Whitewater Advertising Association teaches students creativity


photo courtesy of Madison Carlson

Members and interns for the Whitewater Advertising Association gather for a group picture during a weekly meeting.

Bryce Gill, Biz & Tech Editor

Whitewater Advertising Association (WAA) was an organization on the UW-Whitewater campus and has been an organization for about 10 years. WAA is a student led creative advertising agency and provides services to many UW-Whitewater campus organizations as well as local businesses in Whitewater, Wisconsin. The organization focuses on most aspects of real world experience working in advertising, helping students get better acquainted with the profession and acting as an efficient way to network.

In the past 10 years there has been a transition in the organization to become more of an internship than just an organization. The internship program offers students the opportunity to work in an advertising agency that provides an effective marketing approach for their client’s needs.

“There are four P’s in marketing: product, place, price and promotion. Really we own the fourth P, the promotion piece. What WAA is doing now is providing intern opportunities for our ad students who often struggle getting experience in the field. It’s taking what you’re learning in classes and applying it. There are brainstorming techniques that we teach that help create a firepower that ad agencies can bring to their clients. For WAA as an agency, right now we are focusing on social media management for companies,” said advisor of WAA and UW-Whitewater professor, Michael Betker.

This organization most benefits students who are interested in or are studying advertising that are seeking more hands-on experience working with clients.

“We work in teams of three and as a large group consisting of account managers, copywriters, graphic designers, a photographer, project manager, media planner and new business developer. On a weekly basis, we work on writing new content, brainstorming possible clients and reaching out to local businesses,” said the executive team member for graphic design, Rachel Hassmann.

The creative services provided include consumer research, creative brainstorming, design, content marketing and more.

“WAA has allowed for many opportunities networking and building connections with people, especially within organizations and local businesses. For example, I worked on The Community Space Project through WAA and then ended up reconnecting with them for a school project a couple of months later,” said Rachel Hassmann.

Students are able to learn about the responsibilities of each position within the agency like the account manager, being a copywriter, or graphic design. There are about 15 interns separated into groups that consist of one designer, one copywriter, and one account manager. There is insight gained from working with WAA that will be applicable in careers after graduation.

“Even if you’re not advertising, if you’re marketing you can get stuff out of it. If you’re a graphic design we can always use people and we can figure out ways to use your skills to help us and help everybody else,” said the president of WAA, Lucas Birch.

WAA hosts weekly meetings from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and is open to all students who are interested in being members and WAA also offers a paid internship that offers up to 15 hours per week. Students learn leadership development, sales and marketing fundamentals, cross training in marketing and management, and each student gets direct mentorship from business leadership. To apply for an intern position students can visit the WAA website, www.uwwaa.com or contact Michael Betker, [email protected]

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