Fellowship combines Fordham values with firsthand experience

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Gaining practical industry experience is on the must-do list of every undergraduate student. Getting paid for that experience sits firmly on the “would-be-nice” list.

Accomplishing both at a top global firm? That’s the dream.

For one outstanding marketing student, that dream will soon become reality.

The winner of the new Paul Reilly Advertising Fellowship will be offered a 10-week, paid summer internship in the account management department at BBDO World Headquarters in New York City.

This talented student will spend the summer getting hands-on experience at one of the largest advertising firms in the world. After being assigned to a specific client and brand, he or she will attend client meetings, work on creative plans, and possibly even participate in pitches.

In short, the intern will be immersed in account management.

shutterstock_364265705Through applied projects and company collaboration, the student will see firsthand the importance of making global connections within the advertising industry. These key interactions could lead to a job down the line.

The significance of the program doesn’t lie solely in future career advantages, however.

“This is not just an internship,” Timothy D. Malefyt, clinical associate professor, emphasizes. “This fellowship has a name attached to it.”

And that name has a person attached to it.

Paul Reilly, who passed away this May, was a Fordham graduate who went on to build an impressive career in the advertising industry. He worked for BBDO as EVP, senior director on the Campbell’s account, and he often returned to the Gabelli School to share his extensive knowledge with students.

That’s one of the reasons the fellowship came about in the first place.

Having witnessed Reilly’s commitment to both Fordham and BBDO, Malefyt knew a partnership between the University and the agency made perfect sense. So he worked with Sertan Kabadayi, associate professor and area chair for marketing, and executives at BBDO to formally draw up the plans.

Kabadayi explains that “this fellowship is one part of the marketing area’s broader efforts to connect with the industry and bring the best learning experience to students.”

Now Kabadayi and Malefyt, along with Linda Luca, adjunct instructor and former EVP, group managing director at McCann-Erickson, will review student applications before sending the finalists on to BBDO. Finalists will be invited to interview with BBDO executives at Fordham—a worthwhile activity on its own.

What is the search team hoping to see from applicants?

Passion is one of the most important characteristics. In such a demanding field, it’s crucial that students are committed to the work they’re doing.

They also need to demonstrate a willingness to go the extra mile, to create added value. Since agencies look for marketers who can generate ideas, the ability—and enthusiasm—to think outside of the box is a quality that will set extraordinary candidates apart from others.

kgamble-102714-1802One final but necessary requirement: because the fellowship represents Fordham and honors Reilly, “we want to see students who are ethical, are working toward the greater good, and care for others,” Malefyt says.

These may seem like high standards to reach, but they are all traits of marketing professionals who want to make a difference in society.

Though this year’s fellowship focuses on account management, Kabadayi and Malefyt are already looking ahead to future possibilities. The success of the initial program could lead to more fellowships in the coming years, in marketing or other areas, as well as the chance to forge new partnerships with other companies in the global marketplace.

So, while it’s a fantastic program for Gabelli, the Paul Reilly Advertising Fellowship also demonstrates the commitment of the University to student success beyond the classroom.

After all, as Kabadayi points out, “at the end of the day, what matters most is our students.”


To apply for the Paul Reilly Advertising Fellowship, submit the following to Sertan Kabadayi by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 15, 2016:

  • An updated résumé
  • An essay (500 words maximum) explaining why you are interested in the BBDO summer internship in advertising, and how the internship would contribute to your career goals
  • A copy of a current unofficial transcript.
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