Find your people: Heelprint Communications CEO Madison Welsh ’22

by Barbara Wiedemann

With the fall semester underway and class and work schedules consolidating, now might be the time for new UNC Hussman students to “find their people.” To that end, we’re profiling a series of student leaders and the interest groups they represent. Part 2 in our series:

Heelprint Communications CEO Madison Welsh ’22

Heelprint Communications, the student-run creative communications agency housed in Carroll Hall, held an interest meeting last night, and CEO Madison Welsh ’22 is ecstatic.

“We had 20 students who are new to Heelprint show up, and lots of them had already applied to work with us,” she said.

Along with the students who expressed an interest by email but couldn’t make the meeting, Welsh envisions four or five teams forming to take on her clients’ creative challenges, each with a set of skills unique to each client’s needs—from graphic design to coding; social media to project management experience. One account manager is assigned to each team to liaison between team members and client; oversee and delegate work; and ensure that deliverables get to the client on time.

“It’s a good thing we’re not looking for just one person to work with each client,” she said. “Lots of students from UNC Hussman and across Carolina can have an opportunity to work with us as part of a team. We’re looking for experience all across the board.”

Welsh’s organization was formed in 2009 by students in UNC’s Ad Club and the Carolina Public Relations Student Society of America. Heelprint Communications is supported by an endowment established by Charlie Adams and Jamie Jacobson, founders of Adams & Longino Advertising in Greenville, N.C. 

“The goal is for everyone who is interested to have the Heelprint experience,” said Welsh, a seasoned pro after spending her sophomore and junior years doing Heelprint work.

With applications closing this Sunday, September 19, for the fall, Welsh is ready for action.

She and her executive team — Kate Regan ’22, CMO; Gabby Torres ’23, Chief Client Officer; and Jenny Mades ’23, CFO — have been onboarding clients in preparation for a busy fall semester. Next, they’ll assess student interest and skillsets and pair the proper team with each client.

“Reviewing resumes and portfolios is one of my favorite parts of the job,” said Welsh. “We see some truly amazing work from students who apply to work with us.”

Welsh herself pivoted from business administration to UNC Hussman’s advertising and public relations track early in her Carolina years. Since then, she’s immersed herself in advertising and public relations classes at UNC Hussman. She’s also learned from hands-on internship experiences with Eckel & Vaughan, Bolt Public Relations, Deep South Entertainment, UNC Rex Healthcare Foundation and this summer’s internship with imre, a marketing and communications agency with additional offices in NYC, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Los Angeles.

“It was a great talking point during my remote interviews with imre for this summer’s internship,” Welsh said of the unique opportunity she had to work on real-world Heelprint projects in her sophomore and junior years. She was able to talk about real-time, COVID-related troubleshooting and strategizing of the sort that she ended up doing on the job for imre’s Los Angeles office. And, she reports happily, the agency has invited her to stay on for her senior year—so she’s using her time management skills to carve out 16 hours a week to immerse herself in public relations work for imre.

Look for Heelprint Communications on their website and reach out (by Sunday, Septemeber 19 for this fall; or throughout the semester for spring work) here to apply.

For more like this profile, see our story on UNC-Chapel Hill NAHJ Chapter President Julian Berger ’22.