NSAC: Part I

So, it’s been a minute since I last posted. I meant to come back on March 15th. Then the world decided to flip upside down on all of us. With the rise of COVID-19 life as we know it has been disrupted in ways almost none of us have experienced before.

Yet, amid all the chaos, NSAC. The National Student Advertising Competition. NSAC has been my life since January. I deliberately enrolled in only three classes this semester to dedicate the time necessary to NSAC. What’s the reason I was so dedicated? Simple. NSAC is the closest any college student can get to working in an agency setting outside of a summer internship.

I had been selected to be the project manager for the class in early January. My job as the project manager was pretty simple. Make sure the project was complete on schedule and turned into the national organization on March 25th. I had a hand or an eye on every moving piece of the project, making sure nothing went too far off the rails. With 22 other team members, I quickly realized how much work coordinating schedules and deadlines on a project this big really was.

But the project was coming along well when we meet for the last time together as a class on March 4th. Things were semi on schedule and I felt good about where we were. Only a few things needed to be worked on over spring break to set us up in a golden spot for our last week-and-a-half sprint to the finish after spring break.

Well, we never meet again in person after March 4th. As everything from class to March Madness got canceled, NSAC remained. The American Advertising Federation, the organization putting on NSAC, held strong. With support from this year’s sponsor of the competition, AAF asked everyone to solider on and gave us one extra week to submit the final product of our project, a campaign plans book.

That extra week was a good thing too. I was in no shape to marshal the rest of the team to the finish line. Having the world knocked out from underneath you and things you worked towards for 16 years canceled isn’t great. Thankfully, I was able to get my feet back under me in only a few days. I’m thankful the rest of my team was too. Because we still had a whole campaign to finish.

In two weeks, we worked day and night. Meeting on Zoom, phone calls, and Slack channels to get a finished project assembled. Before we went on break, not one of the pages of our book had been finished. On March 31st, one day before it was due, we submitted 20 pages of some of the best work we’ve ever done.

I’m incredibly grateful for everyone on that team. We came together in a time of great upheaval in all our lives to finish our project. A project I think we’ll all be proud of for many years to come.

You can take a look at our project here. You’ll need a password to view the book and other materials we viewed due to an agreement with the competition sponsor. If you’re interested in viewing the materials let me know by sending me a message.

But our NSAC adventure still wasn’t finished on March 31st. We had to present our campaign in a pitch presentation to a panel of judges. But this time it was in a format never before attempted during NSAC. I’ll tell you all about NSAC Part II later this week…

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