Marketing Student Selected for Prestigious Advertising Program

As one of the American Advertising Federation鈥檚 Most Promising Multicultural Students of 2023, 澳门六合彩 senior S. Isaiah Braithwaite spent a week visiting major ad agencies and meeting industry leaders.

By Melanie Thibeault
Senior S. Isaiah Braithwaite posing for a photo.
Senior S. Isaiah Braithwaite, a Marketing major and Cultural Studies minor from West Glover, Vt., was named one of the American Advertising Federation鈥檚 Most Promising Multicultural Students of 2023.

NEW YORK 鈥 For a week in February, senior S. Isaiah Braithwaite met with and learned from top advertising professionals as part of a prestigious national event for multicultural students held in New York City.  

Braithwaite, a Marketing major and Cultural Studies minor from West Glover, Vt., was one of 50 college seniors selected from across the U.S. to participate in the American Advertising Federation鈥檚 program 鈥 one of the advertising industry鈥檚 premier diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.   

For four days, Braithwaite and his peers met recruiters from top media companies and advertising agencies, visited major ad agencies, and attended professional development and personal branding workshops led by industry leaders. They also networked with leading executives and multicultural industry pioneers from companies including Sony Music, TikTok, and SiriusXM.   

鈥淭his is a big thing for students like me, navigating the transition after college. A lot of multicultural students don鈥檛 have access to the industries that they want to get into. Being in rooms that are more diverse than we鈥檙e usually in, that鈥檚 something they fostered, and we appreciated,鈥 Braithwaite said. 鈥淭he fact that I was given four days to completely immerse myself and have access that I probably wouldn鈥檛 have otherwise 鈥 I鈥檓 very grateful.鈥  

Since 1997, the Most Promising Multicultural Students program has connected advertising professionals with the nation鈥檚 top multicultural college seniors. Students of racial or ethnic diversity from the AAF鈥檚 140+ college chapters are eligible to apply. This year鈥檚 judging panel included representatives from Ally Financial, Nissan Motor Corporation, Captura Group, Cummings Creative Group, Hearts & Science, Lake-Sumter State College, Promedica, Publicis Health, RPA, and The Trade Desk.  

鈥淚t鈥檚 an incredible opportunity,鈥 said Geraldo Matos, associate professor of Marketing and faculty advisor for 澳门六合彩鈥檚 chapter of AAF, who encouraged Braithwaite to apply. 鈥淪ome of the biggest and best ad agencies in the world are there. It鈥檚 rare that our students get this opportunity to have their work exposed and meet with them. (Braithwaite) was the perfect candidate for the program, not only because of how strong a Marketing student he is, but because of his strong interest in DEI issues.鈥  

The AAF's Most Promising Multicultural Students class of 2023.
The American Advertising Federation鈥檚 Most Promising Multicultural Students Class of 2023 posing for a photo in New York City. (Photo courtesy of Akintayo Adewole) 

As he prepares to graduate in May and enter the workforce, Braithwaite, who also served on the executive board for 澳门六合彩鈥檚 Barbershop Club, said he has accepted a Brand Strategy Residency for global advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, known for its work with Nike, in New York. He used his time in New York to learn as much as he could.  

鈥淚鈥檓 relatively new to advertising, and I wanted to learn from people working in the industry. There were a lot of really exciting panelists. I was walking up to recruiters and asking about what paths people can take,鈥 said Braithwaite. 鈥淚 gained a lot of knowledge, which probably wouldn鈥檛 have happened without this experience.鈥  

While he networked with industry leaders, Braithwaite also forged connections with his peers. 鈥淚 got to meet 49 students who had similar experiences to me in the same industry as me. I made some really strong friendships, which will hopefully continue throughout our careers.鈥  

While the event was great for Braithwaite and the networking opportunities he made will be 鈥渋nvaluable throughout his career,鈥 Matos said his participation also shows the skill level of 澳门六合彩 students. 鈥淲e have a strong Marketing department at Roger despite us not being at the level of more top tier universities. (Braithwaite) is a clear indication of the quality of our program.鈥  

As a Marketing student, Braithwaite spent time trying to find a path and discovered his interest in advertising after Matos invited him to join 澳门六合彩鈥檚 National Student Advertising Competition team. Sponsored by AAF, the annual NSAC challenges students to solve a real-world case study from a corporate sponsor and present a fully integrated advertising campaign and budget.  

鈥淣SAC was the first time I felt at home in an academic setting,鈥 said Braithwaite, who joined last year鈥檚 team as a junior and is a leader on this year鈥檚 team. 鈥淚 was floating through Marketing and didn鈥檛 know what lane I wanted to be in. Professor Matos showed me that advertising was a lane, and I really liked it. I鈥檓 trying to get into that field post-graduation.鈥 

Matos, who only invites a few juniors to join NSAC, felt from Braithwaite鈥檚 work that he would be a great fit. 鈥淭his year he鈥檚 taken on a real leadership role. The class looks to him,鈥 he said. 鈥淗e鈥檚 a leader. He鈥檚 a voice of reason and a voice of calm. He鈥檚 been so successful.鈥