AdPR students looking to enhance their education were selected for a 3-day immersive experience in California’s Silicon Valley over winter break. Through the new Grady AdPR partnership with eBay and help of UGA alum Suzy Deering (CMO of eBay), students were connected with a number of industry giants including eBay, Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Imgur, and Kiip. Students also toured the Verizon Innovation Center to see demonstrations of some of the latest technology innovations for communications. Program participants had their marketing, sales, and tech industry questions answered by leading experts in the field.
Students had exclusive access to new technologies in beta testing from Verizon Innovations and Google. After experiencing first-hand facial recognition software at the Verizon Innovation Center and Tango in action at Google, senior Advertising major Caroline Fowler said, “It was exciting to see the development of new technology and discuss how it is going to change the future of the advertising industry.”
The group was also introduced to the robust landscape of business in Silicon Valley and fostered connections with professionals in the field. The students did Grady Proud. According to Brooke Montgomery of AOL, “The UGA students were extremely passionate about marketing and advertising. They asked extremely thoughtful industry-related questions.” AdPR faculty also enjoyed watching their students develop a greater interest and awareness of the successes and challenges of a start-up business. “You could tell immediately how invested the professors were in their students’ futures,” said Montgomery. “It was delightful to interact with faculty and hear about the extensive curriculum at UGA. All of the students were already so knowledgeable about virtual reality which was a pleasant surprise!”
Caroline Youngs, a senior Advertising major, said her favorite aspect of the trip was learning about the new opportunities within the virtual and augmented reality space. She is specifically interested in the marketing of these new technologies. “The networking opportunities provided by the University, and connections that were made as a result, were invaluable for us all,” said Youngs. “Hopefully there will be a future in Silicon Valley for some or all of the participants. It was an incredible educational experience and I am so thankful for the opportunity!” The attentiveness, professionalism, and enthusiasm of the students on this trip truly reflected the excellence of Grady students.