Can't Stop. Won't Stop. BICsters on the Rise

BIC alum are taking over! From landing new jobs to being promoted, André, Marta, and Alexandra are killing it in their new roles and proving the value of a BIC degree. 

A native of France and a graduate of our inaugural class, André Ory BIC ’15 recently joined his firm's leadership after being promoted to Vice President at Fenton, a social change agency. In his role, André will manage media and integrated communications campaigns for non-profits, foundations, and social impact clients in the progressive space. André just keeps rising: Back in 2019, he went from Account Director to Associate Vice President at Fenton. Prior to joining Fenton, André served as an Account Supervisor at BerlinRosen, where he helped organizations working across LGBT rights, racial justice, public health, and immigrant rights achieve their mission using compelling communications. 

Marta Mugica Telleria BIC ' 17 recently rose to Art Supervisor at McCann Health New York. Prior to this, Marta had been working at Patients and Purpose, an agency that is part of Omnicom Health Group, as an Art Director where she worked for clients such as Vertex, AstraZeneca and Fintepla. In September, she joined McCann Health NY, as an Art Supervisor working on Teams Xcelerate for the GSK oncology business. She works closely with copy and the account department to ensure that strategic goals and creative needs are met. Her responsibilities include continuously developing concepts and supporting materials for healthcare advertising campaigns and executing the ideas across multiple channels. 

Alexandra Suazo BIC ’15, another BICster from our inaugural class, recently joined Finn Partners as Vice President, Digital/Social in its Midwest region. Finn Partners is one of the world’s fastest-growing, independent global marketing and communications firms. In this role, Alex will be working mainly in B2B for both current and new clients under an umbrella for all Midwest clients and New Business Development. Alex is an integrated marketer with 10+ years of digital expertise in strategizing, developing and launching consumer and B2B campaigns. She most recently served as Senior Manager, Digital Marketing & Strategy for Mattel’s American Girl Brands. After so many years in-house, she is excited to go back to the agency world. 

It's wonderful to see our BIC alum rising and making a difference. Keep on rising, BICsters!

BICsters Rising: A Pandemic Can't Stop Them...

It's one thing to graduate during a global pandemic. But these BICsters from the Class of 2020 are now crushing it professionally, too. From landing new roles to being promoted, Sanjana, Lorenzo and Vanessa are taking their BIC skills to the next level! 

Sanjana Chowdhury BIC ’20 is Brand Strategist at Kontaktsource, a NYC based networking firm, specializing in Investment Banking, Hedge Funds, M&A and other financial services. Sanjana started working at Kontaktsource shortly after graduating from BIC and is now working remotely as their brand strategist, focusing on their upcoming project Rising Ztars. Rising Zstars is a new brand under KontaktSource umbrella, focusing on a 360 degree mentorship program for final year students or recent finance graduates who want to enter investment banking, private equity or other finance sectors. Sanjana is developing the blue print of the project, on the brand elements, and project structure development. Prior to this move, Sanjana worked as a compliance assistant at AHRC NYC where she was tasked with ensuring the work being done met legal, ethical, and quality standards.

Hailing from Italy, Lorenzo Lasagna BIC '20 recently made the leap from intern to Marketing Associate at frog Design, a global design and innovation consulting firm. In his role, Lorenzo helps coordinate marketing initiatives across various regions and sectors. His current responsibilities include producing live events, online panels and webinars, as well as promoting the frog brand and fostering its positioning for product, service, and organization design to prospect clients. He also contributes to public-facing brand aspects such as social media and editorial content.

Vanessa Caro BIC ’20 recently earned a promotion from Branding and Communications Coordinator to Brand Strategist at Smart Choice Communications (SCC), a leading technology company based in the heart of New York City. Working with some of the most prestigious brands globally, Vanessa supports the development of new products, solutions, and SCC’s creative direction - expanding its brand awareness and allegiance to potential clients, propelling them to make the Smartest Choice.  Vanessa started at Smart Choice Communications in March 2018 as a finance intern before making her way up the ladder. 

BIC bravi to our BIC alum! Watch this space for more alums on the rise.... 

GIRL POWER: BICsters Rising

Who runs the world? The women of BIC! Our female BIC alum are on the rise. From landing new post-graduation jobs to navigating employment during a pandemic, Natasha, Liana, and Kam are killing it at top companies here in New York City as they put their BIC skills to use:

After crushing it at an internship at TBWA\Chiat\Day this summer, Natasha Khemraj BIC ’20 landed an Assistant Account Executive spot at Mercedes Benz-USA at Merkley+Partners, a full-service integrated marketing agency based in New York City. Natasha is on one of several account teams for MBUSA, the RDA or Regional Dealers Association team. Currently, the RDA team is working on putting everything together for the Winter Event which kicks off on 11/03 and runs throughout December; it's one of the two biggest events for MB aside from the Summer event. Natasha is involved in helping to assemble the creative toolkit for this event, including TV, radio, print, OOH, and digital support in addition to her other responsibilities.

Since graduating from BIC, Liana Pantzari BIC ’17 has worked at Women's Wear Daily (WWD) and Sky IT Group. This summer, she joined the Wall Street Journal as Product Marketing Manager. Liana's core responsibility is to provide product-specific expertise for the Tech, Media, and Telco vertical. She'll also be supporting the Dow Jones AdTech team. On the TMT side, she is responsible for developing the go-to-market strategy and marketing collateral surrounding existing and new offerings. In her day-to-day role, she works very closely with the product managers and engineers, and her job is to translate that jargon and educate the sales team with marketing material so they can then sell the solutions to clients.

With positions at Saatchi & Saatchi and DDB Health under her belt, Kam Singh BIC ’20 recently made the transition to health creative agency The Bloc as a Senior Account Executive working on Vacepa, a drug for Cardiovascular health. Kam will specifically be managing CRM email execution, website maintenance, as well as search strategy/text ads. She will be 100% HCP focused which will rely on her her background in both Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) & Healthcare Professionals (HCP) marketing. 

Congratulations, Ladies. You make BIC proud and we can’t wait to see what you do next! Watch this space for more BICsters rising soon....

Activating Your Brand's Purpose with StrawberryFrog's Scott Goodson

The @BIC Fall 2020 LEAD IN Lecture Series kicked off on Wednesday, October 26th with StrawberryFrog Founder and CEO Scott Goodson's insightful @BIC Lecture on "Brand Purpose." During the jam-packed hour, Scott talked to an engaged audience of nearly 100 attendees about the work he and StrawberryFrog do to help brands measure and activate brand purpose. Scott also expanded upon his recent Inc. Magazine article, "How does your brand purpose stand up?" which introduced the Purpose Power Index, the world's first empirical study of purpose-based brands with over 17,500 responses. 

Partnering with well-regarded research firm the RepTrak Company, Scott's team at StrawberryFrog has cracked the code on how to measure brand purpose -- finding that purpose does indeed matter to the public, clearly driving behavioral intent. Fast Company has recognized this as one of the biggest ideas in the world for 2020. During the lecture, Scott spoke about the Purpose Power Index and provided examples from brands he'd worked with, including Northwell Health and SunTrust bank.

Highlighting the philosophy of StrawberryFrog -- and echoed in his book Uprising -- Scott emphasized that "movements are more powerful than advertising." With StrawberryFrog's laser focus on activating purpose through movement, Scott remarked that "we built a company that started as a creative agency, but then became a movement company -- which has now evolved into a movement thinking company." People and companies often come to StrawberryFrog with a purpose, but without a strategy for activation. Movement thinking helps drive that activation and is StrawberryFrog's key differentiator. 

The lecture wrapped up with a lively Q&A where students and attendees got to ask Scott a number of questions on everything from navigating employment to how brands should act during a climate of social unrest and change.

When asked his career advice for young people, Scott suggested that when interviewing, "don't just ask for a job; instead, go in and tell people what you believe in.” He also encouraged the audience to think about being an entrepreneur: "If I were you, I'd start my own company. You know so much more about your generation than Madison Avenue." This was refreshing advice for both current BICsters as well as prospective students who joined the @BIC following our Fall Open House. 

A big BIC thanks to Scott for his brilliant and thoughtful lecture on purpose-driven marketing. Now more than ever, society needs business leaders who put purpose front and center. As BIC Program Director Nancy R. Tag said during her introduction "Scott truly lives his philosophy. He knows that leading without intentionality and purpose isn't really leadership at all." We're grateful that Scott, who's both a visionary and in the trenches, brought this valuable conversation to BIC this semester.  

Don't forget to register for next month's @BICs "Leaders. Mentors. And Vice Versa," featuring Paul Kim,  Founder of Capital vs Humans and Senior Fellow at The City College of New York, and Sarah Irby, Brand Director of New Brands at Unileveron Monday, November 16 at 6:00PM-7:00PM. RSVP here.

The Proof Is In the Portfolio: Pandemic Edition

Each Fall, BICsters spend two Saturdays on campus for donuts, pizza and portfolio reviews. But instead of hanging in Shepard Hall this year, students in the Class of 2021 met virtually to showcase their portfolio progress remotely in the Zoom grid. The Fall Portfolio Reviews mark a major turning point in the development of second year portfolios as BICsters drill down on both substance and style.

As a degree requirement, all BIC students must present their BIC portfolio to a panel of high-level professionals during graduation week in late May. Presentations are 25 minutes long: 18 minutes to present with 7 minutes to defend. Final BIC portfolios must demonstrate discipline depth in an integrated framework. Over the Summer, BICsters worked on developing their portfolios building on feedback they received back in the Spring. 

Management + PR Portfolio Reviews were overseen by BIC Program Director and Professor Nancy R. Tag and Professor Katina Scott The Creative Portfolio Review was overseen by Associate Professor Gerardo BlumenkrantzWhile the Saturday events focused on the Class of 2021, BICsters from the Class of 2022 were also invited to get a glimpse into the portfolio process and get a head start on what is expected of them later in the program. 

BIC portfolios go beyond conventional definitions of a portfolio. They are pushed to be more than just a repository of work but vehicles of innovation + exploration. In addition, BIC portfolios must successfully demonstrate expertise in the 4PS: Product. Process. Personality. Professionalism. 

While the pandemic may have transformed how the Portfolio Reviews were conducted, Katina remarked that BICsters now have a “unique opportunity to chart new ground in this space.” The broad use of remote technology is altering the landscape of the industry and providing new opportunities for the communications world to expand, explore and innovate. 

Check out some of our BIC portfolios in progress: 

Finally, Nancy remarked that “portfolios are never done; they're something you work on throughout your entire career.” The Saturday sessions in September are considered a significant foundational event to kick off a highly productive semester before students enroll in their Portfolio Thesis courses in the Spring which will include the BIC PiP Recruiting Event and the Portfolio Bootcamp. It was incredible to see their portfolios at this point -- we can't wait to see what they do next!

Advertising Week Goes Virtual!

Advertising Week is a one-of-a-kind experience and this year was no exception with the hit 2 week conference going virtual. While our BICsters couldn't attend in person, they were still able to join from the comfort of their home and witness 25+ Masterclasses, 750+ World Class speakers and over 100+ Hours of programming. 

Advertising Week is a worldwide gathering of marketing, advertising, technology and brand professionals which takes place across the globe with events in New York, London, Tokyo, Mexico City, Sydney and Johannesburg. 

From daytime seminars and workshops featuring some of the industry’s brightest minds to organized networking and world-class entertainment, Advertising Week is a one-of-a-kind experience.

One stand out session from our BICsters included "A Guide to Cultural Strategy: How to Avoid being 'Cancelled'" which explored how brands can refine their approach to creating frameworks that are in tune with consumers targeted and, more importantly, resonate with communities. 

First year BICster Shadiq Williams attended the session and cited how "it was a slightly different take than what I originally thought it would be based off of the title. The presenter discussed how there are different sub-cultures on the internet and how it's important to understand the members of those communities in order to genuinely communicate with them. What the session ultimately concluded on is that you have to know what the people interacting with your brand stand for so that you aren't constantly reacting to current events and looking inauthentic."

You can find more highlights and learn more about Advertising Week here

So You Think You Can Dance: BICster Edition

"Never in a million years did I think going out on a whim would bring home a win" - 
Brionne Burns' 22  

Huge BIC congratulations to first-year BICster, Brionne Burns for winning the Where Are All The Black People (WAATBP) Talent Pitch! Brionne was one of many young BIPOC who entered the talent showcase to show off their extraordinary skills. Brionne is a first year in the Management/Planning Track. 

Creativity doesn't always fit nicely in a portfolio or resume where agencies expect to find it. That is why WAATBP has provided a stage (literally) for young BIPOC to show the industry another side to their talent. Due to the pandemic, the Talent Pitch was held virtually with contestants asked to submit a short video displaying their non-advertising creative talent as well as a short summary explaining how that talent makes you an asset and ties into your creative world. A panel of judges debated, discussed, and eventually then decided on a trio of winners including our very own BICster, Brionne Burns

For her submission, Brionne choreographed a solo in Tap, Jazz, and Hip Hop -- followed by a sequence of videos of her teaching her students original choreography to the different genres listed above. Brionne has been dancing since she was 4-years-old and is extremely passionate about dancing and choreography. You can check out her full performance here. 

WAATBP is one of many ongoing initiatives at The One Club for Creativity addressing inclusion and diversity in the industry. The One Club for Creativity is the world’s foremost non-profit organization recognizing creativity in marketing communications and design. 

BICsters are no strangers to the The One Club for Creativity and their annual One Show and Young Ones Award Shows. Back in May, for the third time in five years, BIC won GOLD at the 2020 Young Ones! With submissions from all over the world, only 500 entries from 17 countries made the 2020 Young Ones finalist list including BICsters, Paul Bernabe, Marian Cuestas, Cynthia Rojas, and Ping Sun (all BIC '21) who received the Gold Pencil for their North Face campaign “Nature Never Judges.”

We’re so proud of Brionne for her dedication to combining her passion for communications and dance. Her enthusiasm, drive and commitment is amazing to witness and we can't wait to see what her future holds as she continues her BIC journey. 

An Afternoon to Feed Your Curiosity: BIC Virtual Open House


Curious about becoming a #BICster? Join us on Wed, Oct 28th to learn more, experience virtually, and be inspired by The BIC Open House. 

Our unique 36-credit, portfolio-driven master's degree program combines theory and practice in an interdisciplinary, multi-tracked curriculum. Who are BICsters? Idea catalysts. Culture creators. Social Do-Gooders. Communication strategists. Creative managers. PR activators. Conceptualizers. Wordsmiths. Designers. Brand galvanizers. Problem solvers. Forward thinkers. Lateral thinkers. Deep thinkers. Non-Bloviators... Sound like you? Join us and find out more of what it takes to be part of the BIC program. 

The open house will kick off with The BIC Info Session at 4:30PM - 5:30PM where prospective BICsters will hear from BIC Program Director Nancy R. Tag and Program Manager Marlene Leo with an overview of the program and details on how to package your application. You will also have the opportunity to hear from a current BICster, plus time for Q&A -- come with questions!

Next up, join us for our signature @BIC Lecture series with StrawberryFrog's Founder and Chairman Scott Goodson's "Brand Purpose: Measuring Meaning with the Purpose Power Index". The lecture will take place between 6:00PM-7:00PM. 

Scott will expand on his recent Inc. Magazine article, "How does your brand purpose stand up?" which introduces the Purpose Power Index, the world's first empirical study of purpose-based brands with 17,500 responses. Partnering with well-regarded research firm the RepTrak Company, Scott's team at StrawberryFrog has cracked the code on how to measure brand purpose -- finding that purpose does indeed matter to the public, clearly driving behavioral intent.

The final part of the Open House is down to you. Take your pick to see BIC in action and sit in on one of our classes including either:

One of BIC's foundational courses: B2002 Idea Development taught by BIC Professor and Director Nancy Tag.


One of BIC's elective courses: B2050 Strategic Media taught by BIC Adjunct Professor Carole Walker.

Both will take place at 7:00PM - 8:00PM via Zoom. 

Curious? Register NOW to reserve your spot today! We look forward to welcoming you soon.

LEAD IN: The @BIC Fall 2020 Lecture Series

Are you ready to LEAD IN?  This semester, @BIC isn't just featuring game-changing leaders, but visionaries and iconoclasts who use their passion to change the world. Each lecture in this engaging series is unique, but all share a guiding principle: leadership isn't meaningful unless it's coupled with purpose and intentionality. From October to December, @BIC's 2020 Lead IN Lecture Series offers up monthly inspiration for those with aspirations. Don't miss a single one...!

On Wednesday, October 28, BIC welcomes Scott Goodson, Founder and Chairman of StrawberryFrogfor his @BIC Lecture "Brand Purpose." Scott will expand on his recent Inc. Magazine article, "How does your brand purpose stand up?" which introduces the Purpose Power Index, the world's first empirical study of purpose-based brands with 17,500 responses. Partnering with well-regarded research firm the RepTrak Company, Scott's team at StrawberryFrog has cracked the code on how to measure brand purpose -- finding that purpose does indeed matter to the public, clearly driving behavioral intent. Fast Company has recognized this as one of the biggest ideas in the world for 2020.

ABOUT the speaker:

Based in New York, Scott Goodson is the founder and CEO of StrawberryFrog, a global cultural movement firm. For 25 years he has helped leaders galvanize people and organizations around shared purpose via Movement Thinking to achieve competitive advantage. He has worked with Google, Emirates Airline, P&G, Truist, Mercedes, and Walmart. He has lectured at Harvard Business School and appeared in The New York Times, The Financial Times, and Harvard Business Review. 

His best-selling book, UpRising: How to Build Your Brand and Change the World by Sparking Cultural Movements, articulates five tenets of Movement Marketing, illustrated through case studies that draw upon interviews with over 40 global business leaders. His latest book, Activate Brand Purpose, written with Chip Walker, shows how Movement Thinking transforms leaders and companies in the Purpose Economy. It will be published in early 2021.

Register NOW to save your spot and hear from Scott!


Up next on Monday, November 16, BIC welcomes Paul Kim + Sarah Irby for "Leaders. Mentors & Vice Versa," the second @BIC Lecture in our Fall 2020 LEAD IN Series. Join us as two business visionaries talk about corporate leadership, launching new brands, and the importance of mentoring. Plus: tips on how to make high-powered mentors work for you.

ABOUT the speakers:

Paul Kim is the founder of Capital vs Humans. He is also a Senior Fellow at The City College of New York (CCNY) where he focuses on global socioeconomic inequity. Paul has deep experience on Wall Street and global finance in prominent hedge funds and investment banks. He is also the co-Chair of the Board of Directors of Career Gear, a nonprofit that helps empower men to achieve financial independence. Paul earned a BS and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business where he was co-Captain of the NYU men’s varsity tennis team, and he is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder.

Sarah James Irby is the Brand Director of New Brands at Unilever. A global beauty industry expert in both product and consumer marketing, Sarah has launched over 100 new products and overseen engagement strategies for millions of consumers worldwide. In a career spanning 20+ years, she has travelled to over 20 countries while employed at the world’s leading cosmetics companies including L’Oreal, Coty, the Estee Lauder Companies and Unilever. Sarah oversees the management of a portfolio of brands including Innovation (developing new products and the campaigns to support them), Engagement (social media, advertising, website management), and Operations (P&L management, forecasting, retailer engagement and trade marketing).

RSVP here to hear from Paul Kim and Sarah James Irby!


For the final lecture of the @BIC Fall 2020 series, BIC is thrilled to welcome Shameka Brown + Julius Dunn, II, Founders of The Adversity Group on Thursday, December 3 their @BIC Lecture "Leading With Intention: The Difference Between Non-Racist and Anti-Racist," a conversational, media-driven, and interactive session which will explore how the intersectionality of social categorizations is crucial to implementing systematic change within the industry. The Adversity Group takes a human-centered approach to helping business leaders connect, reflect, and respect difference. Its portfolio of partnerships and programs are designed to help companies identify racial inequalities, disparities, and biases. 

ABOUT the speakers:

Shameka M. Brown is a 20-year veteran of the creative department who's spent the majority of her advertising career as the only one there. As a woman of color and mother, she has experienced the emotional (and sometimes physical) isolation that usually comes along with working in creative environments. After witnessing the mass exodus of tremendously gifted talent throughout her career, she was moved to support this diverse group at the mid to senior-level. As a thought partner, she is now using innovation and her award-winning creativity to help tackle business problems like attrition and retention, one engagement at a time.

Shameka, who's taught copywriting at The City College of New York, is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Syracuse University with a Master’s degree from VCU Brandcenter.

Julius Dunn, II has worked relentlessly over the last decade to introduce innovative, grassroots initiatives to welcome the diversity needed to help sustain the evolution of advertising and media in the 21st century. As an award-winning industry change agent, he’s created integrated campaigns that have helped redefine hiring practices in a hyper-connected world and cultivated partnerships that have raised the international visibility of industry professionals - particularly those of Color.

As a Millennial entrepreneur, he’s led a series of bi-partisan efforts intent on ushering a culturally relevant workforce to serve multi-national brands that seek to authentically represent the diversity of their consumer market.

Attendance to "Leading with Intention: The Difference Between Non-Racist and Anti-Racist" is limited. REGISTER today to reserve your seat!


ABOUT The @BIC Lecture SeriesBIC's signature forum brings thought leaders and industry icons to campus each semester. Past speakers have included Sir Martin Sorrell, IPG's Michael Roth, Ketchum CEO Barri Rafferty, Iconic Designer Paula Scher, TBWA\Chiat\DayNY CEO Rob Schwartz, GroupM CDO/CEO Rob Norman, Golin CEO+ Matt Neale, Weber Shandwick President Gail Heimann, digital theorist Douglas Rushkoff as well as authors Michael Farmer, Douglas Davis, Marion Salzman, and Sandra Stahl.

We look forward to seeing you at our @BIC Fall Lecture Series soon!

Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month with BICster Eloisa Andre Gaona

“My journey through life and encounters with many different cultures has shaped my way of thinking and working.” — Eloisa Andre Gaona.  

It's National Hispanic Heritage Month! To celebrate, global software company Infor is spotlighting its Hispanic and Latinx colleagues -- including our very own BICster, Eloisa Andre Gaona, Class of 2016. 

As Infor's Marketing Director for Latin America, Eloisa focuses on demand generation in the region. Currently based in Buenos Aires where she was born and raised, Eloisa got her drive and urgency to work hard from a young age. After studying in Germany and England, Eloisa enrolled in the BIC program here in New York City. Being in the program strengthened her global perspective. Her BIC classmates helped her appreciate the value in each person’s contribution and point of view. 

While working in Infor's New York office after graduation, Eloisa had the chance to travel several times to other offices in Latin America. That sort of cross-continent collaboration has served her well now that she's back in the southern hemisphere where employee networks are key to increasing day-to-day productivity.  

You can read the full interview with Eloisa here