BICsters Rising

NiRey Reynolds BIC '17 is the Education Programs Manager at The One Club for Creativity and is focused on building the student and faculty community. She helps develop and grow programs such as Portfolio Reviews, Speaker Series, Mentorships (among others) and also leads the charge for the Young Ones Awards.

Melissa Julien BIC ‘17 is now an Account Executive at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness. Melissa works on the Humira account and is focused on the upcoming launch of an exciting patient support program which will go live in early 2019.

Amber Jackson BIC ‘15 just moved from the Big Apple to Apple. After a great run in NYC where she was an Account Supervisor at 360i on brands like Oreo, Amber headed west to be a Brand Manager at Apple. In her new gig, she helps lead marketing teams in the creation of marketing communications and advertising for a new Apple product.

Megan Fullagar BIC ‘16 is a Marketing Manager working in the media world for Penthera, a mobile video start-up based in NYC. Megan’s experience as a marketing professional includes positions at both Comcast and Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, one of the largest commercial real estate firms in the world.

Andre Ory BIC ‘15 is making a difference as an Account Director at Fenton in Washington, DC whose clients are the foundations, non-profits and brands taking on the world's toughest challenges in human rights, social and economic justice, environment, education and public health.

Nehal Mahmoud BIC ‘15 is a Manager of Insights & Storytelling at NBCUniversal – a new role created just for her. Nehal works across the company's portfolio to provide strategic and analytical day-to-day leadership in the creation of internal and external insights and measurement-based communications.

Luz Corona BIC '15 is a Content Manager at UM Worldwide where she's putting her experience and skills she learned while at BIC to good use. She works on the Coke team across many brands including: Coke Trademark, Sprite, Diet Coke, Fanta, SmartWater, VitaminWater, Minute Maid, and more.

VML and BICsters Help Harlem Grown Branch Out to Parents

This summer, two teams of BICsters developed communications campaigns for local non-profit Harlem Grown in partnership with mid-town ad agency VML. This one-credit BIC course, called the Social Impact Lab, was the brainchild of VML's God-is Rivera and was overseen by VML pros Eddie Velez and Cassandra Ondich.

Harlem Grown's mission is to inspire youth to lead healthy, ambitious lives. A tall order when you live in a neighborhood lacking grocery stores with fresh ingredients. The non-profit exposes young people to healthy possibilities through mentorship and hands-on urban farming - which is a hit with kids - but parents not so much.

So the BICsters had to think long and hard about how to earn parents' trust so they'll prepare the veggies and fruits their kids bring home and be motivated to include more fresh produce in their families' meals. The business challenge was to develop an Integrated Marketing Communications Plan that's creative, impactful, and can be executed within Harlem Grown's modest budget.

Team A spokesperson Sarai Perez was grateful for the chance to work on such a meaningful project at VML. "Eddie and Cassandra let us come up with three big ideas, then guided us toward the one that worked best for the client. The entire project felt like the perfect preparation for our Fall capstone project for Sandy Hook Promise."

Perez, along with team members Breanna Arthur, Sara Ledra, Kelvin Morales, Imani Nunez, and Letier Santana came up with a campaign that builds trust though an engaging IGTV docuseries that reveals the untold truth about what really grows in Harlem. The docuseries features local influencers like Marcus Samuelsson, Casandra Rosario, and Angelique Miles and would be viewed on YouTube, neighborhood LinkNYC kiosks, and via Social Media.

Team B, which included Ashley Arocho, Matt Hamilton, Nick Pavone, Carmen Quang, and Amera Rime-Lulu, came up their own creative solution: "Grow Your Own Piece of Harlem,"  a campaign that takes the mission of Harlem Grown from the garden and into the streets. The campaign has three key components. An app where kids and parents can learn through recipes, videos and plants trackers. Interactive "What's Growing On in Harlem" kiosks that present Harlem Grown news and events. And a Food Festival and Family Dinner where locals can learn about Harlem Grown, cook up their own dishes using Harlem Grown ingredients, and sit around a table to break bread to build community.

Team B spokesperson Matt Hamilton said of the project: "As someone who's outside of the agency world, I appreciated the opportunity to learn about VML's inner workings and to be mentored by industry professionals. Also, working for a client like Harlem Grown felt deeply meaningful."

Eddie Velez, Associate Creative Director at VML, guided the BIC students through the process. "We hope this milestone moment is just the beginning of a larger program that allows agencies like VML to connect with young, local, skilled professionals and to partner in assisting neighboring non-profits. As a former CUNY student, I'm extremely proud of what the BICsters accomplished."

IPG's Michael Roth Leads Panel of Prognosticators @BIC

IPG Chairman and CEO Michael Roth (CCNY '67) returned to his alma mater on Sept 27th to lead an all-star panel including Gail Heimann, President of Weber Shandwick; Matt Neale, CEO of Golin; Suzanne Powers, Global CSO of McCann Worldgroup; and Nada Stirratt, VP of Global Marketing Solutions North America, Facebook at "The Future In Five" @BIC event. In front of an SRO crowd, panelists were asked to predict the near future as part of BIC's year-long 5th Anniversary celebration.

Nancy R. Tag, BIC Program Director, invited this impressive group of high wattage IPG agency and client leaders to City College ahead of the 2018 Advertising Week conference in mid-town. While the audience was primarily BIC students, the event also attracted CCNY President Vincent Boudreau, faculty and administrators, as well as advertising and PR professionals, and members of the press.

Roth led the lively discussion, peppering the panelists with questions about our evolving industry and the trends future and current practitioners should watch. Topics ranged from data and privacy, to social purpose, to diversity and inclusion, to talent, to trust, client service, and more.

Here are the top five predictions shared by the panelists.

Prediction One 
Diversity and inclusion will be tied to business objectives and result in positive performance indicators and a stronger bottom line.

Prediction Two 
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) will become passe. Social purpose will be woven into the DNA of a company and more CEOs will become activists.

Prediction Three
VUCA talent - talent that can solve problems with velocity, and deal with the unexpected, with complexity and ambiguity - will rule.

Prediction Four
People will continue to trust brands more than the government. So using trust building strategies like McCann's #truthcentral will be critical in the next five years and beyond.

Prediction Five
Facebook will more deeply integrate messenger and messaging.

BONUS Predictions:
IPG's recent acquisition of Acxiom drives a commitment for more nimble, integrated, and personalized usage of data and technology.

AI and machine learning will analyze millions of conversations around the world in mere minutes -- empowering human beings to make sense of it all.

Despite a media environment where everyone's jumping into the pool, agency value and the need for talent has never been greater.

In this data-driven world, where clients look to agencies to prove they've solved problems, there's a real tension between the short term solves and long term crafts of this industry. We will shape and grow their world by giving them both the long and short term.

What does the future hold for @BIC? More @BIC Lectures starting with "Notes From Davos" on Monday October 29th, featuring PR Hall of Famer Barri Rafferty. Each year, global leaders converge in Davos, Switzerland, to talk shop about the world's most pressing problems: poverty, technology change, global trade, sustainability and, lately, populism. As an Agenda Contributor, Rafferty, who is President and CEO of Ketchum (and a BIC Board Member) will come back to campus to share her top takeaways from the 2018 World Economic Forum. RSVP to get your ticket.

And save the date for "Breaking Brand" on November 6th - a conversation between legendary designer Paula Scher and her client Eric Oberholtzer of Tender Greens about how a brand is defined and in what ways the design process elevates that identity. Before embarking on an East Coast expansion, Oberholtzer decided to rebrand his California centric, fast-casual restaurant chain. He was introduced to Paula Scher by restauranteur Danny Meyer with this bold statement: "Paula is the best in the world. She's in the design hall of fame. You and I are not. She's going to make you uncomfortable. But trust her. Let her take you somewhere amazing."

Has it been five years already?

Launched in Fall 2013, BIC is the only master's degree program that teaches branding and integrated communications in an integrated way. It combines theory and practice in an interdisciplinary,  multi-tracked curriculum that addresses the expanding opportunities and needs of marketing communications industries on behalf of both private and not-for-profit organizations. The silo smashing BIC program has been a raging success, with grads going on to work at companies like Y&R, Apple, BBDO, Droga5, Cohn&Wolfe, Ogilvy, VaynerMedia, TBWA, SS+K, 360i, Berlin Rosen, DDB, and NYTimes T-Brand Studio, among others.

Explore further and stay in touch at http://www.ccny.cuny.bic

For Fifth Anniversary, @BIC's “Future in Five” Looks Ahead

BIC, the forward-thinking, culture-shifting Branding + Integrated Communications graduate program, is celebrating its fifth anniversary at City College of New York. BIC is kicking things off with a bang by hosting "The Future in Five", our first @BIC Lecture of the school year on September 27th at City College.

The evening's speakers are a veritable who's who of Advertising and PR. Michael Roth (CCNY '67) the Chairman and CEO of IPG, one of the "Big Four" global holding companies, will lead the discussion on what's next. Roth is often quoted as saying the beauty of holding companies is they bring many different kinds of businesses to the table but the issue is how to get them to collaborate most effectively to serve their clients.

Joining Roth to discuss this and other relevant topics will be three IPG colleagues. Gail Heimann, President of Weber Shandwick, one of the world's leading global communications and engagement firms with offices in 78 offices across 34 countries, with a network extending to 81 countries around the world. Matt Neale, CEO of Golin, manages the company's New York and EMEA office and leads the company's innovative vision, reputation and marketing. He also heads up Golin's diversity and inclusion strategy. Suzanne Powers, Global CSO of McCann Worldgroup, is responsible for the strategic development of the company and its clients across all brands, regions and agencies. Adding a client perspective will be Nada Stirratt, VP of Global Marketing Solutions North America for Facebook, where she leads partnerships with the largest brands and agencies across both the US and Canada.

The event is already sold out. But there is a waitlist. Can't get a "Future in Five" ticket? Don't despair. @BIC offers multiple events throughout the year, including @BIC Lectures featuring design legend Paula Scher and PR Hall of Famer and Ketchum CEO Barri Rafferty.

Has it been five years already?
Launched in Fall 2013, BIC is the only master's degree program that teaches branding and integrated communications in an integrated way. It combines theory and practice in an interdisciplinary, multi-tracked curriculum that addresses the expanding opportunities and needs of marketing communications industries on behalf of both private and not-for-profit organizations. The silo smashing BIC program has been a raging success, with grads going on to work at companies like Y&R, Apple, BBDO, Droga5, Cohn&Wolfe, Ogilvy, VaynerMedia, TBWA, SS+K, 360i, Berlin Rosen, DDB, and NYTimes T-Brand Studio, among others.

Explore further and stay in touch at http://www.ccny.cuny.bic

New BICsters Are Ready to Lead the Future

At BIC, we're reinventing the industry. So we choose our students carefully. This year's crop of 37 brilliant BICsters is ready to take on the industry's many challenges by thinking independently together – across silos. 

Our program’s diversity – of background and thinking – is one of our strengths. 

Of the 196 countries in the world, City College has students from 85% of them. So it’s no wonder BIC’s Class of 2020 boasts international students from Brazil, China, Denmark, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Russia, and Venezuela. Not to mention students whose families are from the Dominican Republic, Bangladesh, Iran, Morocco, and Jamaica... Plus native New Yorkers from every single borough.

Hiring and retaining talent that represents the people being marketed to is critical for ad agencies and advertisers. City College is one of the most ethnically diverse in colleges in the nation and the new BICsters are no exception. In addition to its rich ethnic diversity, this year’s class also has a great gender balance and range of ages – from the early 20s to the mid 40s.

Since integration is the future, this year's BICsters are a curious and collaborative lot. Some have undergrad degrees in advertising, PR, marketing and communications. But many have studied farther afield, with degrees in Psychology, Linguistics, Criminal Justice, Economics, Japanese, Politics, and Art History. 

BICsters have received their degrees from a wide range of illustrious universities, from City College to Hunter and John Jay, from Emory University to Syracuse, from The American University of Beirut to Copenhagen Business School – and beyond.

The Class of 2020’s first chance to meet each other – and the BIC faculty – came on August 22nd. During their day-long orientation at CCNY, the new grad students learned all about City College and about BIC. They also learned about each other through a creative, hands-on Design Thinking exercise.  

New BICsters also had a chance to pick the brains of former BICsters. BIC Alumni Ambassadors Javier Garcia, Andy Kwan and Tiffanie Burt gamely agreed to a real-time AMA (Ask Me Anything) session – which resulted in only a few embarrassing moments. 😏

Some members of the Class of 2019 also showed up to drop a bit of wisdom and share a few beers with the newest BICsters during an inter-class BIC mixer at Hogshead Tavern.
Welcome Class of 2020! Where you lead, the advertising, PR and communications industries will surely follow.

Sandy Hook Promise Partners with BIC

In a conversation between BIC Program Director Nancy Tag and Michael Doody, BIC Portfolio Defense Judge and SUPER AWESOME Industry Planner, Nancy mentioned that she was looking for a fall semester capstone partner that tapped into the national zeitgeist. Then she went to the bathroom.

Upon her return, Michael had already called up Dawn Lyons, VP of Marketing at Sandy Hook Promise, who gave a tentative thumbs up. After a few more conversations (and coordination with capstone Professor Katina Scott), BIC is now able (and excited) to announce our Fall 2018 client:

Sandy Hook Promise is a national non-profit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Based in Newtown, Connecticut, its intent is to honor all victims of gun violence by turning their tragedy into a moment of transformation by providing programs and practices that protect children and prevent the senseless, tragic loss of life. 

This semester, BICsters in the Class of 2019 will be working with Sandy Hook Promise along with Professor Scott and Creative Director Brianna Bishop to insure that high school students become actionable advocates in the fight against gun violence. The Client Pitch for this project will be in mid-December.

Past capstone partners have been Grove School of Engineering, Columbia Children's Health, Colin Powell School for Global Leadership, and the UJA. For the UJA project, Program Manager Pamela Schuller said that "working with the BIC Program, staff, and students was incredible. By the end of the semester, we were left with concrete and creative ideas that we are able to bring to life. Their work was inspired and they truly listened to what we, as clients, wanted. Every moment that we spent with the BIC Program was worth our time. We wish we could do that every year!"  

Harlem Grown Partners with VML and BIC for Social Impact Lab

What did you do this summer? Thanks to BIC's Social Impact Lab, a select team of BICsters can say they made a difference in the lives of nature-deprived children in Harlem.

The brain-child of VML's God-is Rivera, the Social Impact Lab is a one-credit collective that uniquely brings together BIC students, the full-service agency of VML, and Harlem Grown, a community-based organization. Working together, they will spend six weeks building a sustainable brand identity and communications campaign. The intimacy, intensity, and real-life purpose of this course gives students a chance to operate as a mini-comms team during the summer months and into the fall semester. After a final pitch in late August, this super-charged team of ten BICsters will be more fully prepared for the BIC non-profit capstone in the fall.

The lab partners with VML, a mid-town agency that thrives on moving brands forward by inspiring human connection. Its client partner for this project, Harlem Grown, a non-profit that helps children and teens find their true potential as it exposes them to new experiences that teach them how to develop a healthy lifestyle. Harlem Grown has selected a partnership with VML to create campaigns that drive awareness and donations in order to expand their program.

Starting in late July, students began meeting weekly at VML’s offices at Columbus Circle where they work with God-is and her VML colleagues Eddie Velez and Cassandra Ondich as well as other agency mentors to define goals and present progress updates. They are also expected to complete client work-sessions at local locations which will designated by the Harlem Grown management team. This course is structured as an interactive lab so that students can engage directly with Harlem Grown and Director Tony Hillery alongside mentorship from VML.

ABOUT VML: VML is a global marketing agency that transforms brands through a connected consumer experience. Through every touch point it creates, story it tells and relationship it builds, VML strives to inspire meaningful connections. Its clients include Bayer Animal Health, Bridgestone, Colgate-Palmolive, Electrolux/Frigidaire, Ford, Microsoft, NAPA AUTO PARTS, New Balance, PepsiCo, Sherwin-Williams Consumer Brands Group, Tyson and Wendy's.

 Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, VML has more than 3,000 employees with principal offices in 33 locations across six continents, and are proud to have been included on Ad Age's Agency A-List in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

ABOUT GOD-IS RIVERA: Born in the Bronx, God-is has built her digital career holding lead channel strategy roles at global agency iCrossing and Austin-based T3. In early 2016, Ms. Rivera joined Ad Age A-List Global Agency VML in their New York office to lead channel strategy as an Associate Social Strategy Director. After helping to establish VML’s expanding diversity efforts and inclusion and diversity council, God-is was named Director, Inclusion & Cultural Resonance for VML in 2017 where she leads internal diversity efforts and is implementing Cultural Resonance, a methodology she created that fuses the importance of internal culture and representation to creative work outputs, and promotes the use of a diverse supplier base.

ABOUT HARLEM GROWN: Harlem Grown is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire youth to lead healthy and ambitious lives through mentorship and hands-on education in urban farming, sustainability, and nutrition. Founded in 2011, it operates local urban farms, increases access to and knowledge of healthy food for Harlem residents, and provides garden-based development programs to Harlem youth.