y&R, and Managing Principal at SS+K.
  •    BIC students get opportunities to work with creative professionals throughout the city -- such as TBWA, Y&R, DDB, FCB, Grey, McCann Erickson. Not to mention our own stellar award winning faculty -- all currently active in the field.
  •    Our Mix+Mentor parties -- one each fall -- have been held at the corporate headquarter of Y&R, Ketchum, and McCann Worldwide. Students get the chance to mingle with industry pros the first semester they enroll. Last Fall, BIC Board Member George Lois stopped by to chat with students.
  •    Our weekly Guest Lectures make it seem as though you're experiencing a semester-long TED Talk. Just this past Monday, Daina Middleton, Head of Global Marketing for Twitter, gave an amazing lecture on Marketing in the Participation Age (also the title of her best-selling book).
  •    BICsters are the BESTCheck them out. They're winners, too. Our BIC students have won scholarships, internships, industry competitions, invitations to conferences and panels, and many have secured impressive jobs at media companies across the city. Just last night, BICsters placed FIRST, SECOND, and THIRD at the CCNY Graduate Symposium. A BIC clean sweep!!
  •    Our BIC students and faculty make awesome things happen on a daily basis. Browse through the BIC Blog for a sampling of visiting lecturers, real-world clients, award-winning student presentations, and an inside look at the BIC program space located in one of NYC's most prestigious landmarks, Shepard Hall of The City College of New York.





If you've already started your application, NOW's the time to press SUBMIT. If you have yet to start the application process, go the CCNY Admissions site to plug into the process TODAY. If you have questions, email us at bic@ccny.cuny.edu.



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

CCNY Great Grad: Amber Lynn Jackson, BIC 2015


We are proud to announce that Amber Lynn Jackson has been named a 2015 CCNY Great Grad!

Amber Lynn Jackson
BIC Class of 2015
2015 CCNY Great Grad
Amber embodies all that is amazing about City College. Originally from Kansas, Amber chose CCNY based on a recommendation from a close friend who attended MCA's undergraduate program. She comes from the heartland, but applied to City College not just because of its academic offerings, but because New York City is the land of achievement. Amber is a striver and calculated risk taker. She’s also a builder, choosing to be a part of the inaugural class of BIC.  

By the end of her first semester at BIC, Amber secured a management position at Grey, a major global advertising agency. Despite the extreme demands of this job, she has maintained a 3.5 GPA and chose to be the project leader of BIC’s two capstone projects, creating multi-media branding and communications campaigns for Columbia Children’s Hospital and Univision. 

In addition, Amber has been active in diversity initiatives in the communications industry, both as a recipient (she earned a highly competitive LAGRANT Scholarship as well as a coveted spot in ADCOLOR Futures) and as a mentor who seeks to give back. She sits on the diversity council at her company. 

As a working professional and student, Amber wanted to use her degree to not only impact the communications industry but also the CCNY community. That is why she, with the support of her peers, started the BIC Alumni Association (BICAA). The goal of this organization is to support the students, future communications professionals, and staff of BIC as well as continue the fellowship and professional development of the program's alumni. To this end, Amber defines the ideal BIC student.

Few grads embody all that City College stands for as completely as Amber Lynn Jackson. Please join us in congratulating her for both her achievements and the role model she has become.

Read the full feature article on CCNY's Great Grads of 2015. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

LAGRANT Scholarship Awarded to a BIC Student for the Second Year in a Row



Donna Dei-Baning (BIC Class of 2016) has been selected -- among just 19 graduate students nationwide -- to receive The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF) scholarship for students who share the foundation's mission of increasing ethnic diversity in the advertising, marketing and public relations industries. Donna is the third BIC student (and fifth CCNY student) to win the highly selective LAGRANT Foundation Scholarship in the last two years. Fred Garcia and Amber Jackson, BIC '15, both received the $5,000 scholarship in 2014. Donna joins students from University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern, and Duke.  

Prior to enrolling in BIC, Donna Dei-Baning received a Bachelors Degree in Linguistics/English from Dartmouth College in 2010. Currently an Integrated Marketing Communications Manager for Graduate NYC!, Donna was previously a Content and Community Manager at 360i. 

This year's scholarship winners will benefit from TFL's first ever partnership with Google Chicago. In addition to receiving the scholarships, TLF will also provide winners with airfare and lodging in Chicago to attend career-building events where they will meet with top communications professionals and participate in networking opportunities over the course of three days.

The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in Los Angeles, was established in 1998 by Mr. Kim L. Hunter to address the lack of diversity in the advertising, marketing and public relations fields. TLF provides scholarships, career development workshops, professional development, mentors and internships to African American/Black, American Indian/Native American, Asian American/Pacific Islander and Hispanic/Latino undergraduate and graduate students. Since its establishment, TLF has awarded $1.56 million in scholarships to 221 ethnic minority students and has provided in excess of 278 internships and full-time employment.