While most students take a much needed and deserved break from schoolwork after their finals end in May each year, advertising students Mia Iannucci (she/her) and Shiv Vats (he/him) spent the beginning of their summer preparing to present at the Washington Media Scholars Foundation’s Media Plan Case Competition in June 2022.
Both students took ADV 4054: Advanced Media Planning with Associate Professor of Instruction Alison Ebbecke (she/her) in the fall of 2021. In that class, Ebbecke splits her students into mini-agencies and has them create a media plan for a hypothetical client. Though Iannucci and Vats were on different teams, Ebbecke said that both students stood out in their leadership qualities, which led to her approaching both of them with details about the Washington Media Scholars Foundation.
“What a wonderful way to extend the experience that these students are having in the classroom beyond our four walls at Temple,” Ebbecke said.
Iannucci and Vats were already working as media planners on Temple University’s National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) team, but ultimately decided to make the commitment to add the case competition to their workload.
Every year, the foundation presents a case study to students and gives them a hypothetical budget to create a media plan for the client. This year’s client was a magazine for the imaginary town of Saint Cape, which was later revealed to be loosely based on Charleston, South Carolina.
The pair started working together for the case competition in October 2021 and made it through several rounds of cuts before finding out in March 2022 that they were finalists, meaning they were invited to present in Washington, D.C. the following June. Once their NSAC work came to an end when they placed second at the district level, Iannucci and Vats felt more than prepared to finish out another competition strong.
In early June, Iannucci and Vats travelled to Washington for a week of networking and hearing from various media companies along with five other pairs of finalists.
“I think my takeaway from the whole thing is that all of those media professionals, they were there for us and everything they did was for us to succeed,” Vats said. He felt honored to be among such capable students and professionals.
After four days of touring monuments and TV studios as well as meeting with professionals from companies such as Google and Politico, it came time for Iannucci and Vats to prepare their presentation. Ebbecke joined them and stayed to watch them present and attend the award ceremony the following day.
Ebbecke noted that watching Iannucci and Vats present was more than she could have ever imagined. Their professionalism and passion brought tears to her eyes.
Though there were multiple teams competing, Iannucci didn’t feel like any of the teams made the week only about competition. “The students that we met were absolutely just some of the best people ever,” she said.
After the presentations, the award ceremony was held. Though Iannucci and Vats did not end up winning the competition, Iannucci was awarded the Mia Guion Scholarship for her preparation, participation, professionalism and presentation. This is the second time in three years that a Temple student has won this award that is named for Mia Guion, who won the 2017 case competition but tragically passed away in a car accident in 2018.
“It was a really memorable thing,” Iannucci said. “It’s something that I’ll never forget. Something I’ll always be appreciative of.”
Iannucci had the pleasure of meeting Guion’s family the night before presentations, and her mother was quite taken with Iannucci, who shared her late daughter’s name. Iannucci is honored to keep Guion’s legacy alive, and is grateful to the family for their continued relationship with the foundation.
In addition to the Mia Guion Scholarship, Iannucci left the week in Washington with a job offer from TEGNA, a national broadcast company that serves 51 different markets across the country. The vice president of the company was seated with Iannucci at the award ceremony and was determined to bring Iannucci in. Once she graduates in June 2023, Iannucci will be in the sales in residence program at TEGNA.
“It’s everything that I’ve learned just put into a big bundle of news,” she said of her upcoming position. She encourages all students to take advantage of opportunities to represent Temple, because you never know where the networking can lead you.
Vats finished out his summer with a multicultural advertising internship that started less than 24 hours after he got home from Washington, and is preparing to graduate in December 2022. Iannucci is spending this semester finishing electives and pursuing an internship at Temple University Rome.
Temple’s motto is “perseverance conquers,” and Ebbecke is proud to see Iannucci and Vats embodying that in every step of their lives.