RMIT media and communications students are still flying high after gaining first-hand experience with some of New York’s most creative industry professionals.
The 2015 Professional Practice study tour to New York City gave 20 students from postgraduate and undergraduate Advertising, Public Relations and Communication programs a rare opportunity to collaborate on real-life projects with American industry professionals and work in the offices of leading global advertising, design and social enterprises – including Sesame Workshop, the organisation behind Sesame Street.
The students stayed in Greenwich Village for 14 nights, with a full itinerary of agency work, daily tours, projects and experiencing everything the Big Apple had to offer.
Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations) student Clinton Elliott was one of the lucky few selected for the tour, enticed by the opportunity to gain international experience overseas.
“RMIT's global mobility program is fantastic and New York is the ideal destination for ambitious and creative students searching for transformative professional growth and development,” he said.
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Apart from working with and meeting the community behind Sesame Street, Elliott believes the best lesson he’s taken from the tour is the power of networking.
“I’ve learnt that networking and making friends sets you up wherever you go – for example there's a digital PR agency there that wants to expand and collect contacts in Australia,” he said.
“I also learnt that there are subtle differences in the way industries work in other countries.
“In New York, there is more finance and government PR and their role is less about selling and more about connecting businesses with the community by developing meaningful relationships.”
Amidst the splendour of the concrete jungle, Elliott says one of the biggest highlights of the trip was being in the United States during the national legalisation of gay marriage.
“It made me so happy seeing everyone celebrating and I hope it happens in Australia so everyone can feel that feeling – it was liberating.”
The students were led on the tour by advertising lecturer Kerin Elsum and media and communication lecturer Dr Jenny Robinson.
Based on the feedback of her students, Elsum believes the tour is perfect for students who are hungry for industry experience.
“Media and communication is a global practice that rewards those who know what it means to work in another country and who are able to navigate and take advantage of the surprising differences to be found between cultures,” she said.
“Many from this year’s group have expressed their desire to return to NYC to work after graduating and now have the experience, skills and confidence to make this a reality.
“We will be fine-tuning the 2016 NYC Study Tour but keeping everything else that made this year’s so successful.”
Applications for the 2016 NYC Study Tour open in October.