NYC Trip Explores Media, Marketing and Advertising

This spring, I joined 34 other students from the Media & Communication, Marketing & Advertising and Digital Marketing & Social Media programs on a trip to New York City. The Marketing & Advertising and Digital Marketing & Social Media students visited Ogilvy, an advertising firm, with Associate Professors Beth Carey and Diane Santurri. Media & Communication students visited the Paley Center for Media, formerly known as the Museum of Television & Radio and the Museum of Broadcasting, with Professors Chris Westgate and Johanna Church.  

“I was super excited to see a new museum I’ve never been to,” says Jay Ibarra ’24, a Media & Communication major. “I was made aware of this opportunity from my favorite professor, Chris Westgate, so I jumped on board for the trip.” 

For many of the students (including myself), this was our first time visiting New York City. It was fun to see the many name-brand stores and explore the busy streets filled with tourists looking to try one of the plethora of food trucks that lined the streets. In addition to the shopping opportunities, NYC is home to several major company headquarters such as Google, Facebook and NBC. 

Paley Center for Media 

At the Paley Center, we explored the exhibits on television history, how TV has developed over time and an archive that holds over 160,000 television shows, radio programs, and advertisements that cover more than a century of media history.

“This field trip to the Paley Center for Media was more than just an excursion—it was a transformative experience for JWU students,” said Professor Chris Westgate. “By immersing themselves in the rich history and evolution of media, students gained invaluable insights into how media shapes our culture and vice-versa. From classic television shows to groundbreaking documentaries, the Paley Center offered a prism through which students could glimpse and interpret the power of media in today's world. It's not just a trip—it's an educational journey that fosters critical thinking, cultural understanding, and media literacy.” 

The museum even featured a large exhibit on the popular television show The Masked Singer, which highlighted the costumes that the competitors wore while on the show. Some of the competitors highlighted in the exhibit included Amber Riley, Wayne Brady, Kevin Hart, Joey Fatone and T-Pain. Aside from its exhibits, the Paley Center also organizes the PaleyFest, an event that brings stars from various shows to the center for Q &A sessions with fans. They recently hosted stars from Live with Kelly and Mark, Invincible and Shark Tank. Later this year, they will be hosting stars from television shows such as Loki, Young Sheldon, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Morning Show

A group statues standing together at a museum.

Overall, the center offered many highlights. “My favorite part was seeing the center’s library database, watching past Super Bowl games and going to the gaming lounge to see VR headsets, PS5, Xbox, PCs and Nintendo,” said Jay. 

Personally, some of my favorite moments from the field trip were sitting in on an active lecture about representation throughout the history of television and going through archives of old and current television shows and movies. 

Ogilvy Advertising Firm 

Meanwhile, the Marketing & Advertising and Digital Marketing & Social Media students visited Ogilvy headquarters through an invitation from Katie Ferrigno ’12, a JWU Marketing & Advertising alumna, who serves as Social Strategy Director for the company. It was founded by David Ogilvy, considered the "Father of Advertising" and he was known for creative copy and themes, but the Ogilvy agency as of today is really positioned as fostering borderless creativity and collaboration “Visiting one of the oldest ad agencies and having the students hear how advertising campaigns are developed gives them a deeper understanding of what’s involved on both a creative and strategic level,” shared Professor Carey. 

Students gained valuable insight into the company’s creative process during a panel with Olgivy advertising executives, who offered their perspective and expertise on advertising strategy and campaign development. One of Ogilvy's most recent campaigns was with skincare company CeraVe. They were able to execute the campaign by planning it out in three acts. “Act 1” consisted of a fake news campaign, “Act 2” was getting dermatologists, influencers, and the public to react to the idea of Michael Cera being the face behind CeraVe, and “Act 3” was the grand reveal of the prank with a television ads during the Super Bowl.

"The time I spent in New York City and Ogilvy headquarters was genuinely inspiring — if I had to pick a dream job, it would be this one,” said Jordan Millette ’26, a Digital Marketing & Social media major. “Seeing how they do their campaigns from start to finish and all the different departments needed to bring an amazing idea together made my jaw drop. I learned that it takes so much more planning than people realize to create a successful campaign that feels organic."  

A group of students seated together
What We Learned 

Going to NYC was a fantastic learning experience. From exploring how far representation has come in the world of television to hearing about the creative process of advertising campaigns, we all learned a lot. Going on field trips like this is a great way for students to have a hands-on learning experience outside of the classroom that offers valuable insight into potential career paths. 

“In our advertising classes we focus heavily on market research and strategy,” said Professor Carey. “Hearing from the strategy and creative teams at Ogilvy helped to connect the dots for the students and see the course concepts come to life with an actual campaign like the CeraVe ads that ran before, during and after the Super Bowl across various media channels.” 

“Creating authentic, real-world experiences are important in helping our students uncover the ‘why’,” added Professor Santurri. “This was an amazing opportunity for some to visit the ‘Big City’ for the first time and create new friendships and professional networking opportunities. Students could learn about the many areas within agencies they could be a part of. Within the digital marketing ecosystem there are many areas of expertise, and our students will be prepared to choose the one they are most prepared and passionate about.” 

For our professors, taking classroom lessons out into the world is crucial to their work and a key part of their students' success. “These trips are valuable because they provide new experiences and perspectives,” said Professor Church. “It's good for students to get out of their comfort zone and experience new things.”