Advertising Made Me Do It

Advertising Made Me Do It
Natalie Kozma
December 12, 2014
Colosseum with Fireworks

Whether I’m attending a family gathering or a scholarship luncheon or simply meeting someone new, without fail I’m asked about my college experience.  And as much as anyone loves hearing “What’s your major?” for the thousandth time, what I really dread is the look of disappointment when I respond with “advertising.”

Don’t get me wrong; sometimes people are fascinated by my response (“Mad Men” fans especially). But I often find that without hearing my explanation for why I’m pursuing a degree in advertising, people perceive my academic pursuits as deceitful, unnecessary and detrimental to society. But it is none of those negative words. Let me explain. 

In Defense of Advertising

If it is not clear from my past blog posts, I have a strong passion for the written word. My love affair with writing began from innocently scribbling stories in notebooks as a child, but at the time I did not fully understand the power words hold. Now, I do.

I chose to major in advertising and public relations because it offers the challenge of crafting compelling messages that educate, influence opinion and shape behavior. As critical issues become more global in scope due to technology shrinking the world, it has become increasingly necessary to create messages that resonate with a global audience.

During my internship experience I’ve had the opportunity to attend a CMPRSA conference on cross-cultural communication, conduct research and draft social media posts for the Capital Region International Airport and work with individuals who recognize the necessity for having global competence. Through all of these experiences, one concept became imminent. I need to travel. Not just for personal reasons, but to accomplish my professional goals in a global arena.

This Is Where I Leave You

Rather than be a mere tourist in a city for a few weeks, I’ve decided to study abroad in Rome, Italy for the second semester of my junior year of college. I leave on Jan. 19 to study at the American University of Rome (AUR), and I did not know it was possible to be so simultaneously terrified and excited.

I was drawn to AUR for its reputation as Italy’s first, broadest and most established program in communication. I will be living in an apartment in Rome (cue insane jealously), studying Italian, exploring the diversity of dialects and cuisines and learning about international communication tactics. And eating an excessive amount of pasta and pizza, but that’s implied.

Terrified. Excited. Terrified. Excited. The mood swings are real. But as this is my last day at Güd Marketing, I wanted to say farewell to my wonderful coworkers, who have been incredibly supportive, and offer a few last pieces of advice to my fellow advertising majors.

If this is your passion, do not apologize for it. Be proud of it, but keep your integrity as you dabble in different internships. Explore as much as you can – that goes for people, places and things. As you develop your writing skills, communication skills, etc., make sure you are also developing as a global citizen. Keep a good moral compass. Advertising and public relations create messages that educate, influence opinion and shape behavior – are you going to use your power for Güd?

If you wish to stay updated on Natalie’s experience in Rome, visit her travel blog at http://nat-becca-things.tumblr.com

Written by Natalie Kozma, an intern at Güd Marketing from May - December 2014.