The Second Annual Long Island Ad Club’s Intern Career Advancement Program (ICAP) proved as much a success as the inaugural event last year. Junior and seniors in a variety of marketing disciplines from colleges and universities across the region showed up at Farmingdale State College’s Roosevelt Hall on February 10, 2009 trying to capitalize on an audience of advertising agency and marketing executives looking for interns and potentially, future employees. This year’s event attracted nearly 100 students—an increase of 400% from last year.
“Our goal was to show local students that Long Island advertising agencies and companies have a lot to offer,” explained Rick Chiorando, Executive Vice President & Chief Creative Officer at Austin & Williams, and the creator of the event. “Many graduates think they have to go to the city but there are many equally challenging career opportunities right here on the Island.”
Rick, along with the rest of the Austin & Williams’ staff played an instrumental role in promoting and organizing the ICAP event to students, as well as their professors and parents. The event was promoted via on-campus posters, print ads, radio announcements, email blasts, word of mouth and a variety of social networking channels including Facebook and Twitter. Austin & Williams’ executives also took the time to review the student’s portfolios that evening and offer advice on how to improve their portfolio and chances for securing a full-time position when they graduate.
The Long Island Ad Club’s ICAP event is being hailed as a great prototype for other industries looking to attract qualified Long Island college graduates to their organizations and help contain the “brain drain” plaguing our region. Statistics show that 80% of graduates, who start working right away on Long Island, stay on Long Island. If you consider that 75% of all interns are invited to stay on as paid employees, it’s easy to understand why programs like ICAP are important for Long Island.
“There’s nothing like practical experience to give you that competitive edge,” added Chiorando. “And this event is not only a great opportunity for the students to gain insight, and hopefully an internship, but also a chance for Long Island businesses to hold on to the talent being developed right here at local educational institutions.”
The Agency developed a post-event survey to help track the success of the event. To date, 40% of the attending businesses are in discussion with a student and 85% of the students said they would recommend it to a friend or fellow student. “Like any marketing program we launch, we want to see and analyze the results so we can judge its success and make modifications to make it even better,” concluded Chiorando.