For three consecutive years, a TU student has been awarded the John H. Stickell internship, which is granted to the top 16 advertising students in the country. Bill Hinkle, adjunct advertising professor nominated all three winners, and he explained the selection process: “It’s not like you get your name drawn out of a hat.” The nomination procedure involves several letters of recommendation, essays on the latest advertising challenges, and then a lengthy Skype interview. Once selected, students receive an internship in one of the top advertising, branding or digital marketing firms in the country.
“These are big companies. When they place you with an agency, it’s not cheap. The agency will pay for room and board and a stipend,” Hinkle said. The agencies must truly believe in the potential work quality of their interns.
In 2015, Elizabeth Govig, a media studies major with a focus in advertising and sports administration was the first TU student awarded the Stickell internship. Govig’s success in her internship landed her the title of top advertising intern in the nation along with an invitation to join the Stickell Fellowship Committee. Govig moved to Dallas for the summer to intern for Slingshot, which is a full-service advertising agency that focuses on modern digital advertising.
“The account that I primarily worked on was Taco Bueno. I did competitive research on any quick serve restaurants,” she explained. Govig believes her number one advertising status is due to her fast pace. “I think the biggest thing is I was always running out of work, and my boss had to find more work for me,” Govig said.
Govig came late to the advertising major, and once she piled on the advertising classes, she considered dropping a class, but Hinkle said, “You will not drop any of my classes. You’re far too good at this.”
Govig credits her advertising prowess to Hinkle; “Bill draws the best out of you and forces you to be good.”
In 2016, Katie Snyder was placed at PulsePoint Group in Austin for her Stickell internship. With a strong advertising background, Snyder was prepared to work for a company focused on digital consulting and crisis communications. Snyder’s first client was a Japanese energy company that had a past nuclear disaster. When it comes to a crisis, “always have a human voice and be quick and decisive with your communication,” Snyder said.
At TU, Snyder already worked on two national advertising campaigns for Snapple and Pizza Hut with The National Student Advertising Competition. She was the runner-up presenter for a Pizza Hut campaign, which meant she was tasked to memorize the entire script. On the first day of rehearsal, “She shows up Monday and had already memorized all 20 minutes, of everybody’s part. That never happens,” Hinkle said.
The following year, Snyder led the Snapple team. Because Snapple is in a precarious glass bottle, grocery stores place them on the bottom shelf. The TU team’s tagline, “Bottoms up,” glorified the bottom shelf. Her team even rewrote the words to “Friends in Low Places.” Snyder’s team chose humor to highlight where customers can find Snapple.
Snyder’s creativity made her a clear choice for a Stickell internship. “There is no one who is more committed, more polished and more driven to be successful than Katie Snyder. No one,” Hinkle said.
This year, Hannah Kloppenburg was selected as a Stickell fellow, and although not every fellow was placed in an internship, she was able to intern for AcrobatAnt, a Tulsa marketing firm and digital group.
Kloppenburg was not surprised that three TU students received the Stickell award. “There are so many smart, capable students at TU. We have a lot of high achievers with unique skills,” Kloppenburg said.
Although the students are key, she recognizes the TU advertising department for its supportive staff. “Bill Hinkle and the rest of the faculty are wonderful about searching out opportunities for their students.”
Hinkle invites professional advertisers to hear his student’s campaign pitches. “The single, most important reason for the ad program is to get TU students a job,” Hinkle said. By consistently pitching to Tulsa’s public relations and advertising community, the students already know potential employers.
Real-life experience, “prepares students for careers in PR or advertising by allowing them to create their own campaigns and have hands-on experiences,” Kloppenburg said.