In Advertising, Experiential Learning

Communications student Marquelle Gray shares how an experiential learning opportunity has enhanced her time at BYU

This past summer, I had the wonderful opportunity to study abroad in Europe with the advertising program. While in Europe, we got to attend the Cannes Lion Festival for Creativity, explore amazing countries and cultures and work closely with a non-profit in the UK called Project Hello World. These experiences have been amazing and beneficial towards my future as an advertiser.

Cannes Lions was an amazing opportunity for me. I was able to hear from the best of the best and be inspired by work from around the world. I was also inspired by new countries and cultures I had never experienced. There is something amazing and exciting about placing yourself in unfamiliar circumstances. On this trip, I was really emerged in the culture because of the way it was organized. The art, people, architecture and way of life really helped me to see the world through more creative eyes.

The most rewarding part of those eight weeks was working so closely with the company Project Hello World and helping it meet its advertising goals. As a small group of five, we were able to create a brand model and creative brief to help this company grow. We then answered our own creative brief with fun and exciting ways to develop a strong brand identity through social media, networking and presentations.

Our project ended with a presentation from our group to the company. It was thrilling to present all of our hard work and exciting findings. At the end of the pitch, our clients were smiling from ear to ear, pleased with the work we had done. Thanks to our amazing program, we were able to be fully prepared to completely tackle this assignment.

This experience was wonderful for me because it was the first time I was able to work with a client from start to finish. As one seeking to become an account manager, I gained useful and important skills that I will take with me into the workforce. I now know how to work well with clients and successfully answer a project request. I am grateful for this wonderful hands-on experience and what it has taught me.

The publication of student articles allows the College of Fine Arts and Communications to highlight the experiential learning opportunities and behind-the-scenes experiences of students and faculty and tell stories with a unique voice and point of view. Submit your story at

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