Ad agencyteams withCarlson school

Ingrid Skjong

The Carlson School of Management is betting the Minneapolis advertising agency behind Minnesota State Lottery campaigns will further its commitment to provide “real-world” education.
Carmichael Lynch, which was purchased earlier this month by the world’s third most profitable advertising agency, Interpublic Group of Companies, officially joined forces with the Carlson school to give marketing students better exposure and hands-on training.
It echoes a move toward more interactive education many colleges at the University are adding to their curricula.
“We’re trying to make a commitment here of involvement in the classroom and involvement in the agency,” Carmichael’s Director of Planning Doug Hagge said Monday.
But the ad agency is getting something out of the pact, too.
The recently agreed-to partnership, which is the brainchild of Assistant Professor of Marketing Mark Ritson, will give Carmichael employees access to Wilson Library and regular updates on various Carlson events that could benefit the agency.
Along with these services, Carlson will keep the agency abreast of potential hires by providing lists of its graduates.
Although the partnership is mutually beneficial, students could be the biggest winners.
“We have some of the best students in the world,” Ritson said. Therefore, Carlson students should have first dibs at the top jobs, said the a former Oxford instructor and industry professional.
In order to get his students agency exposure, Ritson worked extensively to help provide better recruitment opportunities with Carmichael.
Acquiring advertising and marketing internships can be difficult because much of the communication is by word of mouth, Ritson said. Interns are usually not sought unless the agencies win a large account.
Marketing senior Michelle Rainey, who is doing one internship now and will do another this summer, said the possibility of placement through the new partnership would have been ideal.
“I think it’s unfortunate because no advertising agencies come to try to recruit Carlson students,” she said.
Ritson persuaded Carmichael to offer two paid internships each summer to qualified master’s or undergraduate students. The agency will fill the two positions through on-campus interviews with the candidates.
The partnership also opens the door to the ad agency for non-interns as well. Tours of Carmichael will be offered twice during the year.
“I think that only enhances the internships with that kind of involvement and understanding,” Hagge said.
The opportunity to work on current advertising campaign case studies will combine classroom exercises with real-life situations. Most of the case studies used are old, but in the spring, one of Ritson’s marketing classes will use Carmichael’s $20 million Korbell Champagne account.
Hagge and Ritson said there is a possibility student ideas could be used by the agency. Both predicted the chance that students’ work will be applied will enhance motivation.
“The students will engage more on it in realizing that it’s not a dated case,” Hagge said.
The new partnership is Ritson’s way of making sure his students get the exposure and opportunities they deserve, he said. The idea is far from limited to Carlson, however.
If College of Liberal Arts Dean Steven Rosenstone’s journalism school reorganization goes through, the curriculum will be more hands-on.
“My goal in the next five years is that every marketing communications internship is taken by either a Carlson or journalism school undergraduate,” Ritson said.