End of An Era: The FINAL BIC Blogger Blog

6/15/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

Marshall McLuhan famously said "The medium is the message." With that, we're excited to announce that our integrated program for an integrated world is finally able to integrate the BIC blog into our own distinctive BIC website. Say "so long" to our blogger blog launched in 2013 and join us in celebrating the same industry news and BIC success stories at www.bic-ccny.org which launched in 2020. The website's new blog feature will continue to spread the word on everything BIC as well as archive the incredible work our BICsters have done over the years. 

The new BIC blog was designed and executed by Menos es más, a branding company which was founded in 1996 by BIC Board Member, Graphic designer and Branding consultant, Gustavo Stecher. Menos es más has offices in Argentina and New York and specializes in iconic, cultural and identity branding, working mostly in destination, corporate and institutional identity. They are also responsible for the main BIC site. We couldn't ask for a better partner to make our vision a reality.

We hope to see you on our new blog where you can follow along with everything BIC from our students to our faculty to our alums.... It's not goodbye, it's see you later..... 

Check out the new blog HERE!!

BIC Women On The Rise

6/03/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

From creative strategy to influencers to data integration, the women of BIC are on the rise. Congratulations to NiRey, Hedda and Dhvani who are unstoppable in their new roles and putting their BIC skills to use.  

NiRey Reynolds BIC '17 just left The One Club for Creativity for a Director position at McCann North America. As Director of Creative Impact, NiRey works alongside the Co-Chief Creative Officers primarily supporting the creative department by organizing and nurturing creative ideas. She is also the liaison for awards and creative industry initiatives. Prior to this role NiRey was the Education Manager at The One Club for Creativity, the world’s foremost non-profit organization recognizing creative excellence in advertising and design, producing The Young Ones Student Awards and heading the Education department.

Hedda Davidsen BIC '20 is now a PR Communications Consultant/Social Media Specialist at Involve!, a Norwegian advertising agency delivering Advertising, PR, Content, Design, Web, SoMe, Video and Print. Specifically, Hedda will work with clients to figure out how they can use PR to connect and communicate with their audience. Whether it be organically through traditional media, or through social media - often in collaboration with a fitting influencer. On a day-to-day basis, this means working with multiple clients at once, doing a lot of following up, and deciding what's next before implementing it. For some clients, Hedda does a lot of press work, such as writing and sending out press releases to the right outlets. While for others she solely works with influencers. And for some she's in charge of all their social accounts. Before Involve!, Hedda was an Onboarding Specialist at Fortum.

Dhvani Unadkat BIC '15 recently started working with Edelman Data and Intelligence as an Account Supervisor, Performance Intelligence. Edelman Data and Intelligence is a global, multidisciplinary research, analytics and data consultancy with a distinctly human mission. In this role, Dhvani will lead the development of measurement frameworks, learning agendas, and data integration across multiple work streams for global clients. She will also be responsible for driving performance marketing reporting, analysis and insights across multiple paid channels about sales drivers and key revenue performance metrics to support corporate analytics and translating business requirements into technical requirements. Prior to this, Dhvani was at Hunter PR as a Senior Digital Marketing Analyst.

Brava, ladies!! We're so proud of how you continue to shine and rise in your post BIC life! 

“You love Black culture, but do you love me?” >> The BIC Interview with Castro Desroches '16

5/25/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

As a student in the BIC Class of 2016, Castro Desroches was already pushing boundaries in the creative space. His final BIC portfolio made headlines in AdWeek for being entirely on Instagram as two giant grids. Droga5 took notice and offered him a job as an art director a few days before graduation. While there, he created notable campaigns for Under Armor (his spot featuring Misty Copeland earned him an Athena Award), Twizzlers, and Google Pixel.

Now Creative Director at Translation, Castro's latest campaign, “You Love Me” for Beats by Dre, is a tour de force of storytelling with profound cultural significance. Named one of Ad Age's best spots of 2020, “You Love Me?” was directed by Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim) and written by Lena Waithe with music by Solange Knowles. It intercuts everyday people with such stars as Naomi Osaka, Bubba Wallace, Lil Baby, along with activists like Janaya Future Khan.

A few months ago, BIC sat down with Castro to talk about “You Love Me” as well as his new "side gig" as a BIC professor this Spring and any advice for aspiring creatives.

BIC: Let's kick this off by talking about your recent work for Beats by Dre. Can you tell us a little more about how the spot came about and its importance?

Castro Desroches: When the George Floyd tragedy happened, it made people reassess their role in society -- as humans, as creatives, and the industry as a whole. And so Beats, along with our team, decided that the brand needed to refocus its messaging to make sure the audience could feel heard in a way they weren’t before.

Luckily, we had a truly great director in Melina Matsoukas who championed the idea of Black existence as a revolution against the pitfalls and barriers facing Black Americans. So our concept grew from there. During the process, Doc Rivers, ex-coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, made an impassioned speech proclaiming that the world loves the culture, the basketball, they love everything that is yielded from Black creation, but they don't love the humanity. They don't love the people. That took hold as our central thesis.

BIC: What was your specific creative role in the spot? What was the day-to-day like?

CD: I was a senior creative from the initial brief. This included the concept, art direction and a little bit of writing. I was also able to collaborate with fellow senior writer Steve Horn. The spot was a culmination of the creative, account, context and strategy teams at Translation, as well as Beats by Dre, and Prettybird.

This work was deeply personal and because of that I knew we had to do it right if we were going to do it at all.

BIC: Can you talk through the use of celebrity in the spot?

CD: Instead of showing celebrities as we see them in pop culture, we showed the Black community just living life. It was important to show the humanity of celebrities, irrespective of what they’re famous for. We wanted to show that they're human, not superhuman.

[You can watch the full "You Love Me" spot HERE.]

BIC: So how did you get to where you are today?

CD: It’s been a crazy journey. I went to City College of New York for my BA in Communication Design. I worked as an art director at a few Pharma agencies before going back to City College for my Masters at BIC in the Creative track, which was amazing. I then landed at Droga5 right after graduation where I stayed for about three years. It was extremely challenging and very competitive, but I learned a ton. And now I'm just sort of taking all those learnings into my new role at Translation.

In particular, Nancy R. Tag (BIC Program Director) and Gerardo Blumenkrantz (Professor and Creative Track Director) have been there every step of the way. You really need that energy in this industry, to know that there’s a village that has your back. I hope to give that same energy to the students I’ll be teaching this spring semester.
BIC: As you mentioned, you're currently teaching B3012 Design and Portfolio Development during the Spring semester. How do you plan on bringing your day-to-day as a creative director into a more academic setting?

CD: I’ll be having lots of guest speakers from the industry. We all have very different stories and reference points as creatives. My one story might not resonate with everyone. It also introduces students to different professionals, giving them connections for when they're ready to go out into the industry.

BIC: What would be your advice for aspiring creatives?

CD: What makes you unique is what you bring to the table and what makes you you is what you should bring into storytelling. If I tried to assimilate or just do what I see others doing, I wouldn't be whole. I'd be doing myself a disservice and not telling stories that resonate with me. So my advice is really to channel what makes you, you.


Our thanks to Castro for sitting down with us for this interview, which has been edited for clarity and conciseness. You can check out more of his work here including a number of high profile spots such as Rivian, Twizzlers, Under Armour, Prudential, Google, Instagram Portfolio, Viral Status, “Ezra” and Mozilla Firefox.

One Degree. Two Continents. Three BICsters Rising.

5/06/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

From New York to Dubai, Brian, Natalie and Maxime are proving the value of a BIC degree and rising all over the world.
Brian Mortensen BIC '16 recently became an Account Executive at Justworks where he will be working with small/medium-sized businesses and non-profits to help focus on their mission and their people. Justworks empowers teams to access enterprise-level benefits while automating back-office tasks in payroll, HR, and compliance on a user-friendly all-in-one platform. As the fastest-growing HR technology company in the country, they're in an exciting period of expansion while still remaining focused on their core values of COGIS - Camaraderie, Openness, Grit, Integrity, and Simplicity. Prior to this role, Brian was a Supervising Multimedia Producer at MLB Advanced Media.

Natalie Alcide BIC '19 is now an Art Director at Grey. Specifically, Natalie will be joining the Discover team, the largest account at the agency, to help reshape the brand's tone and creative platform across video, print, digital, and social. Prior to this role, she was a Junior Art Director at PR firm DeVries Global, where she worked primarily on digital and social creative for Aussie/P&G Beauty and Samsung.

Maxime Menant BIC '15 recently took a job as a Brand Strategist for the METAP region (Middle East, Turkey, Africa, Pakistan) at TikTok and is based in Dubai. Prior to this, Maxime was a Strategy Director at TBWA\Raad where his main clients included KFC / FERRERO Group (Kinder & Tic Tac) / INFINITI / Facebook / PEPSICO (Lay’s) / Standard Chartered Bank (SCB). Maxime has also worked as a Senior Strategic Planner at Wunderman Thompson and as a Brand Planner at Ogilvy & Mather

Bravo to our BICsters for spreading their BIC knowledge all over the world!

Two Incoming BICsters Win The LAGRANT Foundation Scholarship

5/05/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

Congratulations to two incoming BICsters who have won the prestigious The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF) scholarship: Isabella Santana and Sabrina Khan

In a powerhouse showing, they are among just 20 graduate students nationwide to receive a TLF scholarship whose winners share the foundation's mission of increasing ethnic diversity in the advertising, marketing and public relations industries. Isabella and Sabrina will each receive $3,750 and join an impressive list of students from institutions such as Columbia, Vanderbilt University, University of Southern California, Loyola University Chicago, Arizona State University and University of Texas at Austin.

Prior to BIC, Isabella was a student in the City College of New York's Ad-PR Program and graduated in 2020. Sabrina also graduated in 2020 from CUNY New York City College of Technology with a degree in Communication Design/Advertising.

Celebrating its 23rd year, TLF has generously awarded over $100,000 in scholarships to graduate students from the BIC program at The City College of New York — more than any other single college. BICsters have been recipients of a TLF scholarship every year since our launch in 2013. Past BIC scholarship winners are: Fred Garcia and Amber Jackson, BIC '15, Donna Dei-Baning, BIC '16, Dalisbeth Galvez, Melissa Julien, and Priscilla Parra, BIC '17, Charisse Holder, Erica Lopez, and Sean Feol-Baugh, BIC '18, Jennifer Cuffari, LaToya Heron, Amera Lulu, Kelvin Morales, and Rebecca Rivera, BIC '19, and Mohamed Amribet, John Holliday-Stewart, Carlos Matias, Carmen Quang, Raymond Sein, Kamattie Singh, BIC '20, Paul Bernabe, Dimandja Utshudi, and Ayush Kumar, BIC '21.

The LAGRANT Foundation has provided 703 scholarships and $2.9 million since its inception in 1998. Founded by Kim L. Hunter, its mission to increase the number of ethnic minorities in the fields of advertising, marketing and public relations is generously supported by its major donors and supporters. TLF provides students with career & professional development workshops, scholarships, internships, entry-level positions and mentors to African American/Black, Alaska Native/Native American, Asian American/Pacific Islander and Hispanic/Latino undergraduate and graduate students.

A BIG BIC Brava to Isabella and Sabrina! What a great way to kick off your BIC journey!

You can read more about the 2021 LAGRANT Foundation Scholarship here

Portfolio Bootcamp Reboot: A BIC Tradition Returns in 2021

4/29/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

Action from a previous Portfolio Bootcamp.

Each year, BIC follows its annual recruiting event, the BIC PiP (Portfolios-in-Progress), with a weeklong Portfolio Bootcamp, where graduating students get the chance to work intensely on their portfolios with the help of visiting professionals who provide design, content, and storytelling expertise. Sadly, last year's Portfolio Bootcamp was cancelled due to the pandemic, but it returned this year in a virtual format from March 22nd to the 25th. In keeping with the mood of the times, the week was re-dubbed Portfolio Therapy with new opportunities for reflection, celebration, and innovation, including an Open Mic Night for students and War Stories from alumni. Despite being virtual, BICsters were still able to roll up their sleeves and take their portfolios to the next level.  

Our professional mentors offered invaluable expertise and substantive 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 June 1, 2021.

A BIG BIC THANKS to our amazing experts: Roberto Bernasconi, Co-Founder Bardo Industries, Mark Brooks, Brand Director of Adobe 99U, Laura Giraudo, Creative Director of Bardo Industries, Gustavo Stecher, Founder of Menos es Mas, Leandro Incetta, UX/UI, Senior Product Designer, Xero, Yoni Weiss, Graphic Designer, Chelsea Campbell, Experiential Creative Director at Pandora Media, Monique Naoum, User Experience Consultant, Gustavo Asman, SVP Creative Director, Pyramid Communications, Michael Bruno, Head of Strategy at Weber Shandwick, Jeannie Huang, Experience Design Manager at Adobe, Mark Robin, Senior Creative Lead, Video Director of Bloomberg Media Group, George Logothetis, Freelance Creative Director, and Babak Rassi, Film/Video Editor, CCNY Professor.

Action from a previous Portfolio Bootcamp.

We were especially excited to welcome back some BIC alums who are now successful pros -- and truly know how to bring BIC portfolios to life. Joining us for the final session Alumni War Stories: Plus Troubleshooting, was Ray Sein BIC '20, Alex Suazo BIC '15, Andy Kwan BIC '16, Cassondra Bazelow BIC '16, LaToya Heron BIC '19, Jose Fresan BIC '20, Lorenzo Lasagna BIC '20, Melissa Orr BIC '20, and Natalie Alcide BIC '19. 

Action from a previous Portfolio Bootcamp.

A Big BIC thank you to all our BICsters for their tenacity, perseverance, and dedication to developing their portfolios. We can't wait to see the work you defend in June! 

BIC Prof Sandra Stahl's “The Art & Craft of PR” en español

4/20/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

BIC BIC Brava to Founding BIC faculty member and Professor Sandra Stahl whose award-winning book The Art & Craft of PR has been expanded into Spanish via Cuantica Activa Audiolibros and is now available as an audiobook on 300 platforms and retailers -- Audible, Storytel, Audibooks, AudioTeka, Cuantica. The Art & Craft of PR has been recommended or required reading in PR and marketing courses at universities around the world. 

"My hope, from the beginning, for The Art & Craft of PR was to offer a forward-looking perspective about public relations that connected with current practitioners and those considering entering the field. It is very exciting to expand its reach to Spanish-speaking audiences around the world. As an audiobook, Arte y Oficio de las Relaciones Publicas is a really fun listen-- it not only features a great reader who brings to life the ideas, the stories and anecdotes, there's also music and a terrific translation." said Sandra. 

Drawing on decades of experience in agency and corporate positions, The Art & Craft of PR is a user’s manual of skills that distinguish PR as integral to meeting an organization's needs and business challenges. Her book includes insights from communications leaders at corporate, agency, and industry powerhouses including Burson-Marsteller, Chevron, Edelman, Levi-Strauss, and the Holmes Report. You can read a review of the book here.

Sandra is the co-founder of jacobstahl, a full-service in-house PR agency which was recently acquired by Global Independent PR agency, Ruder Finn. She is a founding faculty at BIC and teaches the Branding Influentials course. Sandra guest lectures frequently at schools and conferences around the world. The Art & Craft of PR has won numerous awards since publication in 2018 and is on the BookAuthority 21 Best New Public Relations Books to Read in 2020.

Congratulations, Sandra!

BICsters Impress Talent Seekers at the Virtual BIC PiP 2021

4/20/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

Each Spring, our annual recruiting event, the BIC PiP, showcases the talents of soon-to-be graduates who present their Portfolios-in-Progress to a roomful of industry recruiters, talent seekers, and career catalysts. BICsters in the Management/Planning, Public Relations, and Creative Tracks use the PiP to not only expose their thinking to recruiters, but use the feedback to elevate their portfolios for BIC's Portfolio Thesis Defense in June. 

This year, BIC held the PiP remotely via Zoom which limited the number of participants. But students were still inspired by an engaged group of recruiters from companies such as TBWA\Chiat\Day, TBWA\WorldwideFleishmanHillard, Jack Morton Worldwide, Google, Ogilvy, VMLY&R, BBH, BCW Global, DayOne Agency, DiMassimo Goldstein, Mother, Ruder Finn, Hunter, Fenton, McGarrah Jessee, MRM, the community, The Martin Agency, W2O Group, Weber Shandwick, Concentric Health Experience, DDB, DeVries GlobalGolin, Digitas North America and StrawberryFrog

BIC is the only academic program with the chutzpah to give recruiters a sneak peek at portfolios prior to completion. This allows them to cultivate talent before the portfolios hit the market. During the two and a half hour event, recruiters from top agencies and companies had the opportunity to tap into the agile thinking, sharp skills, and dynamic personalities of 30 cross-disciplinary BIC students from the Class of 2021 as they went from breakout room to breakout room -- like speed dating, only with a professional spin.

Action from a previous BIC PiP

A big BIC thanks to all our recruiters and BICsters for their energy, feedback, and — most of all — their curiosity. For those who missed BIC’s 2021 PiP Recruiting Event, there’s always next year...!

BICsters Following In The Footsteps of BICsters

4/14/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

They say the communications industry is small and everyone knows everyone. Well it's even smaller in the BIC universe.

Current BICster Anmol Dhamrait BIC ' 22 just scored a role as Brand Coordinator at Patients & Purpose, an healthcare advertising agency that is part of Omnicom Health Group. Anmol follows in the footsteps of BIC alum Marta Mugica Telleria BIC ' 17 who was an Art Director at Patients and Purpose where she worked for clients such as Vertex, AstraZeneca and Fintepla. While Marta has now transitioned to a new role as an Art Supervisor at McCann Health New York, it's great to see our BICsters following in each other's footsteps and demonstrating the power of a BIC degree both during and after the program. 

Patients and Purpose is as full service as it gets, working on all kinds of health brands—from pre-launch to post-LOE, rare to common, and DTP to DTC. By utilizing future-focused capabilities and rich, deep experience, Patients and Purpose move brands and their customers forward. You can learn more about them here

Brava, ladies!

ONLY A FEW SPOTS LEFT >> Apply to BIC by April 25th!

4/13/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

Good news! Starting April 16th, BIC will have rolling admissions through April 25th. There are only a few spots left. So take a deep breath. You got this!! 

ABOUT BIC: the Graduate Program in Branding + Integrated Communications at City College.

Supercharged by the diverse, dynamic energy of the world's media capital, BIC is both of the moment and about the future. It's a grad program. A think tank. An executive training ground. BIC is where you roll up your sleeves and figure out how communication creates meaning and adds value: to a company, for the consumer, in society.

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...

Curious? Apply here

BIC Program Director Nancy R. Tag Talks Current Job Market Trends

4/08/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

Given everything that has happened in the world, aspiring graduates are looking for advice on how to navigate the job market and an uncertain economic climate. BIC Program Director and Professor Nancy R. Tag spoke to Zippia to give her take on where the job market for recent graduates is heading, as well as how young graduates entering the industry can be adequately prepared. Her biggest piece of advice: "Stay curious. The communications industry evolves so rapidly that the ability to absorb and apply new information is critical to being successful and making an impact." 

Read the full article here.

Women of Martech Spotlight: BICster Megan Fullagar

4/07/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

“No matter what I’m honed in on, I constantly collaborate with my team to ensure we’ve thought through multiple angles. It’s refreshing to work with such an inspiring and hard-working group of women.” - Megan Fullagar BIC ’16

Brava to Megan Fullagar BIC ’16 who has been featured in Women of Martech's Success Spotlight! After graduating from BIC in 2016, Megan has worked as a Marketing & Communications Manager at FreeWheel and Marketing Director at Penthera. Currently, Megan is putting her entrepreneurial chops to work as Marketing Director at StitcherAds, a tech start-up focused on enhancing social ads (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and TikTok) through personalization and optimization

Click here to learn more about how Megan went from architecture to marketing to a Master's Degree at CCNY in the BIC program, the importance of collaboration, the impact of mobile on Martech and finally her advice for other women in the industry. 

Spring Forward >> BICsters Rising

4/02/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

As the temperatures rise and flowers begin to bloom, BIC alumni Sur, Kenneth, and Megan are springing into new roles. 

Surabhi Govindarajan BIC ’18 is now Cultural Strategist at VMLY&R where she is responsible for analyzing signals of change -- fast and slow, as well as mining hyper-local cultural stories for market cities across the globe. Sur's human-centered approach for building stories, blended with a background in architecture, design and experiential, will be put to good use as VMLY&R reimagines commerce. She's building on her previous position at Geometry North America which was recently integrated into VMLY&R.

After an amazing journey with Brandwatch, Kenneth Bracho, BIC ’16 joined Qubit as a Customer Success Manager. Qubit technology works with e-commerce algorithms to create personalized experiences on different verticals. Kenneth is really excited for Qubit's portfolio of partners and also for the tech implications of working with companies such as Google. 

Megan Fullagar BIC ’16 is putting her entrepreneurial chops to work as Marketing Director at StitcherAds,  a tech start-up focused on enhancing social ads (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and TikTok) through personalization and optimization. In her role, Megan will help consumers recognize if they're close to a store and then determine whether to serve them ads to visit in person or other platforms. StitcherAds also offers creative services and an analytics platform. Stitcher has never had a marketing department before, so Megan will be in charge of building it from the ground up.

Bravo to our BICsters who make us proud every day! Keep on rising! 

BICster's Lighten Up with This Spring's Corporate Capstone for Diageo

3/09/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

After partnering with Memorial Sloan Kettering last Fall, BICsters have a deliciously new opportunity to put their skills to work for Diageowhich has returned as the 2021 Spring Corporate Capstone client. This year's marketing communications challenge is to help launch Baileys' newest brand extension, Deliciously Light. 

Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits and beer.  Headquartered in London and here in New York City, Diageo produces over 200 brands, including SmirnoffJohnnie WalkerBaileys, and Guinness,  that are enjoyed in more than 180 countries around the world. It's a business built and sustained through innovation; developing new ideas is crucial to its growth strategy. 

BICsters in the Class of 2021 have been entrusted to work on Diageo's latest product innovation: Baileys Deliciously Light. With 40% less calories and 40% less sugar than Baileys Original Irish Cream, people can get a light and versatile treat with all of the yummy taste of the original Baileys people know and love. 

Working from a brief presented on February 11th by Diageo's Alex Carantza, Director of Consumer Planning, and Jason Chebib, former Vice President of Consumer Planning at Diageo, the four capstone teams will pitch their final integrated marketing communications campaigns to the client on May 20th. In between, BICsters will do a deep dive into market research to uncover insights that will drive strategic communications solutions that will deliver lick the screen deliciousness in product-specific ways. 

Each Spring semester, the BIC Corporate Capstone is led by BIC Professor and Program Director Nancy R. Tag who divides students into separate communications teams to fulfill the brief of a corporate client. Past clients have been Univision, Universal Music Group, and Heineken. In the Fall semester, BICsters focus on a non-profit organization. This year, they worked on behalf of Memorial Sloan Kettering and CCNY in their research collaboration Redressing Access to and Disparities in Immunotherapy for Breast Cancer (READI). 

Michael Farmer in Media Village: Forget the Ivy League

3/03/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

By BIC Program Director Nancy R. Tag

BIC Professor and Board member Michael Farmer knows what he’s talking about. A Princeton English major with a Harvard MBA, he’s been a high-level international consultant for decades, clocking in some time as director of Bain & Company, founding its office in Paris. The third edition of his book Madison Avenue Manslaughter includes a forward from Sir Martin Sorrell.

So when he speaks, we listen. What’s he saying right now? If you want to be in the trenches with a smart and focused professional during a global health crisis, amid societal unrest, and with an industry in turmoil, pick a BICster.

When Michael agreed to teach in my graduate program in Branding and Integrated Communications (BIC), I felt so lucky. He not only fills the classroom with his vast knowledge, leadership, and compassion, but with guest speakers who are at the top of their game (Former Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Brian Sheehan is featured in the photo below). But the thing that tickles me the most about Professor Farmer is the utter joy he derives from the BIC students he teaches. He captured this in a recent article —a tribute, actually — for Media Village in which he shares tales from BICsters in his Internal Management course.

Two of my favorites tales from the article:

"One of my students grew up in Castro’s Cuba during the Período Especial, when aid from the Soviet Union collapsed. As a child, she chanted, 'Pioneers for Communism, we will be like Che!' every morning at the commencement of classes."

"Another was born in Afghanistan during the political turmoil of the Soviet Union communist regime and the Mujahedeen resistance in the 1980's. He has worked on reconstruction projects and was able to come to the U.S. with his family on a green card due to his extraordinary efforts for USAID."

In Media Village, he summaries: “Our students are not put off by Madison Avenue's manslaughter -- they are used to upheavals, toughened by their personal experiences, and eager to attack the real world with all its opportunities. For an industry needing transformation, diversity, equity and inclusion, CCNY stands ready, as it always has, to provide well-educated graduates who have the right stuff.”

As always, well said, Michael! To read the entire Media Village article, go here.  Please do. It will inspire you.

Behind the Scenes with Creative Team Vera Keiter BIC ’15 & Delilah Kim

3/03/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

On January 12th, 2021, one of our favorite creative teams, Vera Keiter BIC ’15 and Delilah Kim, hit the BIC grid for "How Creativity WORKS," our new speaker series which explores how to transform your passion into a profession and creativity into a career through the lens of successful BIC alums.  A copywriter/art director duo since first meeting at BBDO, Vera and Delilah spoke candidly about their award-winning projects, how creativity fuels their professional (and personal) life, and the secret to having an effective creative partnership.  In addition to working together at BBDO, 160over90, and now Facebook, Vera and Delilah were featured in The Drum's 50 Under 30 in 2018 and have team-taught B3011 Multi-Media Executions in the BIC Program.

So exactly how does creativity work? BIC Program Director Nancy R. Tag demonstrated the importance of creativity by first asking the audience to consider  life without it. Responses included "defeated," "depressing," "rigid," "dull," and "boring." She then introduced Vera and Delilah by playing one of their recent commercials for Aviation Gin Commercial -- a perfect example of how creativity is put to work. 

Vera and Delilah jumped into the conversation by spilling the tea on how a celebrity brand turned Arlene Mako, an 84-year-old gin drinker, into an unexpected star. What inspired the idea? What was the process of transforming a big idea into a produced commercial? And how cute is Ryan Reynolds? 

It turns out that the process was fairly unconventional -- a lot like the agency where they were working, 160over90which sits inside leading entertainment and media talent agency William Morris EndeavorAs a talent-forward agency, creatives often receive "open briefs" not for a specific brand, but built around a personality, an occasion, or some other trigger. The creative catalyst for this particular brief was Leap Year. For Vera and Delilah, the brainstorming got interesting when considering what life was like for "leaplings," people born on Leap Day who celebrate their birthday every four years. What were some of the challenges when their "official" age was significantly lower their actual age? One light-bulb: they're not allowed to legally drink alcohol until they're 84! Suddenly, the product category became clear and they searched among 160over90's long roster of alcoholic brands for the perfect sponsor, zeroing in on Ryan Reynolds' Aviation Gin. Not only did Reynolds love the pitch, he made the production happen in a matter of weeks so it could air in time for Arlene's 21st birthday on Leap Day 2020. 

The Aviation Gin commercial proves why these two are a match made in creative heaven! When asked about their unique dynamic, Delilah spoke about how “when we started working together, we realized that our priorities for the creative process were very similar...This is the thing that keeps teams together.” 

After their gig at 160over90the team made their own leap to Facebook where they are currently Senior Creatives working on brand messaging around Facebook's mother brand. Delilah spoke about how a lot of what they do is around storytelling of people who use the platform. She added that “finding creativity in this job is about finding the right stories.” You can check out their work here.
Nancy wrapped up the conversation by asking Vera how her BIC degree made a creative career work for her. “BIC is the only program that teaches creatives to be more than just creatives," Vera explained. "It helps you understand other people in the agency.” BIC grads accelerate faster. Beyond just developing a portfolio for that first job, they become true professionals who are well-rounded, collaborative, and strategic innovators who see the big picture.  

But the evening didn't end there.... Prospective students interested in the Creative Track stuck around for "LATE NIGHT with Gerardo" where BIC Professor & Creative Track Director Gerardo Blumenkrantz provided tips and tricks for submitting a killer BIC Admissions Portfolio and answered questions from prospective students. 

Overall it was a fantastic evening. A big BIC thank you to Vera and Delilah for sharing their creative wisdom and letting us in on How Creativity WORKS for them. Stay tuned for our next alumni conversation in our newest series. 

Curiosity Seekers: The BIC Spring Virtual Open House

2/25/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

On Wednesday, March 17th 2021, BIC opens its virtual doors to curious candidates interested in applying to the BIC Master's Program for Fall 2021! 


The BIC Info Session

4:30PM - 5:30PM via Zoom

Join us on Zoom as BIC Program Director Nancy R. Tag and Program Manager Marlene Leo present an overview of the program and details on how to package your application. You'll also hear from current BICsters, plus time for Q&A -- come with questions!


@BIC Lecture "The Crisis of Our Time: Why Health Communications Matters Now More Than Ever."

6:00PM - 7:00PM via Zoom

BIC welcomes Carl Turner and Amy Gómez, from Klick Health, the world's largest independent commercialization partner for life sciences. In the age of COVID, the issues of healthcare innovation, access, and policy have come into sharp focus. As communicators, we are in a position to make a difference.

Klick VP of Diversity Strategy, Amy Gómez states: “It's exciting to be in the center of the crisis of our time.” Find out why health communications matters more than ever if you want to help shape the conversation, set public policy, and make the world a better place.


LATE NIGHT with Gerardo

7:00PM - 8:00PM via Zoom

Interested in applying to BIC’s Creative Track? Admissions candidates should stick around! BIC Professor Gerardo Blumenkrantz will provide tips on BIC Admissions Portfolios. Have your spec work handy — if there’s time, you’ll even get a personalized assessment.

You don't want to miss this! RSVP here

BIC Prof Sandra Stahl: Big Losses and Small Wins

2/24/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

"As agencies large and small struggled to keep their business and their staff, we doubled down on delivering a steady stream of small wins for our clients that underscored our value. As a result, plus a little luck, we actually grew our business in 2020." - Sandra Stahl 

Founding BIC Faculty Member, Acting PR Track Advisor and co-founder of jacobstahl, Sandra Stahl recently spoke to Media Brief about life, work, the impact of COVID-19 on her personally & professionally and the power of small wins. Read more HERE

Six Amazing BIC Alums WIN Six Amazing Mentors in Ad Club's Inaugural Mentorship Program

2/11/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

Six BIC alumni were among the 31 young professionals selected for The AD Club’s ANDY Awards inaugural mentorship program. The BIC alums are Breanna Arthur, Surabhi Govindarajan, Natalie Alcide, Carmen Quang, Jose Flores Fresan, & Castro Desroches. Two undergrads from the CCNY Ad/PR Program also were awarded. Mentees are to be matched with ANDYs Jurors (see the list here) for a one-year mentorship with monthly meetings. These industry leaders include Jayanta Jenkins, Head of Content Marketing, Disney+, San Francisco, Margaret Johnson, Executive Creative Director / Partner, GS&P, San Francisco, Andrew Keller, VP, Global Creative Director, Facebook, New York and David Lee, Chief Creative Officer, Squarespace, New York.

The mentorship program was launched by PJ Pereira, 2021 Chair of the ANDY awards, in order to restructure the prestigious awards show so it's not just a self-congratulatory event, but driven by a purpose: to make positive change on the industry. This year's jurors were required to commit to mentoring talent from underrepresented communities and backgrounds.  

Potential mentees from the BIC program were first nominated by Nancy R. Tag, BIC Program Director, who identified young pros among BIC's alumni who were talented, already making an impact in the industry, have hustle, and are from an underrepresented community or background; initial nominees needed to be passionate about changing the face of advertising to make the industry more diverse and inclusive in the next ten years. CUNY Professor Rebecca Rivera (BIC ’19) then helped vet and select all mentee candidates in partnership with ANDYs Jury Chair PJ Pereira and The Advertising Club NY.

Some of the ANDY jurists who have volunteered to be mentors.

Professor Tag stated, “I’m impressed by the purpose-oriented shift of the ANDY Awards this year, which has historically made an impact on the industry. This was made possible by Awards Chair PJ Pereira’s leadership and creativity, as well as to the AD Club's vision. I’m also extremely grateful to Rebecca Rivera for helping to bring this program to life with a spotlight on BIC. Her tenacity and commitment to elevating diverse talent have moved the ball forward once again. And of course, seeing so many amazing BIC alums on this list is the most gratifying part. A big BIC bravo to them all!"

Here's the press release about the ANDYs and this program: https://bit.ly/2L6XglA  

BICster Melissa Lee Awarded $10,000 by She Runs It!

2/10/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

We already knew Melissa Lee BIC '20 was a rising star, but She Runs It has made it official!  Congratulations to Melissa for being awarded $10,000 by She Runs It as part of its 2021 Loan Relief. Every year for the past nine years, the She Runs It Foundation has donated $10,000 checks to rising stars in marketing, media and tech to help relieve the burden of education loan debt. 

The Foundation also offers year-round educational networking, mentoring, and leadership development programming for industry professionals at each career stage. We're inspired by Lynn Branigan, CEO & President of She Runs It, for propelling more women to the head of the table and enabling female talent to realize their full potential as leaders.

And who's more worthy than Melissa? After graduating from BIC in May 2020, Melissa became a Senior Associate Planner at Wavemaker, a WPP agency focused on reshaping consumer decision-making and experiences through media, content, and technology. At Wavemaker, Melissa is servicing the L’Oreal business across the Luxe division (Giorgio Armani, Mugler, YSL, Ralph Lauren Fragrances, etc.) providing strategic media plans including digital and traditional mediums. 

We're so proud of you, Melissa! Keep on shining!

Read the full article here

2021 DezMax Scholarship Winners Address Global Warming, Covid-19 Vaccination & Bronx Community Organizing

2/10/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

Congratulations to this year's DezMax Scholarship winners, Paul Bernabe BIC '21, Emma Rayner BIC '22, and Natalie Figueroa BIC '22. Each submission fulfilled the award's criteria which asks BICsters to develop a communications project that champions a cause with persuasion, passion, and charisma. 

Winner: Paul Bernabe, BIC Class of 2021

For his winning submission, Paul tackled climate change, citing deforestation as one of the leading contributors to global warming. To make a difference, his proposal would support non-profit Rainforest Trust which partners with local organizations around the world to purchase and preserve threatened tropical forests. 

Paul has long enjoyed playing video games; however, his big gripe is that all that time spent in the virtual world doesn’t make much of an impact on the real world. His light bulb moment: What if he could develop a game that actually added value to his life or helped the real world? ​That would be something worth playing. So for his DezMax submission, Paul created a mobile game called "Earth Defenders." Set up like a tower defense game, enemies walk along a path while the player builds towers to eliminate any threats that come along. By partnering with charitable corporations and individuals, the game would reward Rainforest Trust with a small donation every time players complete levels. Players can also give support by buying upgrades within the app or watching an ad to generate revenue for Rainforest Trust. 

His proposal for the DezMax scholarship included market research, a business proposal, mock-up of the mobile game as well as an integrated communications campaign to promote Earth Defenders and champion the cause. 

Paul first started thinking about Earth Defenders in last semester’s Multi-Media class taught by Professor Ricard Valero. "I’m proud of what I’ve made with Earth Defenders. I’ve come out of this project more passionate and knowledgeable about tackling the climate challenges we face today and in the future." 

Runner Up: Emma Rayner, BIC Class of 2022

Utilizing some preliminary research on vaccination skepticism that she did in Professor Michael Doody's Strategy course, Emma developed a communications campaign that encouraged communities to roll up their sleeves to fight Covid-19.  Her research indicated that the most effective way to encourage people to get vaccinated is to emphasize the benefits of being a protector of others. This led Emma to leverage community involvement by highlighting local heroes or “neighborhood protectors” who are already trusted within the community. In her communications campaign "Protect to Reconnect," local heroes and everyday Americans share their more selfless reasons to get vaccinated on Instagram and owned media with the aim of encouraging their neighbors to do the same. 

"The idea is ultimately to turn every vaccinated American into a ‘local hero’ who protects other Americans in the final battle against COVID-19."

Merit: Natalie Figueroa, BIC Class of 2022

As a Bronx Latina, Natalie's lifelong mission is to help people in hardship situations find meaningful connections that launch them towards life-changing opportunities. In her proposal for "Bronx CXN," Natalie would build an organization for Bronx people by Bronx people that is entirely dedicated to providing career-preparation and network-building workshops and events. This organization would be a building block in creating a more positive image for the borough and to debunk some of the negative connotations often associated with the Bronx. 

Natalie said, "My ultimate wish is for the Bronx to become someplace others go to instead of moving away from to find success."

ABOUT the Desmond Maxwell (DezMax) Cause + Charisma Scholarship. As a student in BIC's inaugural Class of 2015, Desmond Maxwell was a successful media consultant, boastful undergraduate of City College, and proud member of the US Marine Corps, having served with distinction. He often said with great pride that he was “born and buttered in Harlem.” Dez was not just a charismatic man, but a generously supportive and inspiring classmate who championed causes that were close to his heart. Sadly, Dez died a few months before graduation. However, through the generosity of classmates, BIC Board Members, and friends (with a special shout out to GroupM), BIC was able to set up the DezMax Scholarship in his honor. Each year, BIC students compete for $4,000 in scholarship money with proposals that best demonstrate a communications-based solution to a societal problem.

Interested in donating to the DezMax Scholarship fund? Ask bic@ccny.cuny.edu how...

Career Happy with Job Coach Hillary Black

2/09/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

This Spring, BIC is excited to welcome Hillary Black, VP, Global Executive Recruitment & Leadership Development at WPP, who has over 25 years of experience in cultivating talent and accelerating professional growth. Over the course of four months, Hillary will be holding a series of professional development workshops exclusively for BICsters that will provide guided steps on how to improve and optimize their professional brand. BICsters will receive templates, insider tips, and easy outlines to help them network with confidence and without anxiety. The lunchtime sessions include: 

TUESDAY, JANUARY 19TH >> Job Search Strategy 

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9TH >> Every bit of White Space is another LinkedIn Enhancement Moment (and Other Resume Builders) 

TUESDAY, MARCH 9TH >> Interview Skills & Etiquette: Pre-PiP Edition 

TUESDAY, APRIL 6TH >> Beyond the Click and Connect: Building Meaningful Relationships

As the former managing director and partner at Kay & Black, a leading talent management firm, and currently a VP, Global Executive Recruitment & Leadership Development at WPP, Hillary connects communications clients with top creatives and marketing professionals. With 25 years in the advertising industry and a keen understanding of creative talent, organizational culture, and team dynamics, she has a proven track record of finding the perfect fit for both candidates and agencies. Hillary recently received her Master’s in Social Work from Fordham University. This experience, combined with a Bachelors in Psychology, gives her additional insight into human nature, which she channels through career counseling and guidance. She’s worked with General Assembly, The One Club, WeWork, Dentsu, The 4As, She Runs It, Ladies Get Paid, PowerToFly, LMHQ, Hustle Fest as well as the Young Ones Education Festival, Marist College, School of Visual Arts, and the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Be A BICster for a Night!

2/04/2021 Unknown 0 Comments

Ever wonder what it's like to be a BIC student? Then be a "BICster for a Night." Join us this February as BIC opens up its classrooms for a test drive. Pick a class (or two) and sit in on the lecture. Check out the schedule and course descriptions below. RSVP for the Zoom link. 


B2003 Brand Experience (Foundational Course required for all tracks)
Anchored by a unified identity and enabled by technology, the way that brands are experienced by consumers takes a wide variety of forms and formats. This survey class explores methods of creating brand experience in physical, digital, traditional and experimental ways and delves into the coordinated application of mass, personal and social media to create rich sensory environments. Taught by Partner/President of Research & Strategy at PSFK Scott Lachut.


B3002 Consumer Behavior & Persuasion (Required Course for Management & Planning Track)
One part psychology and one part communications theory, this course helps us understand what really motivates people today (especially those we like to call “consumers”). Through readings, case studies and hands-on exercises, students will explore how various models of persuasion and psychology can provide the lens through which brands can design meaningful market research and tailor effective communications which persuade the intended audience. Taught by Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at The [blank] Project Michael Doody.


B3003 Internal Management (Required Course for Management & Planning Track)
Advertising and Marketing Communications is no longer an industry of “idea development” where brand identity is generated through one way forms of storytelling; it must now include new forms of consumer engagement which require managed storyBUILDING. This presents new challenges in the ways in which managers must be fluent in developing strategies, fostering collaboration, evaluating content, visualizing information, reacting to consumer participation, making persuasive presentations – all while breaking down agency silos that inhibit productivity and collaboration. Today's agency manager must not just manage a process-driven environment, but be change agents that create a healthy, dynamic, and sustainable culture. Co-taught by Executive Chairman at Trinity P3 USA Marketing Management Consultants Michael Farmer and Founder & Strategic Advisor at Rodes Advisory LLC Rodes Ponzer.

B3020 Branding Influentials 
(Required Course for Public Relations Track)
This course explores the evolving role of influence and influencers in brand communications. Can an individual, a group of like-minded people, an organization representing a compelling cause, or even a pet with a following, play an outsized role in market behavior? How a brand can harness this power is crucial in communications today. Taught by Managing Director at jacobstahl, a Bloom company Sandra Stahl.

B3010 Creative Concepts (Required Course for Creative Track)
An advanced studio course in the BIC Creative Track for development of campaign concepts in the print medium. Based on strategic thinking, students will have the opportunity to create a number of campaign concepts that unite “art & copy” with an eye towards further development and inclusion in a spec book – or pre-professional portfolio. Students learn how to identify specific problems a brand may face and how to solve them through persuasive print advertising. Co-taught by Associate Creative Director at Grey Group Marina Beldi and Associate Creative Director at VaynerMedia | Founder of Make Ads With Me | D&AD New Blood Judge Jessica Lomasson.


B3022 PR Branding Campaigns (Required Course for Public Relations Track)
This course is about bringing to life the value and application of creating compelling comms campaigns in an integrated way. The goal of the class will be to equip students with the tools they need to create compelling public relations efforts that are grounded in research, sharp with strategy, solve business objectives, tell a good story, and amplify stakeholder’s perspectives on behalf of a brand or company. Taught by Managing Partner, jacobstahl, a Bloom company Jeremy Jacob.

Regular Admissions Deadline April 1st, 2021