A team of five San José State University advertising and public relations students took home a grand prize at the AT&T campus challenge Dec. 12, winning out against 30 other campuses in the United States in a multi-part challenge.
The students, who created the DB&H on-campus advertising and public relations agency, started their competition in August. The ad and PR agency is a program in the College of Applied Sciences and Art’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications. While most of the colleges competed with teams made up of an entire classroom of students (with at least 25 students on the team,) the SJSU team included five students. The students included Kent Bravo, Lisa Sydes-Findlay, Daria Gorohova, Jenna Martinez and Nick Mundy.
For the competition the teams were challenged to change the perception of AT&T with 18-24-year old students through an on-campus event and also to enlist Science, Technology, Engineering and Math students to consider employment with AT&T after graduation. The team worked with regional employees of AT&T to present their initial research and data.
The team made it through the first round of competition, in which they won AT&T products as prizes. The field was narrowed to seven teams who were invited to compete for first and second place at the AT&T corporate headquarters in Dallas this week with all expenses paid by the telecommunications company.
Timothy Hendrick, an advertising professor at SJSU, said via email that the task of presenting to 50 executives was daunting for the students, “but they were brilliant in presenting their solution.” The DB&H team won the grand prize of $3,000.
“The team really came together, learning how to work as a team, and develop creative and comprehensive solutions to meet the challenge,” Hendrick said, via email.
He also noted the short two-day trip came in the midst of other finals for the students, who spent time studying on the plane ride home.
“I am proud of what they accomplished and they will be able to take the skills and knowledge they developed into their careers,” he wrote in an email.
Some of the team members have been approached by AT&T executives about potential employment after they graduate next spring.