Professional organizations, Northwestern student groups, and Northwestern academic programs can provide students with an opportunity to gain the skills and experience needed for a career in advertising, marketing, or public relations (PR). These opportunities can also develop students’ networking skills, a critical component of the job and internship search within this industry. Many Chicago-based and national organizations offer student memberships or host student conferences or career days as an opportunity for students to network with employers and apply for potential opportunities.
In addition to the following organizations, student groups, and academic programs, students should also consider gaining advertising, marketing, or PR experience in any student organization to which they belong or any professional experience. Students interested in this industry should seek opportunities to develop and practice their skills in advertising, marketing, and PR by taking on additional responsibilities in their organizations or holding a position relevant to one of these areas (i.e. develop marketing strategy for an upcoming event; create advertisements and promotional materials for organization).
Professional Organizations (Advertising)
- Advertising Educational Foundation: Educational resources to help students and professionals better understand advertising and its role in culture and society. The Foundation provides student resources including case histories, career advice, and career stories.
- American Advertising Federation: Organization provides members with the information and resources necessary to stay current and relevant in the advertising industry. The AAF Mosaic Center implements multicultural and diversity initiatives to connect top minority talent with leading advertising, marketing, and communication opportunities. The Mosaic Career Fair takes place each year in Chicago.
- American Association of Advertising Agencies: National association for advertising agencies providing professional development opportunities for those in the field of advertising as well as students interested in pursuing a career through online educational resources, student events and conferences, and young professional groups.
- Chicago Advertising Federation: Chicago-based organization providing development opportunities for individuals interested in advertising, marketing services, and media. Students can join the organization for access to resources and networking opportunities, including CAF’s Annual Career Day.
- National Communications Association: NCA focuses on the academic aspects of communication, providing resources for educators, practitioners, and researchers. Students can access career information and communications-based research on the organization’s website.
Professional Organizations (Marketing)
- American Marketing Association: Go-to resource for marketers, providing knowledge, training, and tools to stay relevant, build connections, and share resources. Students can join the organization for access to resources, professional programming, and networking opportunities.
- Marketing EDGE: Non-profit organization committed to educating, developing, growing, and employing college students in the field of marketing. Marketing EDGE creates and provides resources, career information, and networking opportunities to students, including two annual career forums.
Professional Organizations (Public Relations)
- Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management: A confederation of the major PR and communication associations and institutions committed to unifying the profession and providing education on professional standards. Students cannot join the organization but the website provides in-depth resources to learn about trends, issues, and research within PR and communication management.
- Public Relations Society of America: Students cannot join this professional organization for PR and Communications professionals, though resources including research initiatives, PR trends, and agency search functions are available online for student access.
- Publicity Club of Chicago: Nation’s largest independent PR membership organization, providing members an opportunity to network, attend events, and access career resources. Students can join the organization and attend educational programs on how to be successful in PR and an annual Chicago-based PR career fair.
Northwestern University Student Organizations
- Form and Function Marketing: Northwestern’s full-service marketing agency that provides innovative, holistic marketing resources to other student organizations to increase publicity and outreach efforts on campus. Members have an opportunity to gain valuable, real-world marketing experience.
- Mark: Student-run agency for student groups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs. Members are exposed to experiential learning opportunities in marketing, advertising, and PR.
- SPOON Magazine: Student-run food publication written for students across the country. Contributors have an opportunity to develop advertising, marketing, and PR skills as they enhance campus brand.
- EPIC: Northwestern’s home for entrepreneurs; students come together to develop their ideas and create change. Students have an opportunity to explore branding and marketing within the organization as they pitch and develop new ideas and products.
- Student Affairs Marketing: The professional staff in Student Affairs Marketing develops and implements integrated marketing communications across the Division of Student Affairs.
Northwestern University Academic Programs
- Business Institutions Program (BIP): Minor focused on business practices including courses in marketing management and contemporary issues in PR. BIP is open to all Northwestern students.
- Integrated Marketing Communications Certificate Program (IMC Certificate): Certificate program offered through Medill School of Journalism focuses on effective marketing communication strategies. The program prepares students for marketing communication positions in advertising, PR, corporate communication, database marketing, and social media marketing. Students from any undergraduate school or college are eligible to apply.