Texas Advertising Grad Launches The Pollinatr

First Ever Newsletter for Advertising Strategists

How Stan Richards School Fuels Success Beyond Graduation

You can major in advertising? Little did I know when I stepped foot on to the 40 acres that UT’s Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations would forever change my life—introducing me to my life’s passion, land my dream job right out of college and inspire me to launch a company.

The power of the Stan Richards School of Ad & PR program

I started college as an undeclared liberal arts major, and as many have experienced, was required to take “Intro to Advertising” with the renowned Dr. Murphy to enter Moody’s College of Communications. I fell in love with advertising on day one, and the rest was history.

While most colleges only offer a few advertising classes, UT offers an entire major, with minors in media planning and creative, modeling the course load after the structure of agencies and setting students up to hit the ground running immediately upon graduation.

Stan Richards School’s strong ties with the American Advertising Federation opened up the doors of opportunity as I was selected to be the Stickell media planning intern at Mediavest in NYC. On our first day, the gaggle of interns were talking about their excitement for the summer, and one of them asked, “what is media planning?”. I had a powerful realization in that moment that UT’s program was far ahead of its time as I had already crafted multiple media plans in my classes.

This internship, along with many others, gave me the confidence I needed to set up interviews in NYC. It more than worked out due to the preparation UT gave me—I landed my dream job as an assistant media planner at Wieden + Kennedy NY (recently dubbed Ad Age’s Agency of the Year).

Fast forward a few years, I met my sweetheart and we moved to Boston where I took a job at IPG’s MullenLowe Mediahub (Ad Age’s Media Agency of the Year) as a senior media and comms planner. A year into the gig, I was tapped to help pitch the Netflix account due to my entertainment experience on ESPN, ABC and TV Land. We won the business, grew it from a team of five to a team of 30 in two short years, and I spearheaded the communications and media strategies to launch the world’s biggest pop culture phenomenons from Stranger Things to The Crown and many more.

Now I find myself as the communications strategy director at Baldwin& in Raleigh, NC, fulfilling a goal to be director before 30 (David Baldwin is also a Stan Richards School alum).

The Stan Richard’s School of Ad & PR taught me to be a forever student, and while surveying the landscape, I noticed a big gap. There are a ton of advertising newsletters, but none for strategists. Cue the launch of The Pollinatr, a weekly newsletter that dives into cultural trends and uncovers why they are happening. It is specifically crafted for media, communications and brand strategists who are on a constant search for new stats, interesting insights and the next cultural trend that sticks.

The Pollinatr equips strategists to keep a pulse on the ever-changing landscape, write better briefs and make more informed decisions. Because clients and subsequently their industries require different institutional knowledge, it covers a wide array of trends and topics, from Hygge to Gaming to Wellness.

The Pollinatr’s goal is to fertilize your mind and expand your worldview—subscribe here if interested.

The power of Stan Richards School faculty

None of my experience would be possible without my advertising professors. Specifically, Dr. Murphy and Lisa Dobias poured into me like I was one of their own and helped me navigate the waters of the agency world before and after graduation. The SRS professors all have storied careers and bring their expertise into the classroom every day. The tangible experiences they shared painted a real picture of a day-in-the-life of an advertiser, giving students the insight needed to lock down jobs and thrive after school.

The power of Stan Richards School network

As everyone in advertising knows, it’s a small world. And Stan Richards School has infiltrated it with its strong and mighty network, making a Texas-sized impact on the biggest advertising agencies across the world. This network continues to pay dividends both personally and professionally and will forever fuel UT’s grandiose but accurate claim that “what starts here changes the world”.

Michelle Blaser