Bootcamp for Butt-Kicking BIC Portfolios

3/12/2017 Unknown 0 Comments

In the first week of March, BIC held its third annual PORTFOLIO BOOTCAMP. Taking advantage of a week off from the usual slate of classes, our graduating students got the chance to work intensely on their portfolios with the help of visiting professionals who provided design, content, and storytelling expertise. Each night was themed around a topic such as Self Branding, Design, Interface, Interdisciplinary Case Studies, and Troubleshooting -- as well as dinner: Italian, Mexican, Chinese, and BBQ.

BICsters arrived at the Bootcamp fresh from the March 3rd BIC PiP (Portfolio-in-Progress) Recruitment Event where industry talent agents gave them advice and guidance. This enabled students to come to the bootcamp with notes in hand, detailed plans, ready to go.

Our professional mentors offered invaluable expertise and next-level feedback giving BIC students all the insider tips, trick, and tools they'll need to perfect their portfolios for what we expect will be standout presentations on Portfolio Thesis Defense day May 30th. We were especially excited to welcome back some BIC alums who are now successful pros -- and truly know how to bring a BIC portfolios to life.

If you are a branding and marketing communications professional working in creative, public relations, or planning and strategy and available on May 30th, email We are actively organizing our panels of thesis judges!

Big BIC thanks to our AMAZING guest mentors this year!

DENISE BYRD  CD/CW and Storytelling Expert 
Denise Byrd freelances as a writer and consults with boutique agencies, entrepreneurs and nonprofits to solve branding and communications challenges. As an advertising Copywriter and Creative Director, she produced numerous content videos on a variety of high profile brands.

Denise has 15+ years of experience as a versatile and creatively-driven brand builder, skilled at managing the development of digital content and traditional advertising. She is an innate storyteller, consistently able to express a brand’s voice and weave its narrative across all media, including TV, print, digital, social, and experiential. You can follow Denise on Twitter @byrddee.

Chelsea is a Creative Director specializing in experiential communications. She has drive and passion for innovation in communications and translating creative ideas into interactive experiences.

During Chelsea’s work at Momentum Worldwide, she led creative on an award-winning VR experience You Vs. Sharapova, a fully interactive, consumer facing virtual reality experience using HTC Valve technology, created with ReelFX and housed inside the American Express Fan Experience at the US Open. For the launch of the tournament she produced the world’s first hydro-interactive Rally on the River, another award-winning world’s first.

PAT FORD Worldwide Vice Chair / Chief Client Officer,  Burson-Marsteller 
Patrick Ford became Burson-Marsteller’s vice chairman and chief client officer in 2012, following six years of driving extraordinary growth in North America as Burson’s regional president and CEO. He also served as chair of the firm’s Asia-Pacific region for nearly three years (2012-2015).

Mr. Ford specializes in corporate reputation management, senior executive communications, media strategy, and issues and crisis management. His clients over 26 years at Burson-Marsteller have ranged from world-class companies in industries as diverse as automotive, energy, express delivery services, services, financial services, food and beverage, management consulting, technology, and telecommunications, and also government clients in the U.S. and Asia.

Before joining Burson-Marsteller, he served as vice president for external affairs at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, one of America’s leading policy think tanks, in Washington, DC, following a brief career as a journalist.

JUDITH JONES Principal Consultant, Judith  H. Jones Communications
Judith is an organizational communications leader with extensive and diversified communications experience. She’s passionate about using good communication practices and tools to engage employees and bring people together to accomplish great things. She loves improving communication inside a company, and building internal networks--offline and online.

She’s worked with C-Suite executives and HR, CSR, talent, marketing and social media leaders and has expertise in producing strategic plans and developing compelling messages. Judith is known for creative approaches that cut through the noise, demonstrating grace under pressure, working in a consultative/inclusive style, and achieving objectives on time/on budget.

MARK BROOKS  Brand Director, Behance
Mark Brooks is a graphic designer and art director born in Barcelona. He moved to New York in 2002 where he grew up as a designer and where he lived and worked until 2007. 

He’s had the privilege of participating in design conferences, exhibits, and lectures and enjoyed working for clients such as NIKE, Lufthansa, Villar-Rosàs, The New York Yankees, Behance Network, Estrella Damm, NBA, Club Razzmatazz, SantaMonica, Magro Cardona and LT Burger New York, among others. You can follow Mark on Twitter @justmarkbrooks. 

CASSONDRA BAZELOW  Freelance Senior Art Director
Cassondra is a freelance senior art director who strives to make conceptual work. She’s taught AT&T how to speak Klingon, made a stud appear from a bottle of Sun Laundry detergent, showed an old fashioned French lotion brand how to advertise on Snapchat, and scored some major industry cred with a lovable recruiter bot. 

She’s worked at a number of New York agencies including Big Spaceship, Iris Worldwide, VaynerMedia, BBDO, and Tribal Worldwide.

CASTRO DESROCHES  Art Director, Droga5
Castro Desroches was born and raised in New York. Most first-generation Haitians born in the U.S. traditionally have parents who inflict a great deal of pain upon them in molding them into doctors, lawyers or anything else they perceive as practical. Thankfully, Castro’s parents didn’t take that path and, by chance, he still turned out great.

Castro attended school at the City College of New York for both his undergraduate degree in Design and Multimedia and his graduate degree in Branding + Integrated Communications. Upon graduating, he landed a feature in Adweek exhibiting his creative use of Instagram for his portfolio, which received praise from all over the country, and then led to his start at Droga5.

Prior to becoming a Droga5 he worked on brands such as Colgate, Ducati, Xerox, Pfizer, Alcon and Lyrica while working with Y&R, CDM Group and HAVAS.

Kim Kappmeyer is a recent graduate of General Assembly’s UX Design Immersive program and works as a UX Designer at DIRECTV.  She’s a naturally curious and empathic person who loves to learn, solve problems, create things, and observe human interactions in the world. She’s found a true passion for user experience and user interface design.

Kim comes from a content management background in the publishing industry. Her experience as a Production Editor consisted of project management and editing print and digital products on fast paced schedules.

VANESSA AOKI Senior Video Editor, Publicis NA
A native of Brazil, Vanessa is a Senior Video Editor with 15+ years of experience working in Advertising.

She often collaborates on projects to create relevant storytelling in digital and traditional media. From testimonial videos, to traditional TVC, behind the scenes, case studies, sizzle reels and rich media campaigns.

Clients ranging from Citibank, to L’Oréal, Cadillac, P&G brands, BMW, Lancôme, Humira, Cosmopolitan magazine, Ad Council to name some.

ANDY KWAN  Brand Analyst, FutureBrand
With a problem-solving mindset, Andy is keen to have thorough undertstanding of clients’ challenges. By putting himself in different target audiences’ shoes and utilizes various research tools, Andy provides a 360° perspective analysis.

Prior to joining FutureBrand, Andy worked as a communications specialist at Hunter College. He worked with the Office of Student Communications in developing strategic communication plans to engage with prospective students. Analized and identified areas that can be improved and outline a strategy to implement changes. Responsible for creating branded contents for various channels, including website, social media, email, and print. Ensuring all communication materials align with the school’s overall brand identity, strategic goals and objectives. Reported directly to the Director of OSC and provide tactical communication assistance.

Andy received a Master Degree in Branding + Integrated Communication from City College of New York, where he was rewarded with the New York Advertising Club scholarship when he was accepted in the program in 2014.

SIMEON COKER Senior Copywriter, Edelman
Simeon is a senior copywriter with a penchant for getting lost on his bike while coming up with clever words and strategic ideas to sell anything. 

So far he’s worked at R/GA [Nike, Verizon, Keen Home], Momentum Worldwide [William Grant & Sons, American Express, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Coca Cola], Deutsch Inc. [PNC Bank and Snuggle] and Draft FCB NY [Jamaica Tourism, Amtrak, Fisher Price,Busch Gardens Park]. His creative experience has allowed him to work across every marketing specialty; digital, traditional, and experiential. 

He’s currently working in PR/Communications Marketing at Edelman on various Unilever brands and Trojan.

YANIN DE JESUS Marketing Creative/Web Developer
Her name is Yanin De Jesus, but you can call her Nina for short! BIC’s Creative Grad of ‘15, Yanin is a professor for College Now serving the Bronx Community College Campus, teaching Web Design this spring. She’s also the Marketing Creative for The Upper Breast Side, a breastfeeding resource center. Yanin is an expert at back-end programming and web apps, as well as Photoshop and InDesign. She loves to code as much as she loves to design and conceptualize, so she finds herself doing both at the same time!

AHMET REISLI Associate, Digital Strategy and Design, RooneyPartners
Ahmet Reisli is an Associate in the digital strategy practice at RooneyPartners. At the firm he executes digital, SEO and website strategy and development for a wide range of clients in financial services, basic industry and healthcare. Ahmet is Google Adword and Bing Ads certified and holds a master’s degree in Branding + Integrated Communications at the City University of New York, with a specialization in public relations. He also possesses a strong marketing and creative design background.