My takeaways from Ad Club’s Denver agency tours

students gather around a conference table
Members of Advertising Club visited agencies in Denver as part of their annual agency trip.


By Ricardo Rodriguez

As the vice president of Iowa State University’s Advertising Club, I had the opportunity to help plan the biggest event/trip of the semester for our club members – our spring agency tour in another city.

Last year we went on a super informative tour of the agencies in Dallas, so this year we decided to go to Denver in February. While we were there, we visited five agencies: Booyah, Integer, Cactus, Strada and Cohn. I learned some pretty cool tips from our trip to the Centennial State.

12 students on the steps outside a brick building
Members of Advertising Club take a break on the steps of Strada, a Denver advertising agency.

Know what you like, but be open to new opportunities.

After visiting the first two agencies, most of us had already started to catch on to what we liked and what we thought we didn’t like. After visiting the last three agencies, we realized our assumptions were wrong. By the end, most of us started to believe we would be able to enjoy even more roles in our field that we hadn’t even considered before.

To my surprise, I realized that the analytics side started to become just as exciting to me as my multimedia production work that I was used to. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s actually way more attractive to the employer for you to be more engaged in the conversation. Asking questions is the best way to show how engaged you are.

students meet around a conference table
Advertising Club members visited several Denver agencies, including Strada, on their spring 2020 trip.

There’s a lot of power in being able to do a little bit of it all.

The most exciting part of visiting a variety of agencies was learning that all of them were looking for an employee with a more diverse arsenal of skills. There were a lot of times when we learned people were originally hired for one purpose and then later were asked to dip their toes into new waters. The representatives we met with expressed a lot of interest in people who were able to make videos, but also write papers. It was more helpful to them to have someone who already came in with a variety of skills or was willing to learn.

Do NOT be afraid!

Don’t hesitate to ask if the agencies you visit are open to new applicants. It doesn’t hurt to ask, even if you learn they do not have any current open positions and you don’t know what ring you are throwing your hat into. It’s always the most unexpected detours that help build the journey.

students with cliffs and trees
After visiting five agencies, Advertising Club made a little time for fun on their trip to Denver. They spent one day hiking in the Colorado mountains.

Take a break and have some fun.

We know that just going to the agencies all day can be a little energy consuming at times, so we also decided to plan some breaks in between. Our Saturday was completely open, so some of us hiked the mountains for a whole day. On Friday night, we looked up local events and decided to go to a Dillon Francis concert that turned out to be lots of fun.

If this sounds like fun to you, consider joining Advertising Club. Each school year, the club offers one big trip to a new state out of the Midwest and a few smaller trips to neighboring areas. You do not have to be an advertising major to join. We’re open to all students and offer a variety of learning opportunities that may be beneficial for anyone. We meet weekly on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in Hamilton Hall Room 0173 during the Fall 2020 semester.

Ricardo Rodriguez is a senior at Iowa State University studying public relations and event management with a focus in multimedia production. He is also the vice president of Advertising Club.