IMC Professional Development


Besides communication and business internships, student chapters of professional organizations offer students a unique opportunity to further their career pursuits. Ithaca College has student chapters of the two leading professional trade groups, the American Advertising Federation and the Public Relations Student Society of America.


As the "Unifying Voice for Advertising," the American Advertising Federation (AAF), headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the trade association that represents 50,000 professionals in the advertising industry. AAF's 130 corporate members are advertisers, agencies, and media companies that comprise the nation's leading brands and corporations. AAF has a national network of 210 ad clubs and connects the industry with an academic base through its 210 college chapters.

As one of the AAF college chapters, we help students find their perfect advertising or marketing job in thousands of top marketing and advertising employers on the Marketing Career Network through AAF Job Bank.

A major function each year is to travel to New York City to attend the Annual Career Conference sponsored by the Advertising Women of New York (AWNY). Students meet with advertising, media, and public relations professionals in a variety of workshops to learn more about various career paths and to network for internships and job opportunities.

Each year, the students take on local business and non-profits as clients. This year, Foodnet-Meals on Wheels has asked our AAF chapter to develop a creative strategy and media plan to help the organization achieve greater brand awareness and increase donations.

For more details, please visit our AAF Website.


Ad Lab, a 3-credit course offered to seniors in the Park School since 1980, teaches students the essentials of planning an advertising campaign, including media strategy, positioning, and ad design. The course culminates in a comprehensive plan for a specific product and the opportunity to compete nationally in the annual American Advertising Federation National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC), the most rewarding college advertising competition.

Widely regarded as the "college world series of advertising," the NSAC is held every year to provide college students with practical experience in creating a strategic advertising campaign for a corporate sponsor. A recent sponsor, Yahoo! Inc., challenged more than 6,500 students on 215 campuses to develop a $10-million national communications plan aimed at an audience of 13 to 17 year olds. The finalists presented their campaigns to a panel of industry executives.

Ad Lab advisor Scott Hamula, associate professor and director of the IMC program, remarked: "The course is tailored for senior students following a basic three-step process: students first come to fully understand the business problem; next, they perform research that allows them to discover keen target-market insights; and, finally, based on this research, they then create a plan which combines truly creative traditional and nontraditional advertising along with unique, innovative promotions. The result is a total integrated marketing communications campaign that effectively resonates with consumers and motivates them to act on and bond with the client's brand."

The Ad Lab team last won a national title in 1993. The team won regional competitions in 1985, 1986, 1988, 1995, 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2011.

More details:

Ad Lab Team Places 2nd at Nationals: jcpenney

Ad Lab Team Wins District, Heads to Nationals

Ad Lab presents Yahoo! 'has your friends'

Ad Lab Team Wins District Title: Toyota Matrix


In 1968, 20 years after its own establishment, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) founded the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). The declared purpose of PRSSA is to cultivate a favorable and mutually advantageous relationship between students and professional public relations practitioners.

The student society aims to foster the following:

  • Understanding of current theories and procedures of the profession
  • Appreciation of the highest ethical ideals and principles
  • Awareness of an appropriate professional attitude
  • Appreciation of Associate Membership in PRSA and eventually accredited membership

Our PRSSA chapter offers IMC students numerous opportunities to develop professional and personal skill sets in public relations through regularly scheduled meetings and workshops, special events with guest speakers, and other community activities. Students also can attend PRSSA's national conference and join student competitions. With the help of the JobCenter in PRSSA network, students can easily find their internships and job opportunities around the nation. PRSSA's mission is to serve students by enhancing their knowledge of public relations and providing access to professional development opportunities. For more information, please visit our IC PRSSA website.

professional development

Ashley Hunter (center) with Soledad O'Brien and AAF's Kendra Curtis. Hunter was chosen for AAF's Most Promising Multicultural Student Program.


IMC majors accepting advertising competition award.


Charlotte Hyman, one of PRWeek's top five public relations students in the country.