Mass communication senior Randall Head is one of 41 finalists chosen for the American Advertising Federation’s Most Promising Minority Students Program for 2013, which includes an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City.
Head, who is of Mexican heritage, was the president of the LSU Advertising Federation, the University’s chapter of the AAF, for all of 2012.
Head was also the winner of the AAF Baton Rouge Student Scholarship in 2012 and was named one of the top 100 incoming freshman at LSU upon enrolling at the University in 2009.
Assistant professor of advertising Yongick Jeong nominated Head for the program that, according to the American Advertising Federation’s website, “connects the advertising industry with the nation’s top minority college seniors.”
“Randall is a good student,” Jeong said. “He’s motivated and passionate.”
Jeong said Head is the second Manship School of Mass Communication student to be named a finalist since the program’s inception 15 years ago, after 2012 finalist and University alumna Marina Cutaia.
This year’s program will send finalists to New York City from Feb. 4-6, where they will have the opportunity to meet with recruiters from many of the top advertising agencies in the country.
Manship School Dean Jerry Ceppos said the school is constantly working on developing scholarships for students across all concentrations in mass communication.
“I think we’re getting better and better,” Ceppos said. “New scholarships are added every year.”
Santa Monica, Calif.-based advertising agency Rubin Postaer and Associates hired Head as a social media copywriting intern from May to August 2012. RPA represents clients ranging from the Discovery Channel to Honda, the latter of which Head worked with during his internship.
Head said he mostly worked on a project called “#FirstHonda” during his summer in Santa Monica, a social media initiative for which he wrote copy for Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter, asking Honda owners to share personal stories of their first Honda vehicle.
Despite his successes thus far as an undergraduate, Head said he didn’t always anticipate a future in advertising.
“I was in computer science for three semesters,” Head said. “Then I joined a band and I thought that was what I was going to do.”
Head said he switched his major to mass communication because he was responsible for all of his band’s promotional material and wanted to improve his skills for their benefit.
Most of Head’s advertising work as a student has involved copywriting and social media, and he said his ultimate goal is to obtain a master’s degree in advertising so he can work in advertising professionally and teach on the side.
Head said he plans to spend a few extra days on his own in New York City when he travels there for the program in February in order to seek out advertising agencies and show them his work.
Head considers advertising to be “kind of the minority of the Manship School,” saying the number of scholarships the Manship School offers advertising students is much lower than the number offered to students who concentrate in public relations, journalism and political communication.
“I would definitely look into developing a scholarship for minority advertising students,” Head said.
Ceppos said it’s important for students to look at scholarships available outside of the University.
“There’s a lot of scholarship money out there, but there’s an art. You have to look for it,” Ceppos said.
Head said he feels the University is well-equipped to aid minority students and that his experience as a student reflects that.