UNC Hussman students awarded prestigious advertising internship

By Beth Hatcher

Two students from the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media recently received internships from the Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP) sponsored by the American Association of Advertising Agencies Foundation.

As MAIP fellows, Tran Nguyen ’22 and Tanya Slehria ’21 will both work at advertising agencies this summer thanks to the program’s paid internship, which UNC Hussman’s Director of Career Services Jay Eubank calls highly competitive.

“Both Tran and Tanya embody the best values of UNC Hussman and its students. They work hard in the classroom, but also outside classroom, taking advantage of opportunities like the MAIP internship to grow professionally,” Eubank said.

In addition to the internship, Nguyen and Slehria will also participate in a series of learning and development opportunities, such as virtual workshops, trainings and a career fair.

For her internship, Nguyen will serve as an account management intern at TBWA\WorldHealth, a New York-based advertising agency, where she’ll utilize lessons learned from UNC Hussman faculty like leading health communication scholar Associate Professor Allison Lazard and experienced crisis communications professional Teaching Professor Valerie Fields.

Nguyen will also hone her skills as a strategic storyteller, which she called the foundation of good advertising.

“The convergence of creativity and logic is what drew me to advertising,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen, a child of Vietnamese immigrants, appreciates the MAIP program’s focus on diversity. Diverse staffs help advertising agencies succeed, Nguyen said.

“Advertising’s not just in the business of telling stories, but in the business of selling stories — to everyone,” Nguyen said. “That equity starts from the inside out. MAIP gives me the opportunity to not only represent my own story but tell the stories of those who haven’t historically been given a voice.”

Of Northern Indian descent, Slehria also understands the importance of diversity in advertising.

“It’s easier to advertise to someone if you have someone like them with a seat at the table,” said Slehria, who will take her seat at the table as a summer strategy intern at R/GA, a New York-based advertising agency. Collaborative work, both with clients and across teams, drives Slehria’s interest in advertising, as does its cultural resonance.

“I like the emotional connection you can build in advertising across broad audiences,” said Slehria, who is looking forward to learning everything she can this summer, not just about advertising but professional environments in general.

“Besides teaching you a sense of professional communication, internships teach you about what aspects of job you do and don’t like,” Slehria said.

And though she’ll take lessons from UNC Hussman to her summer internship — she cites Assistant Professor Joseph Czabovsky’s writing acumen and former instructor Joshua Barker’s market research teaching as inspirational — Slehria’s really looking forward to the lessons she can’t learn in a classroom.

Eubank said he is excited to see both Nguyen and Slehria grow professionally.

“Internships are such a valuable way to get professional experience. I am really excited for the doors and opportunities MAIP will open up for Tran and Tanya,” Eubank said.