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Twenty students from the UT Ad Club have been in New York City this week to visit some of the nation’s leading advertising agencies, make professional contacts, and participate in some internship interviews. Eric Haley, professor of advertising and public relations, began taking students on this annual trip more than twenty years ago.

“The experience helps to show students that what we’re teaching them is right,” Haley said. “They see how young and welcoming the industry is and it allows them to envision themselves there. The most fun thing is to see lightbulbs go off about what they could do.”

Haley said UT boasts a large number of graduates now working in prestigious agencies in New York and other cities. He asks alumni—some of whom benefited from this trip when they were students—to help him arrange visits with their agencies.

This year, the group is visiting Y & R (Young & Rubicam), Grey Group, J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, Mediacom, Droga5, and mcgarrybowen agencies. Other alumni offered to arrange shadowing experiences for students during their time in New York.

On Wednesday they attended a UT advertising alumni event at the New York Athletic Club.

The whirlwind New York trip “is literally life-changing for so many students,” Childers said. “It provides a context of what we talk about in class and brings it to life.”